The LOTR Movie Site
November 30, 1999

Thoughts on Ralph Bakshi's Film
Steve Bellin

The following is an e-mail I recently received from Steve. I thought he brought up some good points. That's why I decided to post this. -- MATTHEW

With regard to the recent coverage of the Ralph Bakshi movie - - it's obviously a slow news season for the LOTR Movie Site.

Bakshi himself admitted back in the eighties that he only did the movies for the cash. He has no feelings one way or the other for Tolkien's stories. He made a lousy, sloppy movie. We don't have to stick up for him -- we don't have to defend anyone who exploits these books.

Art Spigelman, the creator of the "MAUS" series, chronicling his father's experiences before, during and after the holocaust, has  often been asked why he hasn't yet made a movie out of his stories. He replies, simply, that the stories realize his vision exactly the way he wanted them to; a movie will not"improve" or "enhance" that vision. In other words, the movie will NEVER be as good as the book. Sometimes, the opposite is true -- 2001: A Space Odyssey is a good book to read, but it's an unforgettable movie.

I think you need to remain critical of Peter Jackson's movie. Make sure he knows the readers are out there, and give him some ammunition when he is forced to compromise on important features of the story. From what I've read in your site, and from what I've seen of his movies, the LOTR movie will be made with as much integrity as we can hope for. But it will NEVER inmprove upon the books, and it will NOT enhance your own imagined vision of the stories.

Whatever you do, don't feel inclined to treat Ralph Bakshi with any critical respect. He got his reputation the old-fashioned way. He earned it.