OK let's start by saying that this is NO comparison to the fantastic recent trilogy of movies by Peter Jackson, and it is animated (I'll come back to that) but it is still a good movie. Considering the year of production for a second, director Ralph Bakshi had a vision, and the same kind of idea as Jackson, but without the backing, the money, or the technology to carry it off. The film follows the book very closely, and those having watched the new movies will see and hear identical scenes in this version, lifted straight from Tolkeins pages. The idea was to make TWO movies (but not simultaneously) which means this is a little muddled in mixing books 1&2, made with the obvious expectation of a sequel.The animation is mixed with a process called rotoscoping (traced over live action integrated into cell animation)in a surreal fashion in places which adds much in the way of atmosphere, and certainly makes the dark armies appear more menacing. This idea of animation was more than a little groundbreaking at the time, even though it was done chiefly to save money, and annoyed more than a few puritans in the business. Sadly this movie went down like a lead parachute at the box office, and with it went Bakshi's backing for the second film, and knowing this means you are expecting an anti climax of sorts. The DVD has little in the way of extra's, but the budget price certainly makes it worth owning. Repeated viewing does get you inside the directors vision, and obvious love of the material, and one could argue that had this been made 20 years later, Peter Jackson & Co may have been out of work, Enjoy this Cult and Collectible Classic at a great price.