The Hobbit

"Weak"

The Hobbit Review


Given the ability of cinema to ruin almost any book, it has always been comforting that a few books were considered unfilmable. Until recently, The Lord of the Rings was apparently one of those books. Two animated versions for children were produced in the late 1970s, but both were unsuccessful and ignored even by the legions of fanatics. In spite of the new trilogy's blockbuster potential, filmmakers forbore to make a Lord of the Rings movie for decades, until finally emboldened by recent technology.

Regardless of whether the upcoming Lord of the Rings turns out to be a cinematic milestone, the point is that there are probably some books, whether unfilmable or not, which should remain un-filmed. Even the inoffensive animated version of The Hobbit by Rankin/Bass, which was a lot easier to produce than the forthcoming live-action trilogy will be, illustrates why adapting popular books to movies is rarely successful. The storyline of The Hobbit (Bilbo Baggins goes on trip, finds ring, kills dragons, etc.) is not so powerful that it demands to be retold. And in spite of a good cast of voices and decent animation, the animated film adds nothing to the book. This is usually the case, because the best qualities of books are not the best qualities of movies.

Like a lot of children's books, The Hobbit is popular with both children and adults because of the way it is written. Tolkien's quirky, classical writing style is addictive --- so much so that his books have inspired the entire bloated subgenre of fantasy fiction. The same goes for The Lord of the Rings -- the book has no message or relevance to the real world, but readers continue to love it because of the power of Tolkien's style and creative genius.

So where does this leave a movie adaptation of Tolkien's works? In the VCR, where unsuspecting parents may hope it will keep the kids quiet for a while. But filmmakers who aspire to create real art would do better to start with something that is of their own creation.



The Hobbit

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 27th November 1977

Budget: $3M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Rankin/Bass Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Arthur Rankin Jr.

Producer: , Arthur Rankin Jr.

Starring: as Bilbo Baggins, as Smaug, as Thorin, as Gandalf the Grey, as Elvenking, as Elrond, as Gollum, as Bombur/Troll #1, as Balin/Troll #3/Goblin/Lord of the Eagles, as Dori/Great Goblin/Bard

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.