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The Return of the King (1980 film)

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| image=[[Image:RankinBass' The Return of the King.png|250px]]
 
| image=[[Image:RankinBass' The Return of the King.png|250px]]
 
| name=The Return of the King
 
| name=The Return of the King
| director=[[Arthur Rankin, Jr.]], [[Jules Bass]]
+
| director=[[Arthur Rankin, Jr.]]<br>[[Jules Bass]]
| producer=[[Arthur Rankin, Jr.]], [[Jules Bass]]
+
| producer=Arthur Rankin, Jr.<br>Jules Bass
| writer=[[Romeo Muller]]
+
| writer=[[J.R.R. Tolkien]] (original novel)<br>Romeo Muller (screenplay)
 
| narrator=
 
| narrator=
| starring=[[Orson Bean]], [[Theodore Bikel]], [[William Conrad]], [[Roddy McDowall]], [[Casey Kasem]]
+
| starring=[[Orson Bean]]<br>[[Theodore Bikel]]<br>[[John Huston]]<br>[[Roddy McDowall]]
| music=[[Maury Laws]]
+
| music=Maury Laws (music)<br>Jules Bass (lyrics)
 
| cinematography=  
 
| cinematography=  
 
| editing=  
 
| editing=  
| distributor=[[Warner Bros.]]
+
| distributor=ABC (original transmission)<br>[[Warner Bros.]] (home video)
 
| released=[[11 May|May 11]], [[1980]]
 
| released=[[11 May|May 11]], [[1980]]
 
| runtime=98 minutes
 
| runtime=98 minutes
| country=United States
+
| country=USA
 
| language=English
 
| language=English
 
| budget=  
 
| budget=  
 
| website=  
 
| website=  
 
| imdb_id=0079802
 
| imdb_id=0079802
}}'''''The Return of the King''''' is an animated adaptation of the [[The Lord of the Rings|novel]] by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] which was released by [[Rankin/Bass]] as a TV special in 1980. It has since been released on VHS and DVD.
+
}}'''''The Return of the King''''' (subtitled '''''A Story of the Hobbits''''') is an animated adaptation of the [[The Lord of the Rings|novel]] by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] which was produced by [[Rankin/Bass]] as a TV special which originally aired on ABC in the U.S. on [[11 May|May 11]], [[1980]]. It has since been released on VHS and DVD.
  
 
The film was created by the same team which had worked on the 1977 [[The Hobbit (1977 film)|animated version of ''The Hobbit'']].  
 
The film was created by the same team which had worked on the 1977 [[The Hobbit (1977 film)|animated version of ''The Hobbit'']].  
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{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|- bgcolor="#CCCCCC"
 
|- bgcolor="#CCCCCC"
! Actor !! Role
+
! Actor !! Role(s)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Orson Bean]] || [[Frodo Baggins]], [[Bilbo Baggins]]
 
| [[Orson Bean]] || [[Frodo Baggins]], [[Bilbo Baggins]]
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|-
 
|-
 
| [[Theodore Bikel]] || [[Aragorn]]
 
| [[Theodore Bikel]] || [[Aragorn]]
|-
 
| [[Brother Theodore]] || [[Gollum]]
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[William Conrad]] || [[Denethor]]
 
| [[William Conrad]] || [[Denethor]]
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| [[Paul Frees]] || [[Elrond]], Whip Orc
 
| [[Paul Frees]] || [[Elrond]], Whip Orc
 
|-
 
|-
| [[John Huston]] || [[Gandalf|Gandalf the Grey]]
+
| [[John Huston]] || [[Gandalf|Gandalf the White]]
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Casey Kasem]] || [[Meriadoc Brandybuck]]
+
| [[Casey Kasem]] || [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Meriadoc (Merry) Brandybuck]]
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Roddy McDowall]] || [[Samwise Gamgee]]
+
| [[Roddy McDowall]] || [[Samwise Gamgee|Samwise (Sam) Gamgee]]
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Sonny Melendrez]] || [[Peregrin Took]]
+
| [[Sonny Melendrez]] || [[Peregrin Took|Peregrin (Pippin) Took]]
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Don Messick]] || [[Théoden|Theoden]], [[Mouth of Sauron]], [[Easterlings|Easterling]]
+
| [[Brother Theodore]] || [[Gollum]]
 
