Watch Gandalf Battle The Balrog In This Found Lord of the Rings Footage

More than 35 years after the film's original release, two clips of lost footage that were cut from Ralph Bakshi's animated Lord of the Rings have been restored "from the cutting room floor," thanks to the work of Bakshi's son, Eddie Bakshi.

Over on BoingBoing, Ethan Gilsdorf has served up a wonderful little retrospective on the film, its mixed reception, and the creative decisions that led to these two scenes being cut. Gilsdorf even managed to get in touch with Ralph Bakshi himself, so he's got lots of great insight delivered straight from the film's source:

...some of the scenes from that 1978 classic have been rescued from the "cutting room floor," Bakshi, now 75, said when I reached him via email this week.

Eddie Bakshi, Bakshi's son, has been busy scanning in original "cel" artwork from Bakshi's archives, timing them to the cartoon's original exposure sheets, and posting the scenes on Bakshi's Facebook page. (The Facebook page also includes clips from Bakshi's other films, though it appears none of these are new.)

The particular Rings footage that has been restored comes from the Gandalf vs. Balrog fight sequence, and it is brief. One clip is a three-shot, 12-second sequence of the two characters falling into the void, titled "Gandalf recalls fighting the Balrog." The other is a 10-second shot described as "Gandalf duels with the Balrog and smashes into the endless staircase." In the film, the Balrog battle was recounted via minimally-animated still images.

[The Lord of the Rings via Boing Boing]