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Sunday, June 29, 2003

I watched the old Rankin-Bass animated version of The Hobbit with the kid the other day. It was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, and I saw it before I read the book, so I was actually enchanted to read the book and find out that there was even more story than I had known about, which is a nicer way to go than getting angry because something didn't make the movie after reading the book. I found that the film stands up quite nicely; the animation isn't very smooth, but that's no surprise considering the general quality of Rankin-Bass animation back in the day, and the designs themselves are very nice, with an interesting watercolor style. The voice work is generally high-quality, especially John Huston as Gandalf. And I have to admit that I still have a soft spot for the goofy, 1970s style music in the film, some of them with J.R.R. Tolkien's lyrics given the folk-treatment, and a totally new song ("The Greatest Adventure") providing a main theme, of sorts. The reviews on the IMDb entry for The Hobbit pretty much savage the film, so this is pretty much as case of trying to see the film for where the filmmakers are coming from, and accounting for the resources at their command.

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