On December 19th, 2001, Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring opened in North American theatres.
The fantasy flick, of course, was a critical and commercial smash hit that spawned two equally beloved sequels, 2002’s The Two Towers and 2003’s The Return of the King. The decidedly less popular Jackson-helmed The Hobbit trilogy came nearly 10 years later.
Given the 20th anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, it would make sense if you wanted to revisit the original trilogy. I definitely thought of it — it’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve seen them. Unfortunately, though, it’s not that simple.
As it stands, none of the original three LOTR films are on a Canadian streaming service. While they were once on Netflix Canada, they aren’t anymore. The only digital services that have the films are premium video on demand (PVOD) platforms like iTunes and Google Play. It’s worth noting, however, that the digital collection of the Extended Editions of the trilogy currently cost $25.99 (Google Play) and $19.99 (iTunes) to purchase.
It’s odd that the LOTR series isn’t streaming on any service in Canada, especially with the 20th anniversary. By contrast, fellow Warner Bros. series Harry Potter — which also is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year — recently came to Crave. While it’s likely that licensing agreements are preventing the LOTR series from hitting any Canadian streaming service, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a bit of a bummer for consumers.
It’s worth noting that The Hobbit trilogy is actually available on Canadian streaming services — well, mostly. 2012’s An Unexpected Journey is on both Crave and Amazon Prime Video, as is 2013’s The Desolation of Smaug (Crave/Amazon Prime Video). However, 2014’s The Battle of the Five Armies is only on CBC’s ICI Tou.TV. Otherwise, they’re all offered on PVOD platforms like Google Play and iTunes.
Hopefully, the LOTR series will come to a service soon. For now, though, I’ll likely just buy the digital Extended Edition trilogy collection while it’s on sale.
Image credit: Warner Bros.