The Hobbit (TV Movie 1977) Poster

(1977 TV Movie)

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favorite childhood movie
mcgreenergirl22 July 2005
It seems that everyone who gives this movie a low rating comments on the same problems, poor animation, poor adaption from the book, etc. However it seems to me that they are forgetting three very important things: 1. This movie was made for TV, so it had a lower budget than it would have in Hollywood, 2. It was made in 1977, so it has a lower quality animation than we are now used to now, and 3. It is a children's movie, they had to make it child friendly.

I remember spending a whole summer of my childhood watching this movie over and over again, nearly wearing out the tape. I have since read the book and still love and own the movie. In fact, to this day every time the subject of LOTR comes up I start humming "the greatest adventure...".
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As a Tolkien Fanatic...
Odysseus-524 December 2001
I must say that I actually remember this movie with fondness. I've read comments that slam the film for either technical faults or the fact that it has left out a number of things.

All these things are true, of course.

Though I thought the artwork itself was quite good, the animation could use some work. Certainly things were left out.

Come on people! Certainly the film is no ten, but it is a decent version, given the fact that to fit the book into a film at all some liberties will be taken. Especially when it seems apparent that the film is aimed at children.

If you can't unwind a bit and just sit back and watch the film without always pointing out every little omission or alteration, then this film will disappoint. But if you can, then give this film a chance.
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Rankin-Bass's best ever production...
ms-3430 January 2005
They pulled out all the stops on this one. A glorious ensemble of voices including the legendary John Huston and Otto Preminger gave life to Tolkien's creation while the outstanding folk and fantasy score illuminates the story.

You'll see why Frodo was supposed to be an actor in his 50's for the LOTR trilogy (though Peter Jackson's opus was well cast anyway in every position).

This will whet your appetite until "Hobbit" is a full-length feature in theatres (fingers crossed) and no doubt, Mr. Jackson and his screenwriters will pull visuals and more from this timeless adaptation.

The only shame of it is annually, Rankin-Bass's Christmas offerings are still aired while The Hobbit and its sister production of Return Of The King (starring Roddy McDowell as Samwise The Brave!) aren't.

Catch that feature too as it picks up where the Ralph Bakshi stab at The Fellowship Of The Rings/Two Towers left off. -Matt Sherman
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A mixed bag
jwwhiteh25 November 2003
I saw the Rankin/Bass 'Hobbit' for the first time when I was about eight or nine years old. I was enchanted by the movie, and I credit it with motivating me to read 'The Hobbit' and later 'The Lord of the Rings', thereby transforming me into a lifelong Tolkien fan (albeit not as die-hard as some, I admit). This is probably the highest praise I can give it.

I re-viewed the movie recently. How does it stand up now that I am older and better-versed in Tolkien? So-so, I would say. Some comments/criticisms, in no particular order:

* The movie, I now realize, was seriously hampered by time constraints. The creators attempted to squeeze a very eventful novel's story into a two-hour TV movie, with commercials. The result is that everything seems very hurried, events are piled on top of each other with great speed and moments that ought to be savored get rushed. Also, the periodic fade-outs/fade-ins for commercials are distracting.

* A product of its time, the movie is wall-to-wall with songs, most with lyrics written by Tolkien, one written originally for the film, all sung to '70s folk ballad melodies. Tolkien's elves should not sound like hippie chipmunks.

* The '70s context also gives the movie a strongly pacifist message. All scenes of fighting are rendered, somewhat awkwardly, so as to avoid any actual blood or carnage (a mortally wounded character will be glimpsed in a freeze frame that will then spin into a blur, mirroring the character's disappearance from this life, I suppose). Speeches about the glory of war are presented so as to make the advocates look ridiculous. None of this is a bad, and is even refreshing, but it is the work of Rankin/Bass, not Tolkien.

* Some of the key players are perfect: Orson Bean as Bilbo, John Huston as Gandalf, Richard Boone as Smaug and Theodore as Gollum bring great life and character to the movie. The one-on-one scenes between Bilbo and each of the other three are easily the best part of 'The Hobbit'.

