DO NOT BUY THIS DVD!!!
thegolddalek | 09/18/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have grown up with this story of The Hobbit, its one of my favorites. I have always had this movie in my collection and know the lines by heart. I have bought this DVD and the DVD stinks! Warner Brothers ruined this story on DVD. How? The sound was re-mastered for the DVD and there are sound effects MISSING! They used an old copy of the soundtrack that was used on a four record set that issued in 1978. If you want the complete soundtrack I recomend you buy the VHS tape. (The older the copy the better) They have also added new sound effects and lines that are NOT in the the original soundtrack! There are also problems with their DVD's of The Lord of the Rings and The Return of the King. (See my reviews for those DVDs under there listings) If Waner Brothers really cares they will re-issue These 3 DVDs after correcting their problems. ~Rob~"
Here down in the valley
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 11/23/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Currently Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's first novel, "The Hobbit" is mired down in pre-production problems. But while you wait for Middle-Earth to come to life on the silver screen, it's worth checking out Rankin-Bass' "The Hobbit," an animated kids' movie that is a fairly pleasant, moderately faithful adaptation.
Bilbo Baggins is a mild-mannered little hobbit living unobtrusively in Bag End, a conventional hobbit-hole in the comfortably boring Shire. His life is abruptly turned upside-down when the mysterious wizard Gandalf arrives, along with thirteen dwarves (who proceed to take over Bilbo's home). That evening, they reveal their reason for coming: They are seeking a "burglar" to help them retake back Lonely Mountain, a dwarf stronghold taken over by the dragon Smaug.
Whether he likes it or not, Bilbo soon ends up the burglar, and is dragged into elf palaces, goblin traps and even a fateful meeting with the grotesque froglike Gollum. The dangerous road ahead of him draws out reserves of courage and intelligence that few knew he had -- but the greatest danger comes not only from Smaug, but from the armies that congregate near his mountain.
First off: This is only a moderately faithful adaptation of Tolkien's books -- most of the essentials are here, but quite a few things are missing, including any dwarves or elves other than Elrond and the thirteen guys following Bilbo. There are some vague mentions of a dwarf army arriving and some random singing voices outside Elrond's house, but nothing more than that.
But it has the essentials -- goblins, eagles, hobbits, mountains of treasure, elves of various stripes, the grey wizard Gandalf and a town of men living on a stilted lake town. And there's plenty of humor ("MY ARMS!") and quite a few battle scenes (which are marred by weird facial expression and schizophrenic spinning), and a truly lovely scene where Smaug starts visiting destruction on what he believes is his enemies.
On the other hand, we are also treated to the weird sight of the Elf-King, Bard, and Thorin all gushing over each other, ten seconds after they were trying to kill each other. As for the animation, it's a mixed bag -- the dwarves, Gandalf, Gollum and Bilbo are all animated nicely, and there are some truly beautiful backdrops for the action (the Misty Mountain, Laketown, Hobbiton, even Mirkwood)... but the wood-elves look like distended Yodas.
However, the sound is TERRIBLE. They have cleaned it up in places, but in other areas they have inserted gratuitous screams and mutters. They have also pulled out sounds: barrels rolling, arrows striking, Smaug roaring and breathing fire, the dwarves wailing from inside their barrels, the clash of gates - you get the idea. It's little details that makes it feel more real, but these are all removed -- and there's an annoying crackling sound that pops up every now and then.
Until the live-action adaptations of "The Hobbit" comes out, we'll have to be content with the animated version -- it has some flaws, but it's an entertaining little story by itself."
E. A Solinas | 03/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Hobbit" is a great animated movie for the entire family. It is filled with adventure, fantasy, and fun. There are a lot of fantasy characters brought to life from the author J.R.R. Tolkiens book "The Hobbit Or There And Back Again" which I have read. And those fantasy characters are: trolls, goblins, a terrible creature named Gollum, a dragon, a hobbit, a wizard, and dwarves. Some reviewers on this site are complaining about sound problems with the DVD version of "The Hobbit" and I totally beleive them because I own "The Hobbit" animated movie on both VHS and DVD. Well guess what? I happen to own the 1996 VHS version of "The Hobbit", and I have noticed that even the new 2001 VHS version also has sound problems too because I have watched the new 2001 VHS version with my friend, who owns it, at his house. Oh well, I guess that is just the way things are in the world. But the sound problems with the DVD and new 2001 versions of "The Hobbit" animated movie are not all that bad. All it is is that some sound effects from the older versions of "The Hobbit" have been cut out. It doesn't bother me much. All in all "The Hobbit" animated movie is a great classic for the entire family. I highly recommend you buy this movie for VHS or DVD if you are a "Lord Of The Rings" book or movie fan because "The Hobbit", as you probably know is a prequal to "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy."