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    Hobbit, The [11] -1977 Animated-

    Movie Reviews
    This animated version of The Hobbit was all we could get our hands upon in 1977 if we wanted to visualize J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy. The hobbits themselves were drawn passibly, with anime-style faces. However, some of the voices are disconcerting. John Stephonson (voices of Dori/Great Goblin/Bard ) is an outstanding voice talent to be sure. John can be heard on many Hanna Barbera cartoons: as a villain in the Scooby Doo series, as Dr. Benton C. Quest from Jonny Quest, or Mr. Slate from The Flintstones. Talented as he is, it threw me off to hear him voice Bard of the Dale. Orson Bean is good as Bilbo. John Huston does a good Gandalf voice.

    The wood elves look and act like Aliens. This was really poorly done, when you know that the elves are a noble race. Elrond the half-elven certainly does not look like he is related. In this special, the wood elves look like the Morlocks from _The Time Machine_. Bilbo, Gollum, the Dwarves and Gandalf appear much as we would expect. The Smaug/Bilbo under the Lonely Mountain sequence is well done, and probably the best and most memorable part of the show. Smaug is voiced by Richard Boone, and his voice is suitably dragon-like.

    The folk music soundtrack, done by Maury Laws, makes the film appear dated. I felt that the music is intrusive to the movie instead of helpful. In the past, Maury did a great job with the music for some other classic Rankin Bass TV specials like Santa Clause is Comin' to town and The Little Drummer Boy. So there must have been an agreement that music was supposed to be "earthy". It almost feels as if the story were co-opted by a protest movement.

    This movie may serve as an introduction to the Hobbit for younger children, so perhaps rent it for your kids once. Then leave the original Tolkien book lying around for them to read. {BB}

    Added: April 6th 2004
    Reviewer: BB
    29 Point Scale Score: 11    [11]

    Related Link (IMDB): The Hobbit on IMDB
    Hits: 5199
    Language: english


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