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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Another look at Radagast's bunny sled
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irodino
Bree


Dec 29 2012, 11:29am

Post #1 of 43 (1365 views)
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Another look at Radagast's bunny sled Can't Post

I believe most of us agree the sled is over the top, and one of the less desirable changes PJ made, but as a fan who waited this long I have to find a way to explain it away, and make it work. And if you think a bit more, past the 'impossible physics' issue, you can explain it in a way that is consistent with the LOTR movies and even the books.

Yes, his bunny sled moves in ways that completely defy logic and all physics, however.. we seem to completely forget one crucial thing. Radagast is a Wizad.. and as such it is not so farfetched to think he uses his powers to make the sled work the way it works, and effortlessly glide through the forest and over rocky terrain? Not at all.

I mean, why does the Balrog and Gandalf scene work, where they fall down and fight? A mere human body would never survive this, but we know that Gandalf is not a Man but a Maya in human form, using his powers during this epic fall. And it works. Or how about the Lothlorien cloaks that, defying all physics and chemistry, make you look like a stone if you hide under them? How is that any different from the bunny sled of Radagast? It is the same, because it is the craft of the Elves, that allows for this unnatural effect to happen.

To sum it up, I'm of course not defending PJ for inserting the sled into the story, however since it's already in it, then my way of explaining it away and making it work, for myself, is the magic powers of Radagast. After all he is a bit weird, not all up there. Saruman displays his powers by closing doors, throwing Gandalf around, summoning a storm and casting fireballs, Gandalf lights the way with his staff, creates shockwaves and beams of light, and Radagast.. well he can cure animals, defeat ghosts and drive on his magical bunny sled. Silly? Perhaps, but he is meant as a funny character, and nothing he does is impossible, for an Istari.

At least this point is cleared up. Now I need something to explain Azog away Tongue

"The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that terrible in-between."


RalphDamiani
Rivendell

Dec 29 2012, 11:40am

Post #2 of 43 (574 views)
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You're pushing it :) [In reply to] Can't Post

We're prepared to accept impossible physics whenever the scene looks great -and- serves a purpose. Gandalf fighting the Balrog is epic, Gandalf doing the same amount of falling in Goblintown looked like slapstick comedy.

It wasn't necessary to show he is a maia there, and if it was, he would be lessened by the fact everybody else fell from the same height.

The same applies to the bunny sled. They were not designed to portray Radagast as someone above human. They're just a novelty when he could just as easily ride a horse. How much better his scenes would have been? And cheaper too!

We're prepare to let go of logic and common sense when something actually serves a purpose in the story. Eyecandy just for the sake eyecandy is poor storytelling. The same can be said of some of the silly modern gags in the movie...they take you away from that beautiful universe.


(This post was edited by RalphDamiani on Dec 29 2012, 11:41am)


jtarkey
Rohan


Dec 29 2012, 11:53am

Post #3 of 43 (576 views)
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Radagast could have been handled soooo much better [In reply to] Can't Post

He was always so awesome and enigmatic in the text. In the film, you kind of say to yourself "no wonder nobody respects this guy".

I wish he could have been a darker, magical figure. Instead of an aloof, and squeaky goof.

I do love that he eats mushrooms and smokes "tobacco" thoughWink

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


RalphDamiani
Rivendell

Dec 29 2012, 12:07pm

Post #4 of 43 (540 views)
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I liked the trading card much better [In reply to] Can't Post

He looked like Gandalf, but different enough. Respectable and yet had a jolly Tom Bombadil appeal.

http://img.geocaching.com/...3bd-8c6e81e1218d.jpg

Sylvester McCoy brings too much of his exotic persona with his acting. He was clearly brought aboard to give the film some of the book's goofiness, clearly aimed to please the younger fans.

I don't mind some of his Disneyesque personality, but there is just too much of it.


herzogian
Bree

Dec 29 2012, 12:08pm

Post #5 of 43 (519 views)
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Maya/maia [In reply to] Can't Post

So, Gandalf predicted the end of the world on 12/12/12. Yeah, i know i'm being a niggler. Nevertheless, watch your Tolkienspelling young man!


(This post was edited by herzogian on Dec 29 2012, 12:11pm)


Arannir
Valinor

Dec 29 2012, 12:49pm

Post #6 of 43 (473 views)
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Hmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I have to say that I adored the sled. IMHO it worked perfectly within the world of the Hobbit and wondered for a while whether this might actually have been mentioned by Tolkien somewhere.

I also think that his more goofy moments work because they were mixed with scenes in which he shows his deep care for nature (Sebastian) as well as moments in which he gets a bit more of the Istari-vibe (telling Gandalf about Dol Guldur).