|-
 
|-
| [[John Stephenson]] || [[Witch-king|Witch-king of Angmar]], Gondorian Guard
+
| [[Don Messick]] || [[Théoden]], The [[Mouth of Sauron]], [[Easterlings|Easterling]]
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Glenn Yarbrough]] || Minstrel of Gondor
+
| [[John Stephenson]] || The [[Witch-king|Witch-king of Angmar]], Gondorian Guard
 
|-
 
|-
 +
| [[Glenn Yarbrough]] || The Minstrel of Gondor, vocalist
 +
|-
 +
| Thurl Ravenscroft (uncredited) || ensemble vocalist
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 +
NOTE: Due to the fact that [[Cyril Ritchard]], who originally voiced [[Elrond]] in ''The Hobbit'', had died not long after completing his voice work for that movie, Paul Frees replaces him in that role this time around.
  
 
==Synopsis==
 
==Synopsis==
Rather than picking up where [[Ralph Bakshi]]'s [[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)|animated adaptation of ''The Lord of the Rings'']] had left off in 1978, Rankin-Bass present ''The Return of the King'' as a sequel to their 1977 adaptation of ''The Hobbit'' — giving the audience a brief recap of the events, and adapting a few story events from ''The Fellowship of the Ring'' and ''The Two Towers,'' while leaving out some major details. The visual style of ''The Return of the King'' is largely shared with the 1977 ''Hobbit''.  Its plot unfolds as follows:
 
  
During the 129th birthday celebration for [[Bilbo Baggins]] in [[Rivendell]], [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]], Bilbo's nephew, tells the story of his quest to destroy the [[One Ring]]. Frodo begins his story with [[Samwise Gamgee|Samwise (Sam) Gamgee]], his friend and companion, treading through [[Mordor]] as Ring-bearer in Frodo's abscence, as he is being held captive there by orcs. During his journey, Sam begins to question his thoughts about claiming the Ring himself, but being humble, he never gives in to the treacherous temptations. In due course, he progresses back to [[Cirith Ungol]] to rescue Frodo. Meanwhile, the wizard [[Gandalf|Gandalf the White]] and the hobbit [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]] arrive at [[Minas Tirith]], the capital of the country of [[Gondor]] to warn [[Denethor]], the Steward of the Throne, about the upcoming war—only to discover that the Steward has lost his mind by believing the war will be the end of mankind.
+
Because Rankin/Bass had begun production on this movie even before [[Ralph Bakshi]]'s [[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)|theatrical adaptation of ''The Lord of the Rings'']] had been released<sup>[http://www.nytimes.com/1977/11/27/books/tolkien-hobbitani.html?_r=1&]</sup>, they present ''The Return of the King'' as a sequel to their 1977 adaptation of ''The Hobbit'' — giving the audience a brief recap of the events, and adapting a few story events from ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' and ''[[The Two Towers]]'' while leaving out some major details and literally beginning the movie where its [[The Return of the King|literary counterpart]] does (apart from its use of a framing device to bookend the movie).  The movie's visual style is largely shared with the 1977 ''The Hobbit''.  Its plot unfolds as follows:
Meanwhile, at Cirith Ungol, Sam rescues Frodo and returns the Ring. The two then continue on to finish their quest at [[Mount Doom]], only to be attacked by their past guide, [[Gollum]]. As Sam holds Gollum off, Frodo makes it to the [[Crack of Doom]]. But at the Crack, Frodo is finally unable to resist the power of the Ring any longer and claims it for his own. At the same time, Gondor's neighboring country, Rohan, helps it claim victory in the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]]. After searching for some time for Frodo in Mount Doom, Sam discovers Gollum and an invisible Frodo fighting over the Ring, which results in Gollum biting off Frodo's finger to claim it. While dancing with joy at the retrieval of his "Precious," Gollum loses his footing and falls into the fire, taking the Ring with him. With the destruction of the Ring, Sauron is defeated. Months later, Frodo's friend, [[Aragorn]], is crowned King of Gondor. The film concludes back in the present with Frodo agreeing to accompany Bilbo, Gandalf and [[Elrond]] in leaving Middle-Earth.  Sam, [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Merry]] and Pippin bid them all farewell as they depart across the sea.
+
 