Overall, the movie is best suited for the audience for whom it was intended, children. Kids will probably like it, and might even want to explore Tolkien further.
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Great for small children.
Dmon4u4 December 2002
First - it's a wonderful introduction to full scale Fantasy, for anyone. But, for small children it's truly a gift. This is the Gateway for reading that most parents would die for. Children that watch this cry for more because it's usually the first thing in their lives that is not so dumbed down that they realize they've been had.

Second - for all those that love a quality story, this is the Grand-daddy of them all for modern times. Sure the story is told from a more artistic viewpoint than the Book is, but that just adds to the enjoyment. * read the Book.

Third - Since the current (wonderful) movies are coming out, this provides a foundation that makes them even more enjoyable.

Finally - Even in this animated version, one can tell why J.R.R. Tolkien is celebrated as one of the finest writers of the 20th century. These books provided the foundation of nearly all quality Fantasy/Sc-Fi books and movies for the last 75 years and will continue to inspire writers and moviemakers for a long long time to come.
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Decent first attempt
Baldach10 June 2002
When I saw this movie around 1984 it sparked my interest in the Lord of the Rings series. I thought the drawing were outstanding (the thin lines on the characters shows the animators took the time to get details correct). The songs seemed a bit silly, but I thought the directors were trying to reflect the attidude of the book. Although fans of the book might say the movie had an oversimplifed plot, I thought the directors did an excellent job condensing a 200 page story into an adventuorous hour and half movie.
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A Masterpiece of Animation, Fantasy, and Wonder
jrcarney5210 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great film filled with adventure, excitement, wonder, and, believe it or not, action (it was 1977 and swordfights and stabbing giant spiders was still o.k. for wee folks).

I don't think I need to summarize the widely known plot of The Hobbit, which is very much hewed to by this film. That's perhaps one of the greatest characteristics of this film: its commitment to accurately relating the plot of the novel. I can't think of any glaring revision and only one omission (spoiler: the Beorn episode before Bilbo and the dwarfs enter Mirkwood is left out).

To begin, there's some strange quality about Rankin and Bass's animation style. It has an authenticity, a kind of realism, that other animation styles (say, for example, Disney's style in The Black Cauldron), completely lack. There's a strangeness to the way certain things are drawn. For example, the wood elves. Their legs are really long. They have green skin. Their features are inhuman: wide cheek-bones, flat brows. In juxtaposition to the humans that appear in this film, they look completely different; indeed, they look like a completely different species.

The voice acting, too, is wonderful. John Huston as the voice of Gandalf is absolutely amazing. His smoky, intense voice relates a sense of wisdom and knowledge of other worlds. There's a kind of tone to his expression, a steadiness that makes it seem as if he is reciting his dialog or expressing an incantation as opposed to merely speaking. Usually this would probably be chalked up to bad voice acting, hewing too closely to "reading the script" as opposed to "acting the script". But, for Gandalf, it truly works.

Other memorable voices are Brother Theodore's voice for Gollum. Brother Theodore shows up in a lot of Rankin and Bass's productions. His strained, high accented voice, sounds exotic and otherworldly. And his screaming of, "Baggins! We hates it! Forever!" kind of creeped me out as a kid. I remember him as the assistant, Ruhk, to Mommy Fortuna in Rankin and Bass's famous adaptation of Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn.

The music is worth mentioning. It has a very "1970s folk musicy" feel to it that I love. Many of the songs are adaptations of songs written by Tolkien (lyrics only, of course); and to this day, when I'm reading through The Hobbit, I read the lyrics with those melodies in mind.

A more subtle characteristic endears me to this film: its color palette. I don't know if it's just my old VHS, but there is a subdued quality to the film's color palette. The range of colors is softer, more natural, than, say, the intense variety of a Disney film, even an early one like Snow White. I'm not going to try and explain why, but I prefer this subdued color palette. It truly creates a wonderful effect. An important character in The Hobbit is the wildland itself; and when the large natural vistas are portrayed—forests, river valleys, the desolation of Smaug—their coloring and the fine detail of their rendering makes them feel authentic.