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 1:02pm

Post #7 of 43 (485 views)
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haha, I think we don't -need- to rationalise it. That's my argument. [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean of course, explaining why things work in PJ-verse sometimes can get you no where IMO. Just accept it. (Though you don't have to like it haha Wink)
I don't mind the bunny-sled at all. Quirky-wackiness for the win; aaaand it is abounds in the film to be frankly honest.

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
__________________________________________

Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
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Ruxendil_Thoorg
Grey Havens


Dec 29 2012, 1:43pm

Post #8 of 43 (456 views)
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Hoversleigh! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know Raddy's sleigh has been a point of contention, but for my two viewings of the movie I didn't think much of it. I may have been somewhat surprised that its runners could glide over rough terrain the way it did. Usually it would only do that over snow? But if the runners were levitating, kinda like how superconductors work, or like a hovercraft, then that would explain it, yes? The runners might be permanently suspended just slightly over the ground. Like you said, Raddy is a Wizard. And like you said, other Wizards have been shown to have telekinetic abilities. So, why not.

(Anyone want to take bets on whether the sleigh will be shown in the later movies as being able to fly? "On Bugs! On Brer! On Roger! On Jessica!" etc.) Wink

As for Azog, I'm going with the theory that he had been missing for so long because he was actually dead, but was recently raised from the dead by the Necromancer. One bit of evidence for an Azog-Necromancer connection is at the Into the Fire confrontation scene between Thorin and Azog. The evidence I'm referring to is the fact that the Nazgul theme was chosen as the soundtrack for that scene. Makes it obvious doesn't it?

A bag is like a hole that you can carry with you.

http://newboards.theonering.net/...forum_view_expanded;


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 29 2012, 3:03pm

Post #9 of 43 (509 views)
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Actually, it may not be so "over the top". [In reply to] Can't Post

Take a read through swordwhale's analysis of it (the link can also be found in his post here).

It's quite an eye-opener when professionals in certain areas weigh in on these things! Smile

And you're right that it's not too far-fetched to consider a Maia using a means of conveyance such as this, as Darkstone explained a while back in his post here.

Personally? I love that sled!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 29 2012, 3:30pm

Post #10 of 43 (398 views)
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It didn't bother me too much, surprisingly. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just another stupid little thing that i guess amuses PJ, but not many others. I rank it somewhere between Legolas mounting the horse in TTT (improbable but cool) and Legolas vs. the mumakil in RotK (impossible and stupid looking).

And it's one thing for Gandalf to survive an enormous fall into water due to his being a Maia and having a constitution beyond that of mortal man, and Radagast somehow making his sled defy physics enough to quickly travel over hundreds of miles of tangled forest and craggy mountains, or make hairpin turns to outrun a pack of wargs.


(This post was edited by sauget.diblosio on Dec 29 2012, 3:33pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Dec 29 2012, 4:27pm

Post #11 of 43 (374 views)
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thanks for the links... [In reply to] Can't Post

It didn't bother me at all, either. If one accepts the 'universe' that the Hobbit book is set in, one where there are shapechangers, and animals serving tea, and crows that not only talk but give advice... then why not accept a bunny sled? I don't know.. it doesn't seem like that great a leap at all.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 29 2012, 4:35pm

Post #12 of 43 (376 views)
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I surprised myself [In reply to] Can't Post

And loved the bunny sled! I thought it was going to be stupid, but I genuinely enjoyed it.

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 29 2012, 4:39pm

Post #13 of 43 (376 views)
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I found it hilarious! [In reply to] Can't Post

And the audience I was with seemed to as well, judging from the laughter as Radagast careened over the landscape with wargs in tow--classic dog-chases-rabbit.

Another thing that crossed my mind, reading the comments and reviews about silly Dwarves and exaggerated Orcs (mainly Azog and the Great goblin); the OTT stone giants, etc.
This is Bilbo's story, written from his perspective, and I keep that in mind watching the movie. Many things are new to him from his prosperous sheltered point of view, and therefore have an exaggerated quality to them. It's too bad that many of the critics can't keep that in mind when watching and writing their reviews, expecting a "Lord of the Rings" type movie.

In My Most Humble Opinion.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Dec 29 2012, 5:59pm

Post #14 of 43 (363 views)
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BUT LOOK AT ALL THOSE CUTE BUNNIES! [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked both the bunny sled and Radagast!
Amazing character, and really funny and enjoyable way of travelling around Wink
Riding a horse is getting old...

Vocalist in the semi-progressive metal band Arctic Eclipse


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 8:02pm

Post #15 of 43 (327 views)
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a musher explains how to make your own... [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.swordwhale.com/...sts-rabbit-ride.html

With pics and random mushing info....

