Animated 'Lord of the Rings' From 1978: Ralph Bakshi's Inventive Classic

Left: Gandalf and a Hobbit as portrayed in Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated Lord Of The Rings film. Right: One of the Ringwraiths. Source: IMDB

In 1978, The Lord Of The Rings hit movie theaters and introduced Frodo, Gandalf, Gollum, and the rest of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earthlings to a generation of viewers. This is animator Ralph Bakshi's Lord Of The Rings -- not Peter Jackson's dazzling film trilogy, which came 23 years later. Bakshi, who was already known for animated movies including Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic, used a variety of animation techniques to tell the story in his film, which was a box-office success.