The best compliment I can make of this film is that my wife and I, both adults, fall asleep to this film whenever we've had a stressful day. It's an enduring source of comfort, a true "safety-blanket" of a movie, that, through some strange alchemy of the right style of animation, the right voice actors, and the right music, truly stirs in me a sense of wonder.
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Good adaption, although compact
thrix4 May 2004
'The Hobbit' in its animated shape is what we have to go with until Peter Jackson finishes the LotR prequel (hey, it's bound to happen...), but it doesn't mean all one should do is wait for that occasion. Watch the Rankin-Bass classic!

Rankin-Bass are behind the huge 80's successes 'Thundercats', 'Silverhawks' etc and also shine here with their interpretation of Tolkien's masterpiece. 'The Hobbit' is in this shape more of a family/children's movie than the new Lord of the Rings movies, and its runtime of only 78 minutes makes it feel a little stressed through since the scenes aren't given much time each. But nevertheless, it features good animation, solid voicework and music that is FAR MORE fantasy-like than the more majestic approach in Peter Jackson's movies. See this movie with your children!

Only backdraft I have to say is the runtime. 8/10
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More Than Just a Book-to-Movie
Weasel8424 July 1999
Many Tolkien fans who have written reviews say that this movie has done bad things to the book. They say it oversimplifies it, that it takes out parts that shouldn't've been taken out, that it turns it from a novel for mature readers into a movie for 'kids'. I've read the book, and been watching this movie for many years. I have to disagree that this is a movie just for children-- when I was younger and watched this movie, I did not realize the philosophical lessons present from beginning to end. Bilbo begins his day just like any other day-- he washes his dishes, cleans his hobbit hole, and leaves it to go outside and smoke his pipe. Then, from the suddeness of destiny, his life is changed. He's taken from his quiet home in the Shire, to begin his Greatest Adventure. An adventure that changes him from shy, unsure, afraid, and reluctant, into a confident, wiser, and better man. "The Chances, the Changes, are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break." This happens to all of us in our lives. We leave our happy, unknowing-of-danger homes, and are taken through hard times, until finally, we take those steps into the cave, and we face our fears. "...but to take those last steps. That would be the bravest of all things. Whatever happens afterwards is nothing."

The songs are beautiful, with tunes that will have you humming at work. The song 'The Greatest Adventure', if you listened to carefully, can tell you much about what you will have to do in your own hard times. This is a beautiful, wonderful movie. Not just the animation and the music, but the lesson it can teach.

"So, Mr. Bilbo Baggins... Do you turn back?"
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gazzo-210 November 1999
This was what introduced me to the Lord of the Rings, back in '77, when I was in 6th grade, it got the kids in my class to reading the trilogy and etc. Personally, I was all up for watching this, in the fall of '77, then the local TV station ran something else(MULLIGANS' STEW?!?) in its place. We were crushed in my family. I DID buy the record/sound track instead and listened to it to Death. Loved it-the voices and artwork both.

Didn't actually See this til '85...though had caught parts here and thinking then and now is the same--Rankin-Bass did a fine job with it. Yes its done by Japanese animators, and No it isn't outta Allen Lee or whomever else' kind of drawing. But they stuck some interesting spins on what elves, dwarves, Wizards, Dragons and Hobbits look like, along with trolls and whatever, personally I found it to be interesting.

And how can you knock the voices-I mean-John Huston? Hans Conried, Cyril Ritchard, Theodore Bikel, Richard Boone, Don Messick, Orson Bean-and last but not least-Otto Preminger. Some legends here guys, esp. Otto and JHuston. I loved it! Rankin-Bass did make it more for kids, definately, and took some cuts here and there-Beorn and the Arkenstone bye-bye, for example, and no one is claiming the animation is up to, say, 'Aladdin' standards, but on its own, it works fine.

