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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Balancing adult/child appeal in films 2/3
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Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 23 2013, 11:52am

Post #1 of 35 (941 views)
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Balancing adult/child appeal in films 2/3 Can't Post

I've been thinking about this. There is some pretty grim stuff coming up when it comes to Thorin/Bilbo, Thorin/Fili/Kili, etc. Will PJ manage to inject enough humour/pleasant things into the next two films to make them suitable for children? Thorin in the film, with Bilbo and Gandalf, is a favourite character with many it would be horrible if he were made completely unlikeable, or if he were isolated from the rest of the company, etc. He has had enough bad stuff happen to him already in his life.

I also seem to remember from the book that Beorn's race was decimated by the Orcs. I hope we are not going to see flashbacks of loads of bears being killed. Likewise I do not wish to see Eagles killed in BoFA (and I am no child!).


(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Feb 23 2013, 11:53am)


Azaghl
Lorien


Feb 23 2013, 2:28pm

Post #2 of 35 (491 views)
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To be honest I hope not. [In reply to] Can't Post

The story from here on out is pretty grim. Only the stops at Beor and in lake town is a pause from the missery of the company.

If these films want to remembered as fondly as the LotR movies are, they need to tone down the childrens appeal. Ofcourse there will be some goofy jokes and cheap humor, but I hope they change the tone of the movies just as the tone of the story changes.

AUJ is fine as it is but I will be highly dissappointed if they leave out grim stuff just so the children can watch it. If it's really that big a deal they can always watch the movie when they get a little older. :)

I'm sorry the bears and eagles must die! Wink

*Baruk khazd! Khazd ai-mnu!*


Hamfast of Gamwich
Rivendell


Feb 23 2013, 2:48pm

Post #3 of 35 (496 views)
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They didn't struggle with the LOTR films [In reply to] Can't Post

The situation in those was a lot more grim in most cases and they managed to find the balance between humour and seriousness. There is plenty of opportunity for humour coming up is DoS:

- In Beorn's we will get some dwarves fun I imagine.
- Mirkwood won't be too grim as there is all the fun at Bombur's expense to be had.
- The Barrels will also have an element of humour at the dwarves discomfort coming up.
- The Dwarves searching through the treasure will be a fun scene I imagine.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 23 2013, 3:41pm

Post #4 of 35 (448 views)
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Films 2/3 [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The situation in those was a lot more grim in most cases and they managed to find the balance between humour and seriousness. There is plenty of opportunity for humour coming up is DoS:

- In Beorn's we will get some dwarves fun I imagine.
- Mirkwood won't be too grim as there is all the fun at Bombur's expense to be had.
- The Barrels will also have an element of humour at the dwarves discomfort coming up.
- The Dwarves searching through the treasure will be a fun scene I imagine.


Those scenes you mention will help.

In fact, the humour in the LOTR films was pretty poor (in my view), compared with the humour in AUJ, which I found really amusing in places. I don't find the LOTR films, or even the books, particularly grim.

I also didn't feel very much for any of the characters in LOTR (apart from Gandalf), and at the end of their adventure they were all more or less OK. Of the 'goodies' Boromir perished, and I didn't really mind that very much, probably because I'd seen Sean Bean in several TV programmes in the UK, usually playing a villain! Theoden was dispatched, too, but that didn't bother me too much. The most 'moving' death was that of Haldir who shouldn't even have been at Helm's Deep but he was not a major character in LOTR.

In AUJ the acting/portrayal of the three main characters Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf is so good that they have got under my skin, and it could be pretty upsetting when bad things happen. I'm also not sure how general viewers would take a dark story.

The Hobbit is meant to be a lighter story than LOTR, so there should be a fair number of light moments in it.


(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Feb 23 2013, 3:48pm)


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Feb 23 2013, 3:59pm

Post #5 of 35 (441 views)
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Film 3 will be more difficult than film 2 [In reply to] Can't Post

Film 2 will have Beorn, the Barrels out of bond, and the whole Bilbo/Smaug interaction. Film 3 is more problematic. It's the whole Arkenstone/BoT5A, etc scene. the only thing that could be used for humor really is Bilbo's return to The Shire and Lobelia etc. raiding his house. I'm not sure how that's going to work.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 23 2013, 4:33pm

Post #6 of 35 (411 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Film 2 will have Beorn, the Barrels out of bond, and the whole Bilbo/Smaug interaction. Film 3 is more problematic. It's the whole Arkenstone/BoT5A, etc scene. the only thing that could be used for humor really is Bilbo's return to The Shire and Lobelia etc. raiding his house. I'm not sure how that's going to work.