Go outside and play...


Magpie
Immortal


Dec 29 2012, 8:14pm

Post #16 of 43 (280 views)
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*taps swordwhale on the shoulder* [In reply to] Can't Post

dernwyn posted a link to your article in her post in this thread. Not that you can't post it again. It was a great read. :-)


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
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sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 29 2012, 8:17pm

Post #17 of 43 (289 views)
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I actually kinda liked the rabbit sled [In reply to] Can't Post

(improbable as it is), and the giant bunnies were well done and funny. It's just that the warg chase was a bit much, and looked kinda dumb.


(This post was edited by sauget.diblosio on Dec 29 2012, 8:19pm)


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 8:50pm

Post #18 of 43 (390 views)
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mush those bunnies... a recreational musher looks at Radagast's Rhosgobel Rabbits [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been mushing dogs, not rabbits, for a bit more than a decade, and the first glimpses of the bunny sled made me howl... with laughter... and amazement... and merriment.

A. logical way to move through a forest. Wheels would catch, bog and break... runners slide out over stuff. there are pics in our family of my dad's family moving earth and rock with a mule and a stone sledge (how Dwarvish!)... not a cart. The gangline hitch (like a pinnate leaf... one long line with shorter "tugs" coming off of it) is designed for narrow twisty trails. In the open reaches of the arctic, Natives use a fan hitch (like a palmate leaf), each dog on its own line attached to the sled. Radagast is using a gangline. The brush bow (at the bow or front of the sled) is pronouned like the thing Kili and Legolas shoot. The bow or front of the sled is pronounced like what Kili and Fili do when they arrive at Bilbo's. The bow is designed to shed brush and obstacles; the sled kind of slides or bounces off them. Or, with an overly enthusiastic team, like my friend's, crashes into trees and breaks your face. And you end up in the ER with a nurse going, "... did someone hit you?" (yeah, an ent).

Goober: Radagast has his gangline attached to his brush bow. ShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShocked This is a sure way to have your superpowered Rhosgobel Rabbits pull your sled apart. The gangline is attached by way of a network of rope, called a bridle, to every upright "stanchion" on the sled, spreading out the stress.

B. Wizard spit. A good team (say, the average Iditarod team of 16 dogs, weighing 40 to 70 pounds) can pull a sled over grass, turf, tussocks, debris. The Burn, on the Iditarod Trail, is notorious for not having much or any snow cover. Loaded Iditarod sleds traverse it all the time. A smaller team can pull a sled over frost. Let's assume some sort of Wizard spit on the runners. If you watch a film called Fast Runner (done by a Native Canadian tribe), you'll see, in the beginning of the film, a guy slicking his runners with ice... he is spitting water out of his mouth (warming it) onto a fur to rub on the runners.

C. The sled dog is the strongest draft animal on earth. I did a kids' program on sleddogs, and forget the exact percentage, but 1000 pounds of sleddogs is far more powerful than 1000 pounds of horse. I don't know about bunnies. But those are Rhosgobel rabbits.

D. The Hobbit was a read-aloud tale in the ancient oral tradition. It's much less serious than LOTR. There's lots of room for quirkiness. I quite like the quirkiness. Some may differ on that subject. Bofur's hat is the coolest... Radagast's resembles it, but with the earflaps tucked up like ears (appropriate for an animal protecting wizard). Both hats resemble something a Yukon musher would be wearing.

E. Radagast is not riding the runners like a modern musher. He's standing on a platform... his sled seems to be more like the sort of sleds I saw in Fast Runner, a platform with runners.... you'd run with your dogs, or jump on and sit on the sled with your hunting gear or the dead seal... Radagast does have a driving bow on his sled, and is leaning and swerving much like I would expect. A sled doesn't steer: you kind of launch it around with your body language and your dogs, or bunnies, pull it around corners. This is why your strongest dogs are the wheel dogs, right in front of the sled... they have to haul the darn thing around corners. A sled is also quite flexible; it's like being on skis with a handle. Radagast's platform thingie would cut down the flexibility of his sled.

F. Watch some sprint racing mushing videos, or ski-joring. It's terrifying. Dogs and mushers at full speed. If you are running on a not-flat trail, there is lots of leaping and crouching and swerving and general mayhem.

G. Sled dogs run in a team, following each other, because they still have the wolvish instinct to run and hunt in a pack. Rabbits zig and zag to avoid predators, and run in all directions at once. OK, those are Rhosgobel Rabbits.

