Thanks to Ralph Bakshi’s son Eddie Bakshi, you can now see parts of the fight between Gandalf and The Balrog that were cut from the original 1978 animated Lord Of The Rings.
Boing Boing’s Ethan Gilsdorf got in touch with Bakshi himself to talk about the classic films and managed to get a little more information on the newly found footage in the process.
…some of the scenes from that 1978 classic have been rescued from the “cutting room floor,” Bakshi, now 75, said when I reached him via email this week.
Eddie Bakshi, Bakshi’s son, has been busy scanning in original “cel” artwork from Bakshi’s archives, timing them to the cartoon’s original exposure sheets, and posting the scenes on Bakshi’s Facebook page. (The Facebook page also includes clips from Bakshi’s other films, though it appears none of these are new.)
The particular Rings footage that has been restored comes from the Gandalf vs. Balrog fight sequence, and it is brief. One clip is a three-shot, 12-second sequence of the two characters falling into the void, titled “Gandalf recalls fighting the Balrog.” The other is a 10-second shot described as “Gandalf duels with the Balrog and smashes into the endless staircase.” In the film, the Balrog battle was recounted via minimally-animated still images.
He went on to explain that the Balrog and the overall animation in this recovered footage look different that the rest of the film because this was a flashback in the form of Gandalf’s memory, so it’s more as he experienced and remembers it. Vaseline on the lens, as it were. Bakshi couldn’t quite get the different styles to work, which is why the footage was removed.
You can check out the restored footage after the break.