December 18, 2001

LOTR by Disney (G) 90min
Jacob W.

Just to further make the point (from my previous debate contribution) of how worse things could have been, imagine for a moment an alternate universe where, instead of Peter Jackson and co. with their trilogy of 3 hour movies, Disney made the LOTR movie as a single 90min feature (with songs by Elton John, words by Rice). Let’s take a peek at their story board in planning this important conversion from book to the big screen.

Scene opens in the Shire. The camera follows Frodo walking down the street with much singing and greeting from fellow hobbits (a la the ‘Bonjour’ song in Beauty and the Beast). Frodo’s own song is along the lines of “Everything is so peaceful here but I feel something is missing from my life.”

The song ends with Frodo tripping over a rock. He looks down and finds…a ring! He decides to take it to the town’s local mad wizard, Gandalf. Gandalf says that this ring belongs to the Dark Lord Sauron and needs to be destroyed in Mt Doom.

Cut to Mordor:
Sauron, a gaunt man in a black suit, is admonishing his sidekick (nicknamed: Mouth) who is a cute little furry animal. Mouth has misplaced the ring while jogging through the Shire, and there is much humorous butt kicking and smashing into walls. The Nazguls are sent to fetch the ring.

Back to the Shire:
Frodo sets out for Mordor with his cute pet bunny rabbit named Sam. A local tomboy named Galadriel asks to come along but Frodo says, “You’re just a girl”. Galadriel follows anyway, and after rescuing Frodo from some mishap, is allowed to join. Probably, during the trip, there will be time for another song titled “Why does she make me feel this way?”

After being chased by nazguls, Frodo gets to the castle of Sauron. After being chased around the castle by Sauron and Mouth for a while, they get in some sticky predicament but are rescued by Gandalf who makes an unexpected entrance. Also, there’ll be some opportunity for some cute interaction between Mouth and Sam. Eventually (but not too long, this is a 90min movie after all) Mouth changes sides because he’s tired of getting butt-kicked by Sauron and Frodo tosses the ring into the cracks of doom.

Grand Finale:
Some inspirational final song with a view of the black unvegetated dark lands of Mordor suddenly becoming covered in green (a la Lion King).

P.S. If anyone thinks this sounds far fetched, they should have a look at how Disney butchered the plot for The Black Cauldron.