Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

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Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:50 pm

Pettytyrant101

Not sure this is quite the right place for this but I was wondering what people thought of some of the other versions of Tolkien's work that have made it into different media.
I am a big fan of the BBC radio version. And their is Bakshi's film which I think is flawed but not without merit. I understand there is also an animated version of TH but I've never seen it. And (horrible as it sounds to me) a stage version of LoTR (has anyone gone to see it?).
Any other versions out there

Eldorion

Rankin and Bass, who made the animated Hobbit, also made an animated version of ROTK. It was intended as a sequel to The Hobbit and makes little to no mention of the first two-thirds of LotR. While in some cases it uses more Tolkienian dialogue than PJ did, I believe it changed far more overall. About it's only positive aspect was Where There's a Whip There's a Way. Twisted Evil

I've never seen any of the stage versions of LotR. There was a three-part one in (I believe) Cincinatti a few years back as well as one-part versions in Toronto and London, but I'm nowhere near any of those cities.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:51 pm

Pettytyrant101

Not sure this is quite the right place for this but I was wondering what people thought of some of the other versions of Tolkien's work that have made it into different media.
I am a big fan of the BBC radio version. And their is Bakshi's film which I think is flawed but not without merit. I understand there is also an animated version of TH but I've never seen it. And (horrible as it sounds to me) a stage version of LoTR (has anyone gone to see it?).
Any other versions out there?

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:51 pm

Fimbrethil

I agree with Eldo about the song Where There's a Whip There's a Way Smile There is also a part with Eowyn and the witch king which is kinda cool but the witch king sounds like a scooby-doo character.

I have to say I think PJ has done the best job so far but I havent listened to the BBC radio version yet.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:53 pm

Gandalf's Beard

Actually Rankin Bass filmed the animated version of Return of the King because Bakshi had already put Fellowship and part of Two Towers into his version of LotR. Bakshi had intended 2 films to cover LotR. So the RB production [b:35qlxlpr]was[/b:35qlxlpr] actually intended as a "sequel" of sorts to Bakshi's film, as well as their own production of The Hobbit.

Personally, I REALLY dislike most of the Artistic choices in the Rankin Bass productions. I've only heard bits of the BBC radio productions, when Mum listened to them on tape. So I can't really comment on those.

GB

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:54 pm

Eldorion

Ah yes, the Witch-king's voice. Rolling Eyes It sounded way too mechanical for a fantasy film.

I agree that PJ did a far better job than the directors of the animated movies. Now if only we could have another director do even better, preferably without waiting 20 years... Smile

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:58 pm

Wise Odo

Oh lads don't be silly! Let's not be too hasty!
An accurate adaptation, would be the most tasty!
What's twenty years, if we get a true Classic?
The joy of all Fans would no doubt be massive!


Songs from Beyond the Grave: JRR Tolkien.

And who are we to argue with the Great Professor?

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:01 pm

Pettytyrant101

The BBC plays also have some odd sound choices when it comes to voicing some of the characters (good old radiophonic workshop stuff done on the fly and very cheaply). They put an odd effect onto Saruman's voice implying the magical powers of persuasion in his voice which really is a matter of taste whether you like it or not. It works for me.
Most interestingly is how they handle the Nazgul. They have included scenes from UT, most notably following Gandalf's rescue from Isengard where they include the scene of the Black Riders finding Wormtongue on his way to report to Saruman. This means we hear proper dialogue from the Nazgul before we meet them in the woods of the Shire. To get around the fact the Black Riders are few of words and a bit hissy when in the Shire they seem to imply the Witch-King is more 'real' than the others. So the rest of them are the traditional "We seek Baggins" hissy sort and he is more cultured in voice.
Its also notable for being the only version I know of which has dialogue from Sauron himself in it. During the scene where Pippin looks into the palantir of Orthanc. "Tell Saruman this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once" or words to that effect.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:02 pm

Eldorion

I don't know if Bakshi is the reason Rankin/Bass filmed only two-thirds, but the fact remains that the visual style and the story have nothing to do with Bakshi (other than sharing a common source for the story), and the story is told as a direct sequel to The Hobbit, not to The Lord of the Rings.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Gandalf's Beard

I don't know if the original articles and interviews are available online because I haven't looked. But I distinctly recall reading that when Saul Zaentz screwed Bakshi and pulled funding from the second film, Rankin Bass explicitly decided not to film the first parts because it had already been done. They had been planning to do the whole "trilogy", but Zaentz and Bakshi beat them to it. RB adjusted their plans accordingly. They went as far as to say that Bakshi's film could serve as the middle chapters, despite the vast difference in animation styles.

And for the most part, I like Bakshi's version FAR better than the RB productions.

GB

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Pettytyrant101

I have fond memories of the Bakshi version. This may have something to do with the way I first encountered it. I had no idea it even existed or that any film version of LoTR existed. So when as a kid at the peak of my love of Tolkien (first love is never quite replicated) when I discovered it on the shelves of the video shop I almost died with excitement. I could not wait to get home to watch it. There was a lot I didn't like and so much I was disappointed wasn't there but even so it was such an unexpected joy to find that that such a thing existed at all that I forgave it its faults. Obviously I've grown less forgiving over time!

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:06 pm

Eldorion

GB - it can serve as that, but it's very sloppy. I've never heard that Rankin/Bass said that, though.

I thought Bakshi's film was generally better since it was not so sickeningly juvenile, but at least R/B finished animating their film. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:07 pm

Gandalf's Beard

I know I've said this before on other threads, but I'll say it again here Wink. I actually LIKE the not fully rotoscoped effects Very Happy. They were eerie, and aesthetically effective, giving the film a distinctive and surreal look.

