Today The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releases to Blu-ray and DVD. Now at last some critics will (in this viewer’s view) finally actually see the theatrical version of the film, and choose whether to reevaluate their perceptions of the film’s supposed overdone “darkness” and/or “bloatedness.”
Still haven’t seen “The Hobbit” and will probably just wait for the DVD. The more I learn about it, the more it sounds like what I feared — bloated.
[Christian paranormal novelist], personal Facebook post, Feb. 18
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is often viewed as a children’s story in comparison to the more serious Lord of the Rings saga. Indeed, Tolkien imbued his characters in The Hobbit with a dose of whimsy that’s largely absent from the grimmer, gravitas-filled trilogy that follows it.
Peter Jackson didn’t get that memo.
I don’t remember the book being that dark.
Wretched Radio (Christian talk program) host Todd Friel, Feb. 1 broadcast
This is like complaining about a (hypothetical) film remake of The Ten Commandments because it includes hints about Israel’s future rejection of its God and perhaps even need for final redemption.
Do we read the Bible that way: piecemeal, as if the Author’s later expansions never existed?
“I thought The Hobbit was a charming children’s story about hobbits and dwarves.”
You thought wrong. After finishing LOTR, Tolkien went back to The Hobbit and started work on a Hobbit 2.0, darker and more adult like LOTR, which strengthened the connections between the two and made the dark events of the book, spiders, trolls, orcs, more directly connected to the rising threat of the Shadow in Dol Guldur. It was abandoned because no one wanted it; what remains of it is recorded in the work “The Quest for Erebor”, to be found in the Appendices of LOTR. It is this enhanced Hobbit that Jackson is adapting. So, if you complained about all the “added” material, your complaint lies with Tolkien, not Jackson.
And as for the “bloated” complaint:
[W]ould you really want the Hobbit chopped down into a rush of a single film? Are you actually advocating spending less time in Middle Earth?
Perhaps some viewers’ answers would be yes. In that case, the only response may be this actural unretouched and verbatim quote from another famed fantasy franchise’s wizard, Prof. Dumbledore.