9-07-01 Latest News

Confirmed: Upcoming LOTR DVD is widescreen!
Quickbeam @ 12:27 am EST

Greetings — Quickbeam here.

It’s all over. The fans prevail!

The new DVD of Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 The Lord of the Rings will truly be in it’s original aspect ratio [yes, the real anamorphic widescreen that we all want] and we will be able to see each and every hand-painted frame in its entirety. Nothing cropped. Nothing missing. That’s what DVD is all about.

It comes out next Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and we heartily recommend you grab a copy.

We all know the poor quality approach that Warner took with Willy Wonka 30th Anniversay Edition, releasing that film in butchered pan-and-scan. But the outcry from fans blew the doors off! Warner quickly turned tail and soon that title will be rereleased with a glorious new widescreen edition.

Since fans of Wonka have achieved a new consumer awareness, we Tolkien fans reap the benefit! Something has clicked at Warner and the LOTR film will be produced right the first time.

You know, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Many are critical of this adaptation complaining of the stylistic choices, the unusual psychedelic lighting effects, the script. I happen to be fond of this movie because it was wildly creative, risky, and ground-breaking for its time. But that is NOT really the point here.

1. Fans of fantasy want the same thing: to see their movies treated with due care, not just slopped together as a lame "family" product that serves only as a babysitter for the kids.

2. Fans of DVD want the same thing: movies in anamorphic widescreen so they can enjoy the full artistic integrity of a film.

Nobody does an angry mob better than Tolkien fans, that’s for sure!

We launched the petition only a few weeks ago, and the response was like a thunderclap booming through the mountains. Many people would not only sign their names, but they went further to offer stinging comments like:

"I'm a 31 year old mother of two and a die hard Tolkien Geek: screw with me and I'll never again buy ANY Warner titles, period."

"Take care of the fanbase Warner Bros., after all it's they who pay you!"

"What kind of company takes pride in doing something half-assed?"

But success is ours! Now we know the DVD will be true anamorphic widescreen and will also include the original theatrical trailer! So put down your mouse, pull out your $19.95, and show the studio how much you appreciate it when "fantasy" is treated with proper care.

This is a win/win situation for us, because now Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema will see how much we really care about Tolkien’s work.

Much too hasty,



P.S. Please keep in mind the Rankin/Bass T.V. versions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King will also be out on DVD. These two features would never be in anamorphic widescreen because they were originally produced for television. In their case, it is not pan-and-scan at all, it really is a full-frame presentation just as intended. If you really like that bizarre chorus of orcs singing "Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way" then be sure to get these titles as well.