(1979), Whitman (Editor’s note Today’s submission provided and authored by Kurt, who has graciously us provided a glimpse into this neat book- Take it away Kurt!)
Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings. It reminds me of the Age of the Video Store
– that popcorn-scented archive of categorized racks of colorful, terrifying,
sometimes lurid shelves of potential thrills and wonder. In the Kid’s Corner, amongst the
predominantly white clamshell cases featuring Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s
Apprentice and compilations of mainstream cartoons, were what I considered the
“more mature” animated movies: titles like Rankin-Bass’ The Hobbit and The Last
Unicorn or Don Bluth’s The Secret of
N.I.M.H. These were cartoons that were thematically darker and
stylistically unique, and to my young mind, Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings was serious stuff. Despite its shortcomings, I still consider it an ambitious and
inspiring piece of art that honestly attempted to adapt a fantasy masterpiece that
had previously been abandoned as unfilmable.
collecting coloring books, often buying a particular book for a single
image. I had a huge collection that,
sadly, was destroyed by renters. Over the
years, I have gradually replaced some of my favorites and found new books that
I never knew existed. I recently ran
across this Lord of the Rings
coloring book by Whitman and was excited to see Bakshi’s vision in bold black
and white line drawings.
was a lot of boring scenes and compositions with poorly drawn, often off-model
pictures of the Fellowship walking.
A major complaint of mine is that there is so much potential for action-packed fighting scenes involving orcs, Ringwraiths, even a Balrog – and the artist chooses to draw a table in the Prancing Pony – WITHOUT ANY CHARACTERS! Wow! Nothing inspires a child’s imagination like coloring featureless furniture.
>I would bet money that this image appeared on a van in the ‘70s! This is actually a cool image of an interesting character which was featured on other merchandise, like T-shirts. If the Ringwraith were drawn just a little larger!
I was always terrified of the orcs in Bakshi’s Rings; I think that the rotoscoping effectively gave them that visual dissonance – a “wrongness” – that implied a lot of the detail and left their appearance to the viewer’s imagination. This is what the coloring book artist came up with. Yep. The Abbott and Costello of orcs…
I had a big crush on Bakshi’s Galadriel. She was so pretty and exuded calm and confidence. Here, she looks like a generic Disney princess, delighted by Frodo’s abdominal pain.
“Boromir tries to take the Ring.” Or is hitting Frodo up for spare change, judging by his sheepish stance and Frodo’s peeved expression.
This is about as much action as any page contains. The orcs don’t look like they’re attacking Boromir so much as they look like they want him to know how much his drinking hurts them. I know it’s the Horn of Gondor and all, but the scene looks like an intervention gone wrong!.
Here we see the terrible toll of alcoholism as Aragorn is horrified upon discovering Boromir’s prematurely bloated corpse. Poke it with a stick. See what happens.
“So ends the first part of the history of the War of the Ring.” Sadly, there was no second – not until Rankin-Bass realized that “Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way,” that is!
Thanks again Kurt! If you have a submission for colouring book theatre drop me a line at brick *at* plaidstallions.com!