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Comments for Why J.R.R. Tolkien Never Let Walt Disney Touch ‘The Lord of the Rings’

24 Comments

  1. Michelle Rene Cullins

    Great article! We weren’t aware that Walt had any interest at all in Lord of the Rings. This is why we love Inside the Magic. Thanks everyone!

    1. Alex Lue

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. Bob the builder

    Sorry but he is not the godfather of fantasy. It’s like trying to say Tony hawk create all skate moves when Rodney Mullins is the one that created the ollie. before you open your mouth and get people false facts do some research Disney has enough money to purchase it out right from them and they have nothing and or can’t do anything about it it’s not hard to force a company into selling something. If you have enough money there is a way to make someone get rid of anything they have. Especially being based in the United States and having Democrats rule everything.

    1. Isabel Reyna

      I don’t believe they have the money to do that. Specially since the Last Star wars trilogy crap. Disney was good. They have Made good things but these days they turn trash everything they touch. The love Versions of their animales movies, the Star wars franchise, except for the Mandalorian, and who knows how the new projects Will turn out to be. So, no. Disney used to be powerful and magical. Not anymore.

      1. RustyG

        Actually, the rights were not sold to new line Cinema , which did not exist in the 1960s. Rather, the rights were sold to Saul Zaentz, who produced The Animated Lord of the Rings film.

        1. Alex Lue

          You’re right! Total brain fart, haha. Thank you

        2. Hayden Oberg

          I just want say that it is a common mistake but the lord of the rings is not a trilogy. It is one story prolonged over 3 books because there was a paper shortage in England due to war so they had to break up what was supposed to be one big story into 3 parts.

          1. Alex Lue

            Oh wow, I never knew that. I’m currently reading The Return of the King and the novels flow so well that you’d think it’s one long book. Good to know, thank you!

    2. Jack

      Dude are you high? No amount of money on earth could force someone to sell their OWN intellectual property, and the Tolkien Estate protects the rights to Tolkien’s works pretty efficiently. Disney will never be able to force them to sell, I don’t know what kind of dream world you live in.

      Also Tolkien may not have created the fantasy genre, but he for damn sure brought it into the modern day and set a precedent for all other fantasy writers who came after, most of whom are just pale imitations of him. Your comments make me think you prefer works like His Dark Materials and Game of Thrones.

      “Especially being based in the United States and having Democrats rule everything.”
      This is exactly the kind of uneducated comment that makes your whole argument invalid. Go back to school kid.

  3. frostysnowman

    I love Disney, but they would have done a terrible job translating those books to film. That project needed someone with a true passion for the material, and they got it with Peter Jackson.

    1. Backcountry164

      You’re joking right?? Peter Jackson made great movies but they were more Peter Jackson than they were JRR Tolkien…

      1. Mark Kaplan

        During this current state of affairs with Disney, they getting their hands on Lord Of The Rings would have the same chances of a gas attendant attempting brain surgery even on Kathleen Kennedy’s brain (if she ever had one).

  4. Steve W

    Although New Line was around as a small production company in the late-60s, it had nothing to do with LotR until 30 years later, after most studios had passed on Peter Jackson’s project. Ironically, he had come closest to getting it made with Miramax, which is owned by Disney.

  5. EricJ

    In Tolkien’s letters, he mentions privately his horror of seeing the Dwarves of Moria end up as Grumpy, but that one artist had shown him a serious art style that was “more in the tradition of classic storybooks”, and that might not have been so bad, but he still held out on principle.

  6. Jed

    The rights were sold to United Artists in 1968, (not to New Line), and it took 10 years, not 40, to bring to the screen: Ralph Bakshi’s animated version was released in 1978. Thank God that has not stood as the final version! (Or half version, it only told half the story.)

    The Saul Zaentz Company, which had acquired the rights from UA in 1976, also licensed Rankin-Bass to make made-for -TV versions of The Hobbit (1977) and the awful Return of the King (1980).

    Ironically, Disney DID control the rights to film the Lord of the Rings at one point, through their subsidiary Miramax . That studio had licensed the rights, planning to fund Peter Jackson’s project, until the corporate masters at Disney objected to the cost and demanded it be made in one film! Jackson refused and that’s when the rights were sold to New Line for $12 million dollars in 1998…

  7. george

    Please God may there be a LOTR land at Islands of Adventure. Amen.

    1. Alex Lue

      There’s rumors that Universal Orlando is working on a LOTR themed land, and I hope they’re true! I would LOVE a Shire-based area and get to eat in the Green Dragon Inn.

  8. I always knew I liked tolkien, excellent taste sir.

    1. Alex Lue

      I love him too!

  9. Kat

    Now I have even more respect for Tolkien! Lol. It was surprising to find out that sir Christopher Lee was a tolkienist like myself haha. I heard a lot that Walt Disney personally was an “evil man” as witnessed by many of his contemporaries, so I guess it’s not surprising that his legacy is evil too. Evil disguised as a kiddy friendly fare. Hopefully all their censorship and brainwashing is not going to rub off on the new generations as much as it has on previous ones.

    1. Nick

      Where does this article say anything about Disney being evil?
      It just says that Tolk was an elitist, and one who was broke, until it was ok not to be.
      Back in the day, and in recent times Disney could have bought out the whole LotR enterprise if they chose. Apparently, Disney was just as unimpressed with Tolkien.

      1. Jack

        Disney has 0 power to acquire the rights to Lord of the Rings, why do you people think that being rich gives you the power to do whatever you want? It doesn’t matter if they offered 10 trillion pounds the Tolkien Estate would never sell. Some people have morals and value some things more than money

  10. Brandon

    The current culture of conform or burn that has swept Western Civilization is going to numb so much imagination. The literature that inspired MacDonald, Tolkien, Lewis, and Carroll Is considered whitewashed and comes with a “this may be offensive” warning, the ideal that Tolkien himself could see the trash of producing something for Mass consumption compared to just making great work is brilliant. I hope and I believe that his family will stand true to their father’s story.

  11. Robert

    Sounds like Tolkien, and especially Lewis, were a couple of literary snobs – and I mean that in the worst possible way.

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