Tolkien had resented Rayner Unwin's estimation that The Hobbit should appeal to children aged 5-9, saying it was more appropriate for 10-12 year olds. The novel has macabre interludes and obviously, at the end, adventure gives way so sullen politics and greed, and eventually to the death of several main characters.
That may well be so. However, Tolkien also in a letter lamented some of the more twee elements of his book and might have toned them down if he had it to do over.
By contrast, Rankin/Bass were so worried about showing violence in their TV special: you can see it in the awful cuts when Bilbo is hacking at the spiders, or at how Glamdring flies around and seems to repel the Great Goblin rather than injure him. Of course, their solution to the climactic battle, too, was to cut away to a wideshot, all while the main character performs an act of desertion and takes a nap! Its the same with their Return of the King, for the most part.
I harp on this because, even in an animated kids film, I think the ones that stick out for kids are the ones that don't pull punches: e.g. The Lion King and some of the better vintage Disney works and, nowadays, Pixar.
Oh, I wholeheartedly agree!
Not quite. It was a cannibalization of a feature-length animated film made in 1967 when time was running out on the lease to the rights. But I doubt you would have enjoyed an unabridged version, because some of the changes present in the short (namely, having a princess join the quest and marry Bilbo) were still present.
That may be correct, but, to the best of my knowledge, the feature-length version was never completed. And I'm sure that I would have hated it. I never much liked Gene Deitch's Tom & Jerry shorts either.
(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 17, 3:03pm)