The Return of the King (1980) (part 1 of 8)
The Cast of Characters:
Frodo (Voiced by Orson Bean). Our brave hero for the day. Well, brave in the sense that he doesn’t crap himself in the face of danger. For the most part, he veers between being close to death, and stubbornly urging Sam to keep going. Even with the changes made for the live-action film, Elijah Wood is still more of a badass than this version.
Sam (Voiced by Roddy McDowall). Frodo’s best friend and, like Pumaman, which came out the same year, a far more capable hero than the guy who gets top billing. Basically, he’s like Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson films, minus the incessant crying jags.
Gandalf (Voiced by John Huston). The main narrator for the story. That’s about it for his role in the film. A powerful wizard who spends the entire film sitting on the sidelines, moping and loafing about like a clinically depressed tree sloth. He might as well have a sign that reads “We’re boned!” that he carries around.
Aragorn (Voiced by Theodore Bikel). The titular king of the title, who’s set to return. The movie doesn’t really focus on him at all. The only reason I even mention the guy is that he’s in the goddamned title!
Merry and Pippin (Voiced by Casey Kasem and Sonny Melendrez). Frodo’s hobbit homies who contribute essentially nothing to the story. Honestly, I’m just putting them in this section to fill things out a bit… And because Casey Kasem has a cool voice.
Minstrel of Gondor (Voiced by Glenn Yarbrough). Our singing quasi-narrator. If you don’t like folk music before watching this, wait until the movie is over. Then you’ll really hate it!