Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oaken's Twelve: Rankin Bass's Twelve

Only three days to go now. Wellington, branding itself as "The Middle of Middle-Earth" is awash with Hobbit advertising, with toys, window displays, banners and all manner of hoardings proclaiming the up and coming world premiere. No pressure then. In less than seven days all previous versions of The Hobbit's company of Dwarves will be that weaker in influence, so before everything closes in for good, here's a last chance to see the most recent version of The Hobbit done as a feature-length film:

Rankin Bass' 1977 animated TV movie is mostly an unknown quantity to me, but what I have seen I've been surprised to discover I don't mind and in places quite like. Mood-wise it's different from the forthcoming trilogy of course, but it's also distinct from the feel of the book. Most importantly to me, though, where it is faithful is in the portrayal of the Dwarves - or their hoods and colours at least. It's cartoonish, to a fault - Fili and Kili are so young they're babyish, and you should see what they did with Gollum, but you can't blame it for having its own aesthetic. I could hope to have the same continuity of character in my models. So here they are, and let Wednesday's premiere roll on...

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