What Max's 20th Anniversary 'Lord of the Rings' Collection Is Missing

The new movie collection on Max reminds fans of the trilogy's 20th anniversary, but it's missing some features for those who want to dig deep.

Max has created a Lord of the Rings 20th Anniversary Collection on its platform, but it's missing a few key features. These kinds of collections, "hubs" and landing pages have been a stand-out feature since the launch of HBO Max in 2020, but they don't quite fill the gap for DVD home screen menus. Fortunately, you can find the things missing from this collection with a bit of searching.

Max's Lord of the Rings 20th Anniversary Collection starts strong with a menacing banner image showing the Eye of Sauron over the thumbnails for each movie. It shows The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King as well as separate tiles for the extended edition of each movie. Below that, it shows the prequel trilogy – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies. However, for some reason, the extended editions of those prequels are not included.

Digging a little deeper, you'll see that the extended edition of The Battle of the Five Armies is actually available on Max, but it's just not listed in this collection for some reason. Perhaps even more strangely, the extended editions of An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug aren't on the streaming service at all. Both got extended editions when they were released on DVD and Blu-ray, and these longer cuts are a fan-favorite feature of the franchise.

It may be worth noting that the 1977 animated film The Hobbit is also streaming on Max but was left out of this collection, along with the 2021 streaming series The Rings of Power. However, since the collection is meant to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Peter Jackson's films, this seems forgivable. The last installment of Jackson's original trilogy, The Return of the King, premiered on Dec. 17, 2003, and the studios have already been celebrating all year with screenings and fan events.

Finally, die-hard fans won't be satisfied with the Max 20th anniversary collection page because it has no special features whatsoever. Many movie buffs say this is the biggest missing piece from the era of DVDs and Blu-rays, and that is particularly true for The Lord of the Rings. The series inspired a generation with in-depth behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentary tracks and deleted scenes that made the home media release special.

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies are streaming now on Max, with a special landing page in honor of the original trilogy's 20th anniversary. They are also available on Blu-ray and DVD.