Jan 30 2013, 9:02am
I thought it's time to give this cover some thought.
Hobbit BluRay cover design analysis
First of all, the reason why I believe it's in fact legit (and not fake, as TORN supposes) is that we never have seen this design yet. Fake covers don't come from nowhere: they use stuff already published. This one wasn't. Also, Blu-ray.com never uses fan art, only the real stuff it gets from the distributors (it might be TBA like the other two Hobbit covers with Beorn - but they got them from WB nevertheless).
But as for the other aspects of the cover, it's rather interesting.
Instead of featuring some conventional tower-of-heads, it contains a complete scene. And while the TORN editor thinks it "isn’t a powerful 'buy me' image from the movie" I think it's rather effective in its being a "scene" instead of just "some character" or "a pile of heads". Come on, Bilbo-with-Sting ain't DVD cover stuff. It is hardly theatrical poster stuff, for that matter. But this image, in a kind, buys it for me. It has drama, it has movement and it does not look fake.
The scene, while not present anywhere in the course of the movie, is a symbol for the journey East (movement from left to right), towards some danger. All of the characters are standing on a ledge, which would symbolize the look eastwards at the end of AUJ from the Carrock but has been obviously shifted to Misty Mountains for symbolic and design purposes (also, note the mist in the mountains as a hint to location). Also, it's obviously not after "Under Hill", as Bilbo has all his buttons yet. Anyway, Bilbo as the hero has just the right amount of space on this image, with the other two characters, Thorin and Gandalf close behind. Gandalf is even put somewhat in the center of the image, but manages not to "steal the show" from Bilbo: both his stature and his placement show that he's the character in the background.
Thorin is also featured prominently, however, I think his compositing is somewhat sub-optimal in terms of lighting - he looks like he's entirely elsewhere.
Of the other 12 dwarves, only 5 have been selected for the cover. Obviously, Kili as the Sexy Dwarf™ who is just behind Gandalf and in front of everybody else. Then, we have Dwalin who's the rather masculine end of the bunch. Then, a little head of Fili (the other young dwarf), then, strangely, Nori (who isn't prominent in the film at all - my congrats to Jed Brophy for making it on the DVD cover!) and, finally, Ori. These two, I think, represent the more "weird" aspect of the dwarves' design. Also, we might say that 3 of the featured dwarves are rather young - so they were chosen for their appeal to the audiences. No fat or old dwarves made it to the cover. :)
The basic color tone of the motive is muted, with gray, blue and brown hues, really reminding of the muted tones familiar from LOTR. However, while the sky is a bit clouded, it also has some light to it, which somehow makes the dramatic impact of the poster more light-hearted and easy.
The only issue I have with this artwork is that the inscription "FROM THE DIRECTOR..." is written in a far too small font size. It would look good on a theatrical poster but for a DVD artwork, it's rather tiny. The "An Unexpected Journey" subtitles, for instance, has been resized to match for cover design purposes (it was enlarged and letter kerning was reduced as compared to the theatrical poster).
What do you think?
Russian LotR/Hobbit Site:
Henneth-annun.ru - the Russian LOTR site
(This post was edited by TheHutt on Jan 30 2013, 9:06am)