The Shire stuff without the Dwarves and Gandalf is also generally not as interesting (for me) as are the other parts of Middle-earth, although of course the Shire is beautifully portrayed. Perhaps that is because there are no major fine-looking 'heroic' types in the Shire, and all the 'ordinary' Hobbits in general are not as interesting as the human heroes, Elves, Dwarves, wizards, etc.


Kimtc
Rohan


Feb 23 2013, 4:35pm

Post #7 of 35 (430 views)
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Well, they didn't kill the ponies... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's interesting that they will probably follow the book directly in dealing with human death, but they didn't let those cute little horses get eaten by a troll, and just let them run off. People seeing the movie are probably more likely to get upset about that. So I bet the eagles are safe (bears, maybe not so much).

If you think about a lot of kid's books, not just old ones (Grimm tales) but new ones (Harry Potter), they are hardly places of sunshine and lollipops. Lots of nasty things happen. I don't see them toning that down here (except with ponies--and hedgehogs).


In Reply To
I also seem to remember from the book that Beorn's race was decimated by the Orcs. I hope we are not going to see flashbacks of loads of bears being killed. Likewise I do not wish to see Eagles killed in BoFA (and I am no child!).



Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 23 2013, 4:44pm

Post #8 of 35 (410 views)
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That's true, but [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If you think about a lot of kid's books, not just old ones (Grimm tales) but new ones (Harry Potter), they are hardly places of sunshine and lollipops. Lots of nasty things happen. I don't see them toning that down here (except with ponies--and hedgehogs).

In Reply To

Books are one thing, films another. I know that a lot of children's books from the Victorian period have pretty scary illustrations of Goblins and other nasty critters (think Arthur Rackham, for example), and the stories can also be quite scary.

The visual influence is, however, much more powerful in films, and you can't skip pages if you don't like something when watching a film.

I'm glad the ponies did not appear to be killed in AUJ, and I truly hope Beorn's people will not be shown being killed especially not in bear form.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Feb 23 2013, 4:59pm

Post #9 of 35 (407 views)
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Some Thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Ponies do in fact get eaten in TH. Smaug eats most of those brought by the company from Laketown. And he thinks to himself that there is a smell there that he doesn't know.
2. PJ can add bears, but Beorn appears to be the only one of his kind that comes to BoFA. "Beorn came alone and in bear's shape. He had grown huge in his anger and no weapon seemed to bite on him" I don't vouch for the quote as I am doing it from memory.
3. No eagles die in the book so probably not here either.
4. There will probably be some light stuff with Radagast, the elves (remember the drunk guys in the cellars), Barrels out of Bond, perhaps Bilbo's cold (tag you very buch}. Maybe that new character Alfrid is there for humor.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 23 2013, 5:05pm

Post #10 of 35 (394 views)
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With regard to bears [In reply to] Can't Post

I know Beorn was the only one of his race to appear at the BoFA, but from memory there is talk of his race being heavily persecuted by the Orcs. (I hope he is not the only one of his race left.)

I was hoping that PJ does not show a flashback of the Orcs killing Beorn's race in bear form (or really in human form, either).

With regard to horses, as long as one doesn't see (or hear) them being killed, that will be fine.

I'm not sure about the Eagles. They take part in the BoFA and I don't remember the Professor mentioning that any of them were killed, so I hope I don't see any of them die.


(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Feb 23 2013, 5:08pm)


Ceridwen
Registered User

Feb 23 2013, 5:56pm

Post #11 of 35 (399 views)
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It'll get tough, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

(first time poster, so hi to everyone Smile)

I've been wondering about this too. Personally I'm looking forward to things getting tougher, and absolutely trust this cast to nail it. I agree it could be a rough ride for the younger viewers - especially when they start to see the characters they love breaking down. But opportunities for warmth and levity will be taken I'm sure without undermining the storytelling. Of course it's up to us parents to be sensible and not bring the too-little ones with us.

I first saw AUJ with friends and enjoyed it greatly. I'm still impressed I came out of a CGI-heavy film singing the praises of the acting! I returned with a gaggle of 10 - 12 year olds and watching it with them infused a layer of magic which took me by surprise. Yes, they laughed at the bits that had made me roll my eyes, and yes, their favourite character was Sebastian, etc. But they also connected with the characters and the emotional heart of PJ's film. My 10 year old daughter audibly gasped and whispered a shocked 'no' when Bilbo said his piece to Bofur about him not knowing what a home was like. She also made me give her the book, take her a second time, and download the songs - learner-fangirl.

I think a young generation brought up on LOTR, Harry Potter, and now Merlin and it's ilk, can handle a fair bit of darkness and turmoil through this medium. Though possibly not the spiders - eurgh.

I'm looking forward to going on this journey with them.

Of course there will be tears. Lots. Probably mostly from me.


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Feb 23 2013, 6