*** outta ****, pretty good, actually.

And Where is Leonard Maltin's review? somehow he missed this one...
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It's not bad.
whizkids21 June 2004
It's certainly not what PJ could do with the Hobbit, but it certainly is nice. I think it captures the overall story pretty well. In fact, the only real complaint that I have is that sometimes the artistry lacked. OK, so they made everyone but Bard have fat or thin faces with either beaks, rocks, or boulders for noses. But other than that, it's quite enjoyable. Oh, and I was a little disappointed that they didn't have Beorn. But, I stopped crying after the first ten minutes when I realized they skipped him (ha ha).

There are some nice songs in it that kind of help the story along. The Riddles in the Dark part was pretty good too (although, I think they took the description in the Lord of the Rings of Gollum looking like a starved frog a little too far).

While it is a children's cartoon, adults can enjoy this too. If you happen to see it on the shelf of a store, pick it up. You might be surprised by what's in it.
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An Underrated Gem
adlawn16 July 2008
This charming film worked its magic on me many a time when I was a little kid who understood neither its context nor its subtext. At the time I hadn't even heard of The Lord of the Rings, and I hadn't recognized the archetypal nature of Tolkein's universe. The movie was my first brush with elves, dwarfs, goblins, hobbits, and Gollum. I was fascinated. I could sense that The Hobbit was part of something larger, and there was something captivating about its tone from the opening narration.

Recently I revisited the film, and let's just say that I saw it through new eyes. And rather than finding that it merely held up well, I came to appreciate it even more and on multiple levels. I don't care if it abridged or even modified Tolkein's epic; if it's good, it's good. (Consider it "inspired by" the book if you must.) Here's why I give it 9 stars:

1. The voice acting. These are some of the best voices I've heard in English-language animation. It turns out that a few of them are heavy hitters. To me, the standouts are: Gandalf (John Huston), noble, authoritative, and wise; Bilbo (Orson Bean), mellow, gracious, and (more on this later) smooth; and Gollum (Brother Theodore), tortured, twisted, and temperamental. Not a bad use of star power.

2. The fundamental lightheartedness. The film is, of course, meant to appeal primarily to children, and it's a good example of how this can be done without diminishing palatability to adults. Essentially, rather than sacrificing meaningful content, Rankin and Bass only gloss over the _presentation_ of mature elements (danger, fear, violence). For example, when Bilbo defeats the giant spiders, the damage from his dagger thrusts is symbolized by images of the spiders' heads spinning. When he hesitates on the way towards confronting Smaug, we hear of his doubts, but his inner monologue is given a calm and reasonable voice. We know he's thinking (not for the first time on this quest), "I may very well be walking to my death," but why scare the kids by making such realities palpable? Another benefit of the absence of truly dark moments in the film is that the audience is always primed for humor. This comes in handy since the movie has numerous amusing or funny elements, intentional or otherwise. (Try thinking of Gandalf as a benevolent questmaster, for instance. The film lends itself to this "reading" because of his teacherly demeanor and conveniently timed appearances, departures, and revelations -- it's as if he's trying to set the ideal difficulty level for the little guys, or for a good story.) Overall, The Hobbit is a very fun movie. I consider it more of a comedy than anything else.

3. The animation. (Or should I say anime, as it was done in Japan?) While of course dated, it's more quaint than outmoded. There's something charmingly British about it. Maybe the production team based the film's landscapes and character designs on Tolkein's own illustrations. I wouldn't be surprised.

4. The cinematography. The Hobbit shines in this department, too. Two good examples come to mind. First, consider the opening credits. In many movies these are shown at the beginning, superimposed on landscape shots and the like so as not to distract viewers from anything too important. Here Rankin and Bass present the opening credits the night after the first scene, in which Bilbo is enlisted by Gandalf and the dwarfs. The credits provide a transition from night to day and are accompanied by images of Bilbo's uneasy dreams and by the uplifting theme song. The dream sequence is beautifully "shot," and the contrast between it and the inspirational lyrics artfully expresses Bilbo's conflicted attitude towards suddenly leaving his life behind for the promise and peril of adventure. Second, there's the famous riddle scene, in which Bilbo and Gollum try to stump each other. After a couple of exchanges, the camera zooms out and pans around the cavern, and a haunting choral interlude sings one of the riddles and conveys the passage of a considerable amount of time. Then the scene shifts back to the adversaries and their final confrontation.