 +
During the 129th birthday celebration for [[Bilbo Baggins]] in [[Rivendell]], [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]], Bilbo's nephew, tells the story of his quest to destroy [[The One Ring]]. Frodo begins his story with [[Samwise Gamgee|Samwise (Sam) Gamgee]], his friend and companion, treading through [[Mordor]] as Ring-bearer in Frodo's abscence, as he is being held captive there by orcs. During his journey, Sam begins to question his thoughts about claiming the Ring himself, but being humble, he never gives in to the treacherous temptations. In due course, he progresses back to [[Cirith Ungol]] to rescue Frodo.
 +
 
 +
Meanwhile, the wizard [[Gandalf|Gandalf the White]] and the hobbit [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]] arrive at [[Minas Tirith]], the capital of the country of [[Gondor]] to warn [[Denethor]], the Steward of the Throne, about the upcoming war—only to discover that the Steward has lost his mind by believing the war will be the end of mankind.
 +
 
 +
Back at Cirith Ungol, Sam rescues Frodo and returns the Ring. The two then continue on to finish their quest at [[Mount Doom]], only to be attacked by their past guide, [[Gollum]]. As Sam holds Gollum off, Frodo makes it to the [[Cracks of Doom|Crack of Doom]]. But at the Crack, Frodo is finally unable to resist the power of the Ring any longer and claims it for his own. At the same time, Gondor's neighboring country, Rohan, helps it claim victory in the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]].
 +
 
 +
After searching for some time for Frodo in Mount Doom, Sam discovers Gollum and an invisible Frodo fighting over the Ring, which results in Gollum biting off Frodo's finger to claim it. While dancing with joy at the retrieval of his "Precious," Gollum loses his footing and falls into the fire, taking the Ring with him. With the destruction of the Ring, Sauron is defeated. Months later, Frodo's friend, [[Aragorn]], is crowned King of Gondor. The film concludes back in the present with Frodo agreeing to accompany Bilbo, Gandalf and Elrond in leaving Middle-Earth.  Sam, [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Merry]] and Pippin bid them all farewell as they depart across the sea.
  
