Before Peter Jackson made his definitive version of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, fantasy fanatics had to settle for Ralph Bakshi’s animated take on the beloved books. That film (which only told part of the story) made money, but Bakshi never got to finish his tale. The film was notable mostly for its extensive use of rotoscoping, a technique where animators trace over live action footage for insertion into animated features. It’s not nearly as cool as Jackson’s films – but if you’re a fan of the Middle Earth stories, you really should track down a copy and check it out.
Back in 2008, Bakshi and some friends released a book titled Unfiltered – which was set to feature a chapter filled with concept art from his take on Tolkien’s trilogy. Unfortunately, rights issues led to the whole chapter being scrapped. Undaunted, Bakshi took to his blog and shared some of the fantastic concept art for the film. We’ve picked a few favorites below, but be sure to swing by the blog postings for even more.