The 1977 Rankin/Bass animated film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit".
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. … see full wiki
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 scholars and hardcore fans of the novel for abridging the story and leaving out key characters and events. There are some who accused the film of being "too cute", of being "Disney-fied", others complain about the use of contemporary folk music in the soundtrack ,or say that the animation style was too "Japansese-y".
Personally, I think that the film does succeed as an adaptation of a children's book as it does appeal to children and it does keep all of the major characters (except Beorn) and themes from the novel intact. As a musical fantasy, I think the film works well within both genres, and it's especially good considering that it was a made-for-TV film. The animation is certainly of a very high quality. The music, while anachronistic, helps to set the mood for the film and truly the songs are very good. Beorn's absence from the story was a shame, but I can see the logistical reasons for leaving him out (not dissimilar to leaving Tom Bombadil out of LotR). The depiction of Smaug is quite memorable and iconic too. I also love the voice casting here. Orson Bean makes a terrific Bilbo and John Huston is beyond superb as Gandalf.
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