Middle-earth Comes to the Paley Center

Tolkien on TV

Sep 30 – Nov 1, 2009
2:00 PM ET
New York

Screening Wednesdays to Sundays. FREE for Paley Center Members, included with general admission.

The Hobbit
Rankin-Bass may be best known for stop-motion animation Christmas specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, but in 1977 they produced this traditional-animation version of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins’s fateful journey from the Shire to the lair of the dragon Smaug, during which he encounters a strange creature named Gollum and takes possession of the all-powerful One Ring. With the voices of Orson Bean, Hans Conried, Otto Preminger, Cyril Ritchard, Richard Boone, and—as Gandalf the Grey—the great John Huston. (1977; 77 minutes)

ABC Movie Special: The Return of the King
Three years later Rankin-Bass struck again with this animated version of the last of The Lord of the Rings novels, in which hobbits Frodo and Sam make the treacherous journey to Mordor to dispose of the ruling ring in the fires of Mount Doom, while Aragorn and Gandalf lead a last stand against the dark forces of Sauron at Minas Tirith. Bean, Huston, and Brother Theodore reprise their roles, assisted by Roddy McDowall, Casey Kasem, and William Conrad. (1980; 120 minutes)