GB

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:09 pm

Eldorion

It ended up making entire long portions of the film tinted brown, visually ugly, and hard to see. I came close to feeling physically ill several times watching it.

To each his own, though. Very Happy

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:11 pm

Gandalf's Beard

Going back to your point that you'd never heard that about Rankin Bass Eldo, I'm not surprised. All that stuff happened approximately 30 years ago. I remember it fairly well, but I don't know if the more obscure entertainment news from that time can be found currently on the internet. Searches thus far have yielded few results for me.

GB

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:18 pm

Pettytyrant101

This is really a comment about adaptation, or at least a comparison. I particularly disliked PJ and coven's take on Faramir and Denethor, for reasons I have gone into on other threads, but it is possible to do their characters as written and here is the proof, ten minutes (approx) of the BBC radio adaption, featuring both Faramir and a bit of Denethor (if you want more Denethor its in the next bit). And how much better is Ian Holm at Frodo than wide-eyed Elijah? And for those on the Gandalf thread who think only Ian Mckellan can be Gandalf surely Sir Michael Hordern here puts lie to that!
It starts just after Faramir captures Gollum by the pool in Window of the West. (Prefer the Gollum here to, he's much more complicated thanks to bothering to use Tolkien's dialogue-listen and learn PJ, listen and learn!!)


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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:18 pm

Chris63

That was pretty good, left me wanting to hear more.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:21 pm

Ringdrotten

You're right, the Gandalf in that adaption is very good Smile Still, Sir Ian McKellen will always be the only Gandalf to me. Not because nobody else could to the job better than him, but because I have now gotten used to McKellen's Gandalf, and I love his acting (especially as Gandalf the Grey). I'm sure there are plenty of great Gandalfs around, though Laughing

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Old Forum on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:23 pm

Pettytyrant101

Don't get me wrong- I think Mckellan was an excellent Gandalf- no problems with his portrayal (with the possible exception he's not sharp tempered enough -'Quick to anger, quick to laugh. An old man in a battered hat.') But if he says he can't do TH I don't think its the end of the world- we're going to have a new Bilbo after all (young and old quite likely). The biggest hindrance to TH the film is it being a prequel to LotR the film rather than just a film of TH not , I think, the casting. I would recommend it Chris- worth the investment or a dig around the net for if your so inclined. They do a lot of the characters much better in that production not just Faramir and Denethor, Eowyn is considerably better, less of a girl more of a woman. And the scenes with Gandalf and Saruman are excellent- both at Gandalf's capture (Saruman-'the white light can be broken'/ Gandalf-'he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom' - how could PJ leave this stuff out?) and when Gandalf breaks Saruman's staff (Gandalf- 'Come back Saruman! I did not give you leave to go! I have not finished.' / Theoden- 'And he obeys, like a whipped cur.') I love Christopher Lee, but he was poorly served by PJ's script and (like John Noble who played Denethor) only got to do a pantomime villain version of the character.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:34 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:

Its also notable for being the only version I know of which has dialogue from Sauron himself in it. During the scene where Pippin looks into the palantir of Orthanc. "Tell Saruman this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once" or words to that effect.

I know it's a long time since you posted this, Petty, but what exactly did you mean by it? As far as I know, Sauron has a few lines in Jackson's trilogy too (when Frodo puts the ring on).

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:57 pm

I was never sure if that was actually Sauron (the separate entity in Barad-dur) or the Ring (Saurons malicious spirit contained in it but seperate).
Whereas in the scene in the radio ply there is, albeit short, a scene of back and forth dialogue between Pippin and Sauron.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:07 pm

Hmm, now I'm not so sure either scratch

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:26 pm

Only half-way through the fourth episode yet, but I can already say that Gimli is handled much better in the BBC radio adaptation. I don't really mind the more comical Gimli in the films, but the films would have been so much better had they too used more of Tolkien's dialogue. I know this is fodder for Petty's purism, but there's no point denying it tongue

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:37 pm

"I know this is fodder for Petty's purism, but there's no point denying it"-Ringdrotten

There never is yet so many do!

I will confine my discussion at the moment Ringdrotten to the first few episodes so as not to spoil it.

One thing I don't like is the opening of the first episode. its still all Tolkien, they use the material in for the conversation with Wormtongue and the Nazgul and Nazgul and Saruman.
But this means the first time you meet the Black Riders they are having a conversation- which for me undermines their creepiness and uncertainty.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:49 pm

I quite liked that, but it's true that it makes them much more "human" in a way, less scary. I'm not too fond of Gollum, though, but that's entirely subjective as it's the voice I don't like.

Strider, on the other hand, is excellent. I think Strider is good in the film too, but the meeting in Bree is a little rushed in the film. The BBC version spent more time on the Bree sequence, and it turned out much better for it.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:57 pm

"I'm not too fond of Gollum, though, but that's entirely subjective as it's the voice I don't like."-Ringdrotten

I like the voice, I think he manages to put much more pain and pitifullness into it than the film Gollum (script again plays a big part here as it always does with PJ). I suspect by the time you get further into it you might have a greater fondness for it. Incidentally he also did the voice inthe animated Bakshi version, although the script for Golluminit is truncated its still truer to the actual dialogue than PJ's. But given the fuller adaptation of the radio plays let him add more emotional depth to the performance I thought it was the best of the Gollums.

Strider I blow hot and cold on- I agree he's good in Bree. I liked how he has a regional Bree accent at the start, very clear and distinct that he drops as events go on- Viggo sort of does a similar thing to his credit but for some reason Viggos accent varies wildly throughout the films I thought.

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