Gandalf vs. the Balrog in Found 1978 LORD OF THE RINGS Animated Film
In 1978 artist Ralph Bakshi's animated Lord of the Rings was released, but not everything they animated made it into the final cut of the movie. Thanks to his son, Eddie Bakshi, a couple of those scenes have been restored "from the cutting room floor." They include Gangalf fighting the Balrog.
There's some more information on these scenes from a retrospective on the film over on BoingBoing. It's a great informative essay on the movie, and it features details on the mixed reception and the creative decisions that led to these two scenes being cut from the movie. They even managed to talk to Ralph Bakshi himself, so that has some cool insight.
"...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."
I remember seeing these animated films for the first time. I absolutely loved them. The style and art is just beautiful. We don't see stuff like this anymore, and it's a shame.