OK, this is kind of sort of weird … yet oddly charming. And apparently has been lost to the world up until a few days ago.
Click on this link and you will see the original first-ever screen adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s classic “The Hobbit” … in all of 12 minutes.
I’m late to the party on this and don’t know all of the details, but apparently this tiny animated film was made in 1966 with the sole purpose of keeping the film rights to “The Lord of the Rings.” The contract was running out, but one loophole would allow the producer to keep the rights as long as they produced a full color version of “The Hobbit” by June 30, 1966. But it never indicated how long it needed to be … and after one month he whipped out this 12-minute epic. Check out the story HERE, also HERE.
If you are familiar with the characters and plot of “The Hobbit”, this will feel like sticking your toes into a very cold pool of water. At first it just feels wrong and uncomfortable, but you slowly get into it and warm to it. There are no dwarves, no elves, no goblins … but hey, there is a princess. And Bilbo falls in love with her? What? Typical Hollywood … they completely ignore the integrity of the source material and shove sex into the story in order to sell more tickets.
It’s also funny how some names are correct — such as “Gandalf” and “Mirkwood”, but other names are completely changed for no obvious reason. Such as the dragon Smaug renamed “Slag” and Smeagol is now “Goloom.”
Anyway, get ready to be charmed or completely pissed off. I dare Peter Jackson to do better.