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Trivia / The Return of the King

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  • Talking to Himself: Orson Bean as both Frodo and Bilbo, also the scene where the orc commander argues with the captain of the Rangers both voiced by Don Messick.
  • The Other Darrin: Paul Frees takes over as Elrond for Cyril Ritchard from Rankin/Bass's The Hobbit, who had passed away shortly after that film was released.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original working title was Frodo: The Hobbit II.
    • It was originally planned as a two-hour feature to air in the fall of 1979, but it was pushed back to May 1980 and the run-time was reduced to one hour and 38 minutes.
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    • Rankin/Bass never actually planned to adapt The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, as they started pre-production work on this soon after The Hobbit. But since Ralph Bakshi's own film stopped at about half of The Two Towers with an intended Part II never happening, one would wish at least either of them had adapted the entire Lord of the Rings for completeness's sake. Especially for those who prefer Rankin/Bass over Bakshi, the glimpses of Fellowship of the Ring stuff in the opening montage credits thus remain tantalizing.
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