DVD Easter Eggs & Special Features

Ringers Lord of the Fans

The Fellowship of the Ring

To access The Two Towers sneak peek trailer that was shown briefly in theaters at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, go to the last page of the scene selections menu area and select the number "48" on the far right-hand side of the screen. Then navigate "down" to reveal a hidden Two Towers symbol. Press "Enter".

MTV spoof  (warning for coarse humor and language)
To find this one, go into the Scene Selection menu on disc one, and head to the final page where you'll find the real Council of Elrond scene. Highlight that scene and press "down" to find an image of the Ring. Press enter to view the entire clip from MTV complete with an introduction from Peter Jackson.

From the Main Menu of Disc Four, use your down arrow to move down to highlight the ornament at the bottom center of the screen. Selecting this will give you a limited version of the DVD credits.

(the above information found at DVD Easter Eggs.com - thanks to Simien for the link.)

Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition Special Features and Easter Eggs  - by Celedor

As its sequel is coming out shortly, I thought it might be nice to look back at the FOTR EE.

Here are the features which must be selected manually. They do not appear when you watch the movie or select the "play all" feature for the appendices.

Disc 1 of the Movie: MTV Movie Awards Spoof (not available in some regions)

- Peter Jackson wiggles his eyebrows and introduces us to the alternative version of the Council of Elrond starring Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Hilarity ensues.

To access this, go to the last page of the scene selections menu area and select 'The Council of Elrond'. Then navigate "down" to reveal a hidden Ring symbol. Finally, press "Enter".

Disc 2 of the Movie: TTT preview

- This is the four minute preview that was attached to the theatrical cut of FOTR in late March of 2002. The idea was that FOTR would win the Oscar for Best Picture, and that combined with this new preview would give the movie a boost at the box office. Things didn't work out, and NLC lost money doing the reel switch. Thus we got no similar preview for ROTK.

To access this, go to the last page of the scene selections menu (Select a Scene) and select the number "48" on the far right-hand side of the screen. Then navigate down to reveal a hidden Two Towers symbol below the "48". Press "Enter"

Disc 1 of the Appendices:

Special Features for "Visualizing the Story"

- Early storyboards:
1. The Prologue, narrated by Frodo
(Talk about information overload. This is what LOTR would have been like had the purists made it. Craig Parker, aka Haldir, does the voice of Frodo.)
2. Orc pursuit into Lothlorien
(This storyline was abandoned)
3. Sarn Gebir Rapids Chase
(This is based off one of my favorite parts of the book. The set was flooded, so it couldn't be filmed.)

- Pre-Viz Animatics:
1. Gandalf Rides to Orthanc
(and rides.. and rides.. and Orthanc introduced by its massive shadow)
2. The Stairs of Khazad-Dum
(You know the scene by heart, but you've never seen it like this! A great look at the thought that has to go into doing a sequence like this.)

- Animatic to Film Comparisons
1. Nazgul attack at Bree
(a good choice)
2. The Bridge of Khazad-Dum
(freaky how they match.)

- Bag End Set Test
1. The producers test out a few scenes in an unfinished Bag End to pre viz the sequences.

Special Feature for "Designing Middle-earth"

- Design Galleries:
(thankfully there's a slideshow option here- some commentary is mixed in as well)
1. The Peoples of Middle-earth
(menus, and submenus, and subsubmenus...)
2. The Realms of Middle-earth
(Okay, I'm as obsessive a fan as any, and even I'm a bit bored by this. What are there, a million sketches, paintings, and pictures here? Though I'm sure a lot of girls will be happy to see Frodo's bedroom.)

Additional Special Features on Disc 1 (available through the main menu)

- Middle-earth Atlas:
You can find out where in Middle-earth the scenes in the movie happen via an interactive map. Good for newbies, boring for readers.

- New Zealand as Middle-earth
In an interesting juxtaposition, you can find out where the scenes were filmed via an interactive map of New Zealand. Great footage and info is presented for each location.

Disc 2 of the Appendices:

Special Feature for "Filming 'The Fellowship of the Ring'"

- Production Photos:
(Some really nice shots of filming, but no sound over the top. I like watching the slideshow feature with my FOTR soundtrack playing in my CD player.)

Special Feature for "Miniatures"

- Galleries
(This is a little bit hidden. To get here you have to select "visual effects" through the main menu, then choose "Miniatures" and finally select "Galleries".) You can see the construction of these massive minatures bit by bit through photos. Again, I recommend you listen to the FOTR soundtrack and select "slideshow" here.

1. Orthanc
2. Rivendell
3. Moria
4. Lothlorien
5. Hobbit Factories
6. The Argonath

Special Feature for "Post Production"

- Editorial Demonstration:
This is just wickedly cool. You get to see exactly how the Council of Elrond was edited together via a screen split six ways! And you can even watch each specific shot by itself. (If you're an amateur actor, you have to go here and see how these experts act when they're not giving lines. That's the toughest thing for an actor.) This also shows how important the digital grading is to make all the shots in a sequence match.


Today most special edition DVDs have the theatrical cut of the film, a commentary track provided by two or three people, an option to see some deleted scenes, and a few other tacked on extras.

FOTR Extended Edition not only opened the door to greater possibilties, it knocked the door off its hinges.

I'm continually dumbfounded by the sheer amount of work put into the Lord of the Rings DVDs. For the new cuts of the films, Peter didn't just add a few scenes to them; he worked with the films' editor, music composer, and FX personel to redo the whole movies. For the commentaries, the cast and crew used meticulous notes and worked hard to get the timing and information right, doing retakes when neccesary. Then a post production crew spent a massive amount of time and effort breaking down the 30 participants into four categories and brilliantly interlacing their comments.

For the appendices, the incredible documentation of this project, the longest and most complex ever attempted, certainly gives the feature a lot of rich detail to use. But the editing and scoring of the material is as great as the films themselves.

Add to this the beautiful and functional menu screens and booklet, brought to you by LOTR calligrapher Daniel Reeve, and it's just mind blowing how much work was done exclusively for these sets. It's simply not fair that Joe Schmo off the street can walk into Wal-Mart and buy these editions for 30 bucks!   - Celedor

The Two Towers