JW emailed me a brief interview he had with Ralph Bakshi, asking some questions about Peter Jackson’s films… Here’s what the loved and hated Ralph had to say.
Peter Jackson has only one peer when it comes to directing The Lord of the Rings, and that is Ralph Bakshi. While his 1978 version of LOTR was not well received by critics, the $10 million film did rake in $70 million, a great amount for that time. Today he briefly answers some questions.
JW: What did you think of “The Fellowship of the Ring”?
Ralph Bakshi: I haven’t seen it. Who needs the aggravation.
JW: Did you know that Peter used a scene directly out of your film? (When the hobbits first encounter the Black Rider.)
Ralph Bakshi: Everyone’s been telling me that, plus some others [other scenes].
JW: Rankin Bass paid homage to your LOTR as well. In their “Return of the King” when the Riders of Rohan suddenly arrive to save Minas Tirith, they use the Rohan horn-call straight out of your film. Did you know that?
Ralph Bakshi: No!
JW: Your LOTR film really helped out the new “Fellowship of the Ring”. Were you comfortable with your film being used as a rough draft?
Ralph Bakshi: No. Because there was never an acknowledgement of that. As a matter of fact, there was a complete denial of it for a long time. Jackson avoided mentioning me or my film, or the influence it had on him until he was forced to very late in the game.
JW: Final question: The definitive version of LOTR will always be the books. As an artist and a storyteller, what do you admire about them?
Ralph Bakshi: The books are absolutely perfect. There isn’t a sell out moment in them. The characters and settings, are staggering. Nothing like it in fantasy can touch it. Tolkien is Gandalf.