5. Bilbo Baggins. (Best porn name ever.) Much of the amusement I derive from the film is due to its portrayal of this little big man. In short, he's a badass, and I don't just mean for a hobbit. Despite getting pushed around by the condescending king of the dwarfs, Bilbo takes it in stride and calmly saves them on many an occasion. Like James Bond he confounds his enemies by never losing his cool, and he's got a British accent. Unlike James Bond his enemies include goblins, giant spiders, and a dragon, in addition to crazy Russians (i.e., the hard-drinking and xenophobic wood elves, who have Russianesque accents to boot). One of his best moments is when, after playing along with the riddle game for quite some time, he asks Gollum "what have I got in my pocket?" and pretends to be taken aback when Gollum objects. Bilbo ironically invokes the rules, which are stacked against him but say nothing about what constitutes a legitimate riddle. The name's Baggins. Bilbo Baggins.

6. The songs. These work wonders for the film's tone. Maury Laws wrote some great melodies. Glenn Yarbrough has an ideal voice for the contemplative folk ballads, and various choirs are used to good effect, particularly in the goblin battle chants. Notably, most of the lyrics come directly from poems and songs that Tolkein included in the novel.

I think I've spilled enough ink about a cartoon that you may vaguely remember, if at all, as a cheesy adaptation of a vastly superior book. But hey, I'm trying to convince you otherwise. If you're into this sort of thing, The Hobbit is worth (re)visiting.
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This Movie is Fantastic!
tbone_pearson14 February 2005
I've loved this film ever since I was a kid! The folk music, the creative animation, the AMAZING storyline! The song "The Greatest Adventure" is so darn catchy I hum and sing it for days after watching the film. And Smaug the dragon is a great villain! I would have liked a little more violence (whenever Bilbo stabs someone it does a weird Batman-like pow thing) but it's great for kids. I believe the company who did this one also did the Return of the King cartoon movie which is also quite good and done in the same style of animation. The Ralph Bakshi Lord of the Rings cartoon movie was done in a different style and I wasn't that big of a fan, it started out well but the last 25% was strange (Mixing darkly lit live-action with the animation), it's still worth watching though, there are scenes that are very well done. The Hobbit remains my favorite out of the three cartoon movies done. 10/10
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occupant-119 September 2001
As echoed on my "Lord of the Rings" comment, this production captures a positive aspect of the Tolkien material that I believe is missed by current critics and readers - namely the distant but constant promise of success in the quest. Some midcentury writers remarked of the pre-WW1 buoyancy of society that seemed muffled after years of trench warfare; many have called the late twentieth century an age of cynicism. So contemporary voices demand a dark, violent tint to Tolkien. I think that's out of line with the writer's time and not proper to the material.