Radagast is using some random sort of harness that looks more like what I'd use to walk my dog, rather than a sledding harness. (at least, as far as I can tell in HFR). The X-back or siwash is the standard for today's musher, though there are lots of other designs, including the "how we won Alaska" horse-collar style of the 1800's. The siwash is one piece without buckles or adjustments: easy to make if you are a hermit living in the woods with no forge or Dwarves nearby. I have used a walking harness on the Hobbit Husky (Max the Schipperke, all of 16 pounds) because I did not yet have an X-back for him. It worked, but he was mostly just trotting along with the big dogs, not pulling hard.

There is a toy poodle under ten pounds who has set weight pulling records; look up Maddie the Weight Pulling Poodle on Youtube... (she uses a special weight pulling harness).

H. Some mushers in Alaska used freighting sleds with a gee-pole. They would ski or snowshoe in front of the sled (behind the dogs) using this "bowsprit" to guide the sled. This was done at slow speeds, not with wargs chasing your butt.

I. Radagast appears to not have brakes. Crap. Holycrappoly. ShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShocked (There is a claw beneath a sled, which you step on to stop as you shriek whoa!, which the dogs are ignoring. There is also, often a piece of, ironically, snowmobile track dangling between your runners... you step on this to slow the team down. You can also just throw the whole sled over on its side to stop... mostly stop... depending on how big your team is. You set a snowhook when you get off the sled (like an anchor). Radagast doesn't have one of those either. Which is why I was howling when the bunnies take off and he is running to catch up to the sled.

Been there, done that. Which Is why I run with a safety line attached to my leaders. And a quick release.

Radagast in front of a pack of sprint racers or ski-jorers.... now there's a thought... speed records would be set.

You do not say mush. Ever. It comes from some French word and is descriptive of moving down a trail. You say "hike" to go, "gee" to turn right, "haw" to turn left, and "whoa" to stop. Then you converse like a mariner because your dogs are not stopping...

On-by, and ON-BY!!! (expletive deleted) are used when Radagast passes you on the trail and your dogs attempt to eat the rabbits...

Go outside and play...


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 29 2012, 8:58pm

Post #19 of 43 (256 views)
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That was awesome. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Kimtc
Rohan

Dec 29 2012, 9:30pm

Post #20 of 43 (238 views)
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Me, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought it was kind of cool and cinematic, and added more fairy tale to the movie. The audience seemed to love it, too.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 29 2012, 9:47pm

Post #21 of 43 (231 views)
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Great post! [In reply to] Can't Post

I learned a lot about mushing I never knew before.

I'd been wary of the bunny sled since hearing about it, but I thought it was actually one of the highlights of the film. It was silly and quirky in exactly the way the book is, IMO. It was out there, but grounded in reality (and it didn't stoop to stupid jokes about bodily functions).

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!


GoodGuyA
Lorien

Dec 29 2012, 9:57pm

Post #22 of 43 (215 views)
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You can't look at things as 'mystical' when they are never defined as such [In reply to] Can't Post

What we know, as an audience, looking at the sled is that our minds are literally weighing it as we watch. We can come up with an approximate size and heft based on reference, with no reason to believe that it's augmented. I, in fact, didn't have a problem with the earlier scenes it was in. The very heavy clunking of it through Mirkwood and the curving drawl of it after Dol Goldur did not defy my expectations.

When we got to the field though, everything got torn apart. Not only did the scenes from Radagast's perspective seem entirely fake in numerous ways, but the separation between the actual heroes and the action was so clearly drawn that it was impossible to believe that one event was really effecting the other. Add on top of that the sled was moving in NO WAY like we'd seen it before, and that took me right out of it all. The whole thing would have been better if it wasn't a showcase of Straith Taere (sp?) which did not serve a cinematic purpose even though PJ might have liked it. The sled as a rough terrain device worked fine, but leaving the woods you realize how misplaced it is in everything. It does not serve some fairy tale aesthetic, it is just ludicrous.


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 29 2012, 10:10pm

Post #23 of 43 (216 views)
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No, this is a different article... [In reply to] Can't Post

A newer one! Smile

This one is all about how to make your own...and then some! Laugh


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 29 2012, 10:14pm

Post #24 of 43 (218 views)
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*mods up* Wizard spit! [In reply to] Can't Post

Appropriate headgear, and no brakes! This is fantastic, swordwhale, now I love that "bunny sled" more than ever! Laugh


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 29 2012, 10:20pm

Post #25 of 43 (208 views)
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Awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I like the Legolas figure, to give your sled scale. What a great miniature!

At first, I thought it was my cat you'd put that harness on...Laugh I find it fascinating that your little guy has the strength to keep up with the other dogs. Amazing what one learns, thank you! Smile


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"





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