 
===Scenes===
 
===Scenes===
 +
 
# "[[Prologue: A Ring's Tale (1980 scene)|Prologue: A Ring's Tale]]"
 
# "[[Prologue: A Ring's Tale (1980 scene)|Prologue: A Ring's Tale]]"
 
# "[[Frodo of the Nine Fingers (scene)|Frodo of the Nine Fingers]]"
 
# "[[Frodo of the Nine Fingers (scene)|Frodo of the Nine Fingers]]"
 
# "Credits"
 
# "Credits"
# "[[Crossing into Mordor]]"
+
# "[[Crossing Into Mordor]]"
 
# "[[The Bearer of the Ring (scene)|The Bearer of the Ring]]"
 
# "[[The Bearer of the Ring (scene)|The Bearer of the Ring]]"
 
# "[[Samwise the Strong]]"
 
# "[[Samwise the Strong]]"
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# "[[Vale of Gorgoroth]]"
 
# "[[Vale of Gorgoroth]]"
 
# "[[Where There's a Whip]]"
 
# "[[Where There's a Whip]]"
# "[[Enemy At The Gates]]"
+
# "[[Enemy at the Gates]]"
 
# "[[Leave Tomorrow Till It Comes (scene)|Leave Tomorrow Till It Comes]]"
 
# "[[Leave Tomorrow Till It Comes (scene)|Leave Tomorrow Till It Comes]]"
 
# "[[Mount Doom (1980 scene)|Mount Doom]]"
 
# "[[Mount Doom (1980 scene)|Mount Doom]]"
 
# "[[The Gollum]]"
 
# "[[The Gollum]]"
# "[[Theoden Falls]]"
+
# "[[Théoden Falls]]"
 
# "[[Claimed By the Ring]]"
 
# "[[Claimed By the Ring]]"
# "[[Eowyn Triumphs]]"
+
# "[[Éowyn Triumphs]]"
 
# "[[Choice of Evils (scene)|Choice of Evils]]"
 
# "[[Choice of Evils (scene)|Choice of Evils]]"
 
# "[[End of the Ring]]"
 
# "[[End of the Ring]]"
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==Reception==
 
==Reception==
Reception for the animated TV special is varied.  Some commentators view it affectionately as an adaptation which children and parents can enjoy together .<sup>[http://www.toxicuniverse.com/review.php?rid=10000654]</sup>  However, others regard it with disdain, comparing it unfavorably to Ralph Bakshi's earlier animated film and [[Peter Jackson]]'s later [[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|live-action film]].<sup>[http://www.stomptokyo.com/movies/r/return-of-the-king.html][http://decentfilms.com/sections/reviews/1989]</sup> Glenn Yarborough's songs are widely derided, although some admit to a campy affection for the surprisingly tuneful Orc marching song "[[Where There's a Whip, There's a Way]]" or the ballad "[[Frodo of the Nine Fingers]]".<sup> [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079802/usercomments]</sup>
+
 
 +
Reception for the animated TV special is varied.  Some commentators view it affectionately as an adaptation which children and parents can enjoy together .<sup>[http://www.toxicuniverse.com/review.php?rid=10000654]</sup>  However, others regard it with disdain, comparing it unfavorably to Ralph Bakshi's earlier animated film and [[Peter Jackson]]'s later [[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|live-action film]].<sup>[http://www.stomptokyo.com/movies/r/return-of-the-king.html][http://decentfilms.com/sections/reviews/1989]</sup> Glen Yarbrough's songs are widely derided, although some admit to a campy affection for the surprisingly tuneful Orc marching song "[[Where There's a Whip, There's a Way]]" or the ballad "[[Frodo of the Nine Fingers]]".<sup> [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079802/usercomments]</sup>
  
 
==Marketing==
 
==Marketing==
  
In the absence of an official sequel to Ralph Bakshi's ''The Lord of the Rings'', ''The Return of the King'' has come to be marketed by [[Warner Bros.]] as the final part of a loose animated Tolkien trilogy preceded by ''The Hobbit''(to which Rankin/Bass originally marketed ''The Return of the King'' as a direct sequel).  The middle film is very different in tone and character design, however, and the final two films do not join up seamlessly, as both omit various segments from ''[[The Two Towers]]'', most notably regarding the events in [[Shelob]]'s lair and the [[Ents]]' march on [[Isengard]]. Other omissions in the Rankin/Bass version include the characters of [[Legolas]], [[Gimli]], [[Arwen]], [[Saruman]], [[Éomer]], and [[Faramir]] (though it's possible the latter makes a brief appearance; there is an unidentified Man - who has no lines of dialogue - who accompanies [[Éowyn]] on horseback during Aragorn's coronation, and the two of them exchange rather knowing looks). Even Aragorn doesn't have much dialogue or screentime despite being the 'King' of the movie's title.
+
In the absence of an official sequel to Ralph Bakshi's ''The Lord of the Rings'', ''The Return of the King'' has come to be marketed by [[Warner Bros.]] as the final part of a loose animated Tolkien trilogy, preceded by ''The Hobbit''.  The middle film is very different in tone and character design, however, and the final two films do not join up seamlessly, as both omit various segments from ''The Two Towers'', most notably regarding the events in [[Shelob]]'s lair and the [[Ents]]' march on [[Isengard]]. Other omissions in the Rankin/Bass version include the characters of [[Legolas]], [[Gimli]], [[Arwen]], [[Saruman]], [[Éomer]], and [[Faramir]] (though it's possible the latter makes a brief appearance; there is an unidentified Man - who has no lines of dialogue - who accompanies [[Éowyn]] on horseback during Aragorn's coronation, and the two of them exchange rather knowing looks). The entire [[Oathbreakers|Army of the Dead]] arc is cut as well; thus, even Aragorn doesn't have much dialogue or screentime despite being the 'King' of the movie's title.
  
