1. Both movies are out of this world.
Avatar is in a distant star’s moon Pandora while Lord of the Rings is set in the world of Tolkien, the Middle Earth.
2. The main protagonists are both UNLIKELY to be a hero.
Jake Sully (Worthington) is a lame ex-marine while Frodo Baggins (Wood) is a Hobbit or a Halfling, a Middle earth creature no taller than 4 ft.
3. Both movies introduced invented languages.
Avatar features the Navi language while Lord of the Rings presents the Elvish language. The Navi language was created by Paul Frommer, a professor at the Marshall School of Business while the Elvish was J.R. R. Tolkien’s creation.
4. Both films ended with the coronation of a new king.
Jake Sully became the new tribe leader of the Navi tribe Omaticaya while Aragorn claim the throne of Gondor.
5. Both are lengthy films.
Avatar: 162 mins
Lord of the Rings: fellowship of the Ring: 178 mins
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: 179 mins
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: 201 mins
Looks like more time can make the movie better.
6. Both movies dominate the Oscar nominations.
Avatar got 9 Oscar nominations.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won 11/11
Fellowship of the Ring-4/13
Two Towers – 2/6.
Let's see how Avatar will fare after the winners are announced this March 7.
Note: Return of the King on the other hand tied the record of Titanic and Ben- Hur for on all-time most Oscars won by a single film.
7. Both movies used performance capture technology.
For those who are not familiar with performance capture, it is a technology used to transfer body movements and facial expression of a real actor into an animated character. It uses computer generated imagery (cgi) technology.
Avatar used performance capture technology on the entire film for the Navi characters while Lord of the Rings used it for the character of Smiggle, the Gollum.
8. Both movies received no “acting” nominations on the Oscars.
Both movies received lots “technical” award nominations but both have no acting award nominations. It looks like the film academy is not fond of Fantasy/sci-fi movies.