A scene from the Bakshi version.
“O: What drew you to Lord Of The Rings specifically?
RB: Brilliance. Absolute brilliance. It’s probably one of the greatest fantasies ever written. The language is perfect, the characterizations are perfect, the mood is perfect. There isn’t a page of The Rings that you wouldn’t want to re-read a hundred times….”
“O: What finally prompted you to give up on moviemaking?
RB: Lots of reasons. Sick of Hollywood, tired of fighting and selling out as an artist. I don’t believe anyone should do the same thing for the rest of his life. We get a very short time on this planet. Challenging oneself is very important. It’s not that I couldn’t make other great animated films, but I’d done what I wanted to do, which was make animation an adult medium, if one wanted it to be. And I’d proven to myself that it could work, and it was time to move on to something else. When I sell a painting, I get very excited. I need one person to like what I do, not a million. It’s a different structure here. Plus the Hollywood thing. I mean, Hollywood is no place to grow up, no place to live. It’s no place to have any friends, no place to enjoy life. It’s a disgusting, horrible, craze-driven town. It’s only how much do you make, or how fancy a car you have, that determines your status there. And everyone’s lying so much that they don’t even know they’re lying anymore. There’s no reality to Hollywood. The fees they pay directors are obnoxious, the money they spend on movies could feed entire starving African… I mean, **** ’em. I made a few bucks and got out. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with those people. They’re disgusting people, and you can quote me on that. There’s a lot of great talent there, but it’s no place I wanted to spend much time. I’d rather spend time with Rembrandt and Goya at home. They’re better company than those schmucks who never read Lord Of The Rings.”