 
The animated ''Return of the King'' is available on DVD from Warner Bros., both individually and as a "boxed trilogy" with the Rankin/Bass ''The Hobbit'' and Bakshi's ''The Lord of the Rings''.
 
The animated ''Return of the King'' is available on DVD from Warner Bros., both individually and as a "boxed trilogy" with the Rankin/Bass ''The Hobbit'' and Bakshi's ''The Lord of the Rings''.
  
== External links ==
+
==External links==
 +
 
 
* {{WP|The Return of the King (1980 film)}}
 
* {{WP|The Return of the King (1980 film)}}
 
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079802/ The Return of the King] at [http://imdb.com/ IMDb]
 
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079802/ The Return of the King] at [http://imdb.com/ IMDb]

Revision as of 11:53, 19 April 2013

The name The Return of the King refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Return of the King (disambiguation).
RankinBass' The Return of the King.png
The Return of the King
Information
DirectorArthur Rankin, Jr.
Jules Bass
ProducerArthur Rankin, Jr.
Jules Bass
WriterJ.R.R. Tolkien (original novel)
Romeo Muller (screenplay)
StarringOrson Bean
Theodore Bikel
John Huston
Roddy McDowall
MusicMaury Laws (music)
Jules Bass (lyrics)
DistributorABC (original transmission)
Warner Bros. (home video)
ReleasedMay 11, 1980
Runtime98 minutes
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
IMDbIMDb Profile
The Return of the King (subtitled A Story of the Hobbits) is an animated adaptation of the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien which was produced by Rankin/Bass as a TV special which originally aired on ABC in the U.S. on May 11, 1980. It has since been released on VHS and DVD.

The film was created by the same team which had worked on the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit.

Contents

Cast

Actor Role(s)
Orson Bean Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins
Nellie Bellflower Éowyn
Theodore Bikel Aragorn
William Conrad Denethor
Paul Frees Elrond, Whip Orc
John Huston Gandalf the White
Casey Kasem Meriadoc (Merry) Brandybuck
Roddy McDowall Samwise (Sam) Gamgee
Sonny Melendrez Peregrin (Pippin) Took
Brother Theodore Gollum
Don Messick Théoden, The Mouth of Sauron, Easterling
John Stephenson The Witch-king of Angmar, Gondorian Guard
Glenn Yarbrough The Minstrel of Gondor, vocalist
Thurl Ravenscroft (uncredited) ensemble vocalist

NOTE: Due to the fact that Cyril Ritchard, who originally voiced Elrond in The Hobbit, had died not long after completing his voice work for that movie, Paul Frees replaces him in that role this time around.

Synopsis

Because Rankin/Bass had begun production on this movie even before Ralph Bakshi's theatrical adaptation of The Lord of the Rings had been released[1], they present The Return of the King as a sequel to their 1977 adaptation of The Hobbit — giving the audience a brief recap of the events, and adapting a few story events from The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers while leaving out some major details and literally beginning the movie where its literary counterpart does (apart from its use of a framing device to bookend the movie). The movie's visual style is largely shared with the 1977 The Hobbit. Its plot unfolds as follows:

During the 129th birthday celebration for Bilbo Baggins in Rivendell, Frodo, Bilbo's nephew, tells the story of his quest to destroy The One Ring. Frodo begins his story with Samwise (Sam) Gamgee, his friend and companion, treading through Mordor as Ring-bearer in Frodo's abscence, as he is being held captive there by orcs. During his journey, Sam begins to question his thoughts about claiming the Ring himself, but being humble, he never gives in to the treacherous temptations. In due course, he progresses back to Cirith Ungol to rescue Frodo.

