Looking back, we were spoiled rotten throughout 2001 when it came to the fantasy genre, with Hollywood sending out a regular procession of heavy hitters, even if some fared much better than others.
It was the year we were gifted blockbuster sequel The Mummy Returns, the beloved and enduringly popular Shrek, the criminally underrated Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Steven Spielberg picking up where Stanley Kubrick left off to deliver A.I. Artificial Intelligence, while Jurassic Park III and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes were also there.
However, two titans stand out among the crowd, and we are obviously referring to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The first installment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy hit theaters exactly 20 years ago today on December 19, 2001, and fans have been paying tribute to an undisputed modern classic.
The relative disappointment of The Hobbit only served to make The Lord of the Rings feel that much more special, because not even Jackson could make lightning strike twice. It’s as close to perfection as big budget genre filmmaking has ever gotten, and you can guarantee that plenty of folks won’t need urging to fire up their copy of The Fellowship of the Ring to mark the momentous occasion.