Also, the claim that an oversimplification occurs with this production (if it doesn't hinge on the above cynicism) isn't warranted because a 48-or-so minute treatment of a book hundreds of pages long legitimately skips a few things.
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A timeless treasure and beginner's step to Tolkien
bentopluto3 June 2007
My favorite book of all time is "the Hobbit", and I have this film to thank for introducing me to that book. And I can say the same about several other friends from my childhood. It's been said so many times already, but you have to look past the immediate reaction if you're a Peter Jackson created Tolkien fan. THE HOBBIT WAS WRITTEN AS A CHILDREN'S BOOK! A child was the first to review it, and because of his review that the book was published. The songs are amazing and catchy, the animation style is extremely artistic and well done. And Gilliam is just plain creepy and awesome. Critics...go to hell. I don't care if there isn't enough violence, that's not what the book was about. Down to the pipe which nearly reached his neatly brushed toes, this adaptation is absolute magic, and so near total accuracy it does not deserve such violent criticism! I loved it as a kid, and still do.
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Truly a Tolkein Experience for the Whole Family
pyrohtml27 February 2003
For all those Tolkein lovers out there that nick pick about the original cartoons I do agree with you on the animated version of Lord of the Rings and Return of the King. However the Hobbit I think is an excellent movie for the whole family to enjoy. Also an excellent way to introduce children to the world of J.R.R. Tolkein.
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One of the best cartoons out there!
kstoltz744 September 2001
People who claim that this was butchered need to go back and re-read the book. With a few exceptions, the story is completely intact, message and all. The animation is excellent, as are the voices (John Huston as Gandalf and Richard Boone as Smaug was inspired)! Finally, to all the Tolkien afficiandos out there: get over it. Just because Beorn is left out and because Gollum doesn't fit YOUR idea of how he should look doesn't invalidate the movie. Sometimes your devotion to Tolkien is downright creepy!
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smonoco19 March 2006
This film has its good parts and its bad parts. The music really doesn't fit in with the plot and is very un-Tolkien (it might have been O.K. if it was in a different film.)Sméagol-Gollum is basically a frog, and you won't believe this, but he is Green!! Green!?. They also messed up some of the great lines from the book, and the elves don't look to me like tall, perfect, beautiful immortals people, although Elrond isn't done too badly in this film. They did do a good job at setting up The Lord Of The Rings, though. Thorin, also is more-the-less the kind of dwarf I imagined from the book. This film is probably best for the kind of people who aren't Tolkien purists.
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The best adaption of Tolkien's work
ethanmoore9525 July 2009
Of all the film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium, the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit from Rankin/Bass Production (best known for their Christmas specials such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman) is the very best. Despite removing several sequences and subplots, it is extremely faithful to the book. Nothing that wasn't in the novel is added, nothing is altered, and all the songs (with the exception of The Greatest Adventure") are taken straight from the book. The animation is wonderful and has a simple yet elegant quality to it and the film's whole design is gorgeous. But without a doubt, the best part of the film is the cast. Orson Bean, Hans Conried, and particularly John Huston and Brother Theodore as Gandalf and Gollum respectively, are perfect. I can't imagine any other cast. They are the definitive Tolkien voices.

While it isn't perfect, The Hobbit is an excellent film for both children and adults. If you're a fan of Tolkien, fantasy or animation in general, you'll love this film.
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Rankin/Bass takes Tolkien to TV
ja_kitty_7131 May 2009
In 1977, The Hobbit , the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy classic was adapted into this excellent animated feature first broadcast on television by my all-time favorite animation studio - Rankin/Bass.

The studio's regular producer Romeo Muller worked on a script, which is faithful to Tolkien's story; of course some parts were left out. The vocal cast can't be improved upon like Orson Bean is perfect as Bilbo Baggins, the timorous, homebody hobbit who grows brave on his adventure with the wizard Gandalf, voiced by John Huston. Otto Preminger is the voice of the Elvenking of Mirkwood, Richard Boone is Smaug, Hans Conreid is Thorin; I love the talents of Hans Conreid. Brother Theodore is very effective as the weird and creepy Gollum.