Meanwhile, the wizard Gandalf the White and the hobbit Pippin arrive at Minas Tirith, the capital of the country of Gondor to warn Denethor, the Steward of the Throne, about the upcoming war—only to discover that the Steward has lost his mind by believing the war will be the end of mankind.

Back at Cirith Ungol, Sam rescues Frodo and returns the Ring. The two then continue on to finish their quest at Mount Doom, only to be attacked by their past guide, Gollum. As Sam holds Gollum off, Frodo makes it to the Crack of Doom. But at the Crack, Frodo is finally unable to resist the power of the Ring any longer and claims it for his own. At the same time, Gondor's neighboring country, Rohan, helps it claim victory in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

After searching for some time for Frodo in Mount Doom, Sam discovers Gollum and an invisible Frodo fighting over the Ring, which results in Gollum biting off Frodo's finger to claim it. While dancing with joy at the retrieval of his "Precious," Gollum loses his footing and falls into the fire, taking the Ring with him. With the destruction of the Ring, Sauron is defeated. Months later, Frodo's friend, Aragorn, is crowned King of Gondor. The film concludes back in the present with Frodo agreeing to accompany Bilbo, Gandalf and Elrond in leaving Middle-Earth. Sam, Merry and Pippin bid them all farewell as they depart across the sea.

Scenes

  1. "Prologue: A Ring's Tale"
  2. "Frodo of the Nine Fingers"
  3. "Credits"
  4. "Crossing Into Mordor"
  5. "The Bearer of the Ring"
  6. "Samwise the Strong"
  7. "Less Can Be More"
  8. "Under Siege"
  9. "Denethor's Black Vision"
  10. "The Two Watchers"
  11. "Great Elf Warrior"
  12. "Rescuing Frodo"
  13. "The Power"
  14. "Team Magic"
  15. "Weary Fugitives"
  16. "Vale of Gorgoroth"
  17. "Where There's a Whip"
  18. "Enemy at the Gates"
  19. "Leave Tomorrow Till It Comes"
  20. "Mount Doom"
  21. "The Gollum"
  22. "Théoden Falls"
  23. "Claimed By the Ring"
  24. "Éowyn Triumphs"
  25. "Choice of Evils"
  26. "End of the Ring"
  27. "On Eagles' Wings"
  28. "The Return of the King"
  29. "Farewells"
  30. "End Credits"

Reception

Reception for the animated TV special is varied. Some commentators view it affectionately as an adaptation which children and parents can enjoy together .[2] However, others regard it with disdain, comparing it unfavorably to Ralph Bakshi's earlier animated film and Peter Jackson's later live-action film.[3][4] Glen Yarbrough's songs are widely derided, although some admit to a campy affection for the surprisingly tuneful Orc marching song "Where There's a Whip, There's a Way" or the ballad "Frodo of the Nine Fingers". [5]

Marketing

In the absence of an official sequel to Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King has come to be marketed by Warner Bros. as the final part of a loose animated Tolkien trilogy, preceded by The Hobbit. The middle film is very different in tone and character design, however, and the final two films do not join up seamlessly, as both omit various segments from The Two Towers, most notably regarding the events in Shelob's lair and the Ents' march on Isengard. Other omissions in the Rankin/Bass version include the characters of Legolas, Gimli, Arwen, Saruman, Éomer, and Faramir (though it's possible the latter makes a brief appearance; there is an unidentified Man - who has no lines of dialogue - who accompanies Éowyn on horseback during Aragorn's coronation, and the two of them exchange rather knowing looks). The entire Army of the Dead arc is cut as well; thus, even Aragorn doesn't have much dialogue or screentime despite being the 'King' of the movie's title.

The animated Return of the King is available on DVD from Warner Bros., both individually and as a "boxed trilogy" with the Rankin/Bass The Hobbit and Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings.

External links


Licensed film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's works
The Hobbit (1966) · The Hobbit (1977) · The Lord of the Rings (1978) · The Return of the King (1980) · The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) · The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) · The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Hobbit: There and Back Again (2014)