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The Hobbit VHS cover

The 1977 Rankin/Bass animated film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit".

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A literary classic becomes an animated feature.

  • Jul 28, 2010
It's a pretty decent 70's made-for-TV animation. With only 77 minutes it has just enough entertainment value, but obviously cuts massive amounts of stuff from the book. One scene is completely narrated over to save time. The dwarfs are just background as opposed to characters, they walk around but don't say much. The thing I loved most was the character designs. I really liked the goblins and Gollum's look was interesting. It's a good try and I was pleased with the parts they did, rather than being distracted by the bits they cut.

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July 28, 2010
It did have a "memorable" look-- where the characters drawn over real-life ones as I think was the case with the LotR theatrical version? I saw both but my recall's dim.
More The Hobbit (1977 animated film... reviews
Quick Tip by . September 01, 2011
Yes, it's true that while the Rankin/Bass animated film based on the original version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is rather light family-friendly fare, it is also true that The Hobbit as a novel was fairly light and adventurous in tone. The book wasn't meant to be this colossal epic like The Lord of the Rings. It had humble beginnings and I think the whimsy and modesty of the book comes through in this charming animated film.   This film has often been maligned by Tolkien …
review by . July 12, 2010
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is one of the best known and best loved fantasy book. The Hobbit has been translated into 50 different languages and sold well over 100 million copies. This is a far more light-hearted tale than the Lord of the rings and introduces to the world's readers the unforgettable Bilbo, Gandaff, Gollum. A book that can be enjoyed children and adults alike. This is a truly wonderful book, full of adventure, heroism, song and laughter. The landscapes that Tolkien creates …
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Nathan Forrester ()
Ranked #223
I'm all about technology and random information. My brain is pretty much a warehouse of wildly unrelated facts.
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About this movie


Glenn Yarbrough's Intro Song (original)

The Hobbit is a 1977 animated musical television special created by Rankin/Bass and Topcraft. The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien and was first broadcast on NBC in the United States on Sunday, November 27, 1977, just three days after Thanksgiving.


According to Arthur Rankin, Jr., the visual style of the film took its basic cue from the early illustrations of Arthur Rackham. Rankin further hoped that, with this particular film, he would add nothing to the story that wasn't in the original.[1]

The story's hero, Bilbo Baggins, was voiced by Orson Bean, backed up by John Huston as the voice of Gandalf. Otto Preminger was the voice of the Elvenking, Richard Boone grumbled and bellowed as the dragon Smaug, Cyril Ritchard spoke for Elrond, Hans Conried voiced Thorin Oakenshield, and the comedian and performance artist Brother Theodore was chosen for the voice of Gollum. Rankin-Bass icon Paul Frees co-starred as Bombur; Don Messick portrayed Balin and the Lord of the Eagles; John Stephenson did double voice duty, first as the charming and proud archer Bard; then as Dori, the third major member of Thorin's Company; in addition, they and Jack DeLeon supplied the voices of the eight other members of Thorin's Company as well as the goblins. Thurl Ravenscroft performed the singing voices of the goblins.

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Genre: Family
Release Date: November 27, 1977
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 90 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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"The Hobbit"
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