I don't favorite a scene (as I said many times), because I love the WHOLE film, and I also would like to say that the voice-casting for the film is top-notch. I love Lester Abrams and Tsuguyuki Kubo's character designs - not many people don't. And I also love Maury Laws' renditions of the book's original songs for the soundtrack.
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Loved IT!
vorlonhomeworld25 June 2007
I remember this movie when it came out on Television!! I love it. Yes, liberties were taken. Just about every book made into a television movie has the same issue. I loved the voices, I liked the music ("Where there's a whip, there is a way!") The movie was an excellent introduction to J.R.R Tolkien. Ralph Baski's version was a very messed up version - THAT's the one you don't want to see! Brother Theodore was perfect as Gollum John Huston rocked as Gandalf I also liked the music (okay, the balladeers voice was a bit annoying!) Good movie overall - might be a bit scary for the young ones tho! "One ring to bind them, one ring to find them, one ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them, in Modor where the shadows lie"
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True to the Spirit
mercuryix30 December 2001
It is heart-warming to see that people are still contributing reviews for this film over 20 years since it first aired on t.v. in 1978. People considering renting it should remember that it was made for television, so don't look for Fantasia-quality animation; however, compared to other animation films I have seen it still looks great, and obviously a labor of love. The stills from certain scenes were so good they printed them as posters, which I kept in my room for a long time. Many characters were dropped out of necessity for television-viewing (it could have easily been as long as the first Ring movie), but the spirit of the book is intact; there is no unecessary carnage or bloodshed, the story is about courage, not violence, and the voice-work is unparalleled. Orson Bean was the perfect choice for Bilbo. If you rent it, watch it with the spirit of a 13 year-old, not the expectations and cynicism of an adult. If you have a 13 year-old who reads, get him a copy of the Hobbit. The film and book are head-and-shoulders above what is presently offered to children on television or in print.

In the context of a television production, eight out of ten stars for me.
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Before Jackson, this was all we had.
Elswet12 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This cheeky animation and its brothers, the Lord of the Rings and Return of the King, were all we Tolkien fans had before Jackson's breathtaking trilogy. While the Hobbit was cheaply animated, colored, conceived, contrived, condensed, and bastardized, it was also a step above nothing.

The story itself, while squeezed into a shoebox when it needed a traveling trunk, was about as inclusive as an animated feature *could* be considering its length. While not entirely faithful to the original work, it gets full marks for trying. It is still an enjoyable visit into the world of Tolkien, and a fantastical introduction to the Hobbits.

Personally, I cannot wait until Peter Jackson gets his mind back to Hobbiton and the Shire. I also fervently hope they do not allow any other director to get their grimy mitts on the Hobbit, and they wait patiently as we fans must.

As far as this movie goes, it will tide you over until Jackson does it better. At least it will introduce younger children to Tolkien without the horror of flying severed heads, man-eating winged demon wyverns, and cannibalism. ;)

It rates a 6.5/10 on the "B" scale.

That's about a 4.8/10 on the "A" scale, from...

the Fiend :.
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Worst cartoon ever?
Fat Dragon23 March 2003
Absolutely everything about this movie is awful. The drawings and animation are terrible. Absolutely terrible. Dull colors, empty backgrounds and generally really poor work. Adding to that is the terrible character designs. The goblins look like toads, Smaug looks like an oversized bat-creature and all the main characters look wrinkled and ugly with strangely shaped eyes, noses etc.

The music is terrible 70s stuff, including some awful folk music they insist on playing all the time. The plot isn't nearly as good as the book, dialogue is so-so and the voice acting is just bad... In short, this movie is an insult to Tolkien's work and an insult to the viewers' good taste. Avoid at all cost!
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" Dear me no, . . Adventures Make One Late For Dinner "
thinker169125 October 2008
From the futile mind of J.R.R.Tolkin comes this incredible tale of a quiet simple creature who lives in 'A Hole in The Ground.' Assembling what may turn out to be the best special collection of voices for a TV movie, Arthur Rankin fitted our fable with an assortment of novel characters for the book. The original title for Tolkin's book was 'There and Back Again, a Hobbits holiday.' For the TV version of same, the title was " The Hobbit." With the voices of Orson Bean as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Boone as Smaug, the late great Hans Conried as Thorin, John Huston as Gandalf the Wondering Wizard, and even Otto Preminger as Elvenking. Other voices add magic to the myth of a group of traveling dwarfs out to recover their ancestral treasure. For their journey, they seek out the services of a professional treasure hunter or 'Burgler.' Here we meet the reclusive Bilbo Baggins who is contracted to help the dwarfs to recover their treasure home. Reluctantly, he joins them against a series of gruesome creatures, from monster spiders, to the great fire breathing dragon, called Smaug. Each miss-steps causes Bilbo to add another chapter to his incredible journey which he will use in his memoirs. This is a wonderful adventure filled story and one which easily become a classic. Great film. ****
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