Excerpt from the Ralph Bakshi Art Book titled 'UNFILTERED - THE COMPLETE RALPH BAKSHI' By Jon Gibson and Chris McDonnell. Published by RIZZOLI
Adding to the production pressure was the high-profile nature of the
project. Rings was all over the trades, enticing fans like Mick Jagger to tour
the studio, if only for a chance to play even a small role in the film. "It's a
miracle the crew kept on going - the production could have shattered at
any moment," Ralph says.
"But my guys were as passionate as you could
get - it wasn't a job to them, it was pure art. Animator Carl Bell loved
his Aragorn so much, I gave him the live-action costume and he wore it
everyday while he drew. He even changed his middle name to Aragorn.
Everyone at Bakshi Productions worked their asses off."
Yet devotion wasn't enough to keep Rings on schedule. United Artists'
November 15, 1978 release seemed impossible, and the studio refused
Ralph's pleas for more time.'
"We were backed up, behind. But it was a
holiday picture - and only a holiday picture, in UA's eyes - so they didn't
care that I only had two weeks to edit a two-hour animated epic!"
Ralph also lobbied hard to keep the film's subtitle, Part 1, since there had
always been the intention to complete a second. "I knew it would drive
audiences nuts if you said, 'to be continued' without warning at the end
of the film, but no one else cared. And, hell yes, the audiences went nuts
- they had every right."
"It was time for me to get back to something personal again."