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Far o'er the Misty Mountains cold / To dungeons deep and caverns old...
We must away, ere break of day / To seek the pale, enchanted gold!
The Rankin Bass adaptation of The Hobbit has an Animesque style similar to their adaptation of The Last Unicorn. It might have to do with the fact it was animated by Studio Topcraft, which would later make Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind . It also has a lot of famous voice talent, including John Huston as Gandalf.
Followed up by R-B's adaptation of The Return of the King.
Provides Examples Of:
- Adaptation Distillation: Generally, the movie does a very nice job boiling down the novel into a good seventy minute movie, and some of the voicework is absolutely legendary (particularly Orson Bean as Bilbo, Brother Theodore as Gollum, and Richard Boone as Smaug). The only truly noticeable plot point left out is Beorn, who is totally absent.
- Adaptation-Induced Plothole: The first meeting with the wood elves was left out... and then alluded to in the second meeting as "the wood elves had returned."
- An Aesop: The film's theme song, "The Greatest Adventure".
The man who's a dreamer, and never takes leave
Who thinks of a world that is just make-believe
Will never know passion, will never know pain
Who sits by the window will one day see rain
- Animated Adaptation
- Animesque: Virtually all the animators and one of the two character designers were Japanese, some of whom went to work for Miyazaki so this may actually be more half-Anime than pseudo-Anime Animesque.
- Audible Sharpness: Sting. And how!!
- Badass Boast: Smaug.
- Big Badass Wolf: Smaug's got a wolf's head and snout, the better to make his snarling visage look all the nastier when he's truly pissed off.
- But Now I Must Go: Thorin's Tear Jerker Final Speech.
- Call to Adventure: "We don't need any adventures here, thank you."
- Cephalothorax: The Goblins. Less so in The Return of the King. Canonically, the Chief Goblin could bite your head off.
- Death by Adaptation: More of the Party of 14 die in the film, including Bombur and Gloin.
- Definitely Final Dungeon: Smaug.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Bilbo smokes a pipe.
- Enemy Mine: Explicitly parodied at the end of the film.
Gandalf: Dread has come upon you all! An army of Goblins with claim to the treasure comes from the north! Behold! They ride upon wolves!
Thorin: Oh, great Elf-king! My truest friend and ally! We must join forces against this common scourge!
Thranduil: But... of course... o noble King under the Mountain. Your people are like brothers unto mine.
Bard: And my Men and all their weapons are as one with yours. Together, we shall vanquish the foul foe!
Bilbo: (to himself) Thorin is correct, I simply do not understand war.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: Elrond has the sparkles, from the gems in the crown he's wearing, greatly enhanced.
- Everythings Funkier With Disco: 'Goblin Town' and 'Funny Little Things'.
- Evil Sounds Deep: See Thurl Ravenscroft.
- Eye Beams: A non-lethal version; Smaug's eyes shine like spotlights, illuminating whatever he's looking at.
- The Film of the Book
- Gold Fever: Smaug's loot after his defeat causes war amongst three differing races, all staking claim to the treasure.
- Also Gollum and the ring
- The Hero's Journey: Played completely straight.
- Hobbits: The Hobbit.
- I Call It Vera: "Now I will give you a name -- and I shall call you Sting!"
- Incendiary Exponent
- In the Style Of: Word of God is that the look of the film was based on the art of Arthur Rackham.
- Limited Animation / Special Effects Failure: The Battle of the Five Armies as seen from space.
- In the book, the scene cuts from Bilbo being knocked unconscious and missing the rest of the battle, to him waking up. The scene works here as an "and the battle continued for some time" passage, allowing us to pick up where Bilbo regains consciousness, unaware of what's happened or how things ended.
- Also cuts down on the on-screen gore.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Fifteen Birds", a cheerful Goblin song. It's directly from the book.
Roast 'em alive or stew 'em in a pot! Fry them! Boil them! Eat them hot!
Bake and toast 'em. Fry and roast 'em 'Till beards blaze, and eyes glaze,
Till hair swells and skins crack, Fat melts and bones black
In cinders lie beneath the sky, SO THE DWARVES SHALL DIE!
- Made for TV Movie
- Monobrow: Gandalf.
- Mr. Exposition: Elrond.
- Moral Dissonance: When the men of Lake-town and the wood elves both demand a share of the treasure after the death of the dragon Smaug. See Headscratchers for details.
- The Musical: As with all Rankin-Bass films...
- But (almost) all the lyrics are from the book.
- Musical World Hypothesis: The Goblins.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Plenty among the cast, including Hans Conried, Don Messick, Paul Frees, Thurl Ravenscroft, and John Stephenson.
- Never Say "Die": A variation. There's a lot of talk about death, but to avoid showing blood on-screen for the wee ones, slain foes spin away into Hammerspace like a sprite in a video game or a burst balloon.
- Notable Original Music: "Fifteen Birds in Five Fir Trees" and "Goblin Town"
The sword is sharp, the spear is long, the arrow swift, the gate is strong.
The heart is bold that looks on gold... And dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.
The King has come into his hall... Under the mountain dark and tall.
The worm of dread is slain and dead, and ever so our foes shall fall!
- Our Dragons Are Different: Smaug
- Our Elves Are Different: You can say that again.
- In fact, Tolkien based his elves on the traditional myths about fairies, but by Tolkien's time, the term fairy had been corrupted to mean something unbearably twee, so Tolkien used the term elf instead, even though, as he well knew, traditional myths about elfs (yes, Tolkien also invented the use of "elves" and "dwarves," as opposed to "elfs" and "dwarfs," as the plurals of "elf" and "dwarf") were very different.
- Redshirt Army: The dwarves
- Say My Name: "I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means -- ME!!"
- Secret Passage: "Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the last light of the setting sun will shine upon the key-hole."
- Scenery Gorn: Gollum's spacious dark cave. Also, a panorama of the aftermath of the Battle of Five Armies.
- Scenery Porn: At times, in terms of artistic renderings. Especially Laketown and Erebor the Lonely Mountain.
- Shrouded In Pipeweed Smoke: "Gandalf! Not the wandering wizard?!" "The same."
- Smoking Is Cool: Bilbo's collection of giant, er, pipes.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The Ring and Sting, after overcoming Gollum and the spiders.
- The World Is Just Awesome: When Bilbo climbs up the tree for a look.
- This Is Madness! 14 against 10,000?" "This is WAR! WAAAAAR!"
- Thurl Ravenscroft: Provides the bass in "Goblin Town" and "Fifteen Birds", likely pushing those songs over the edge.
- Your Size May Vary: Gollum (magnified by 1000 in the darkness). See this alternate image, for instance.
- ↑ (which is not to suggest that they aren't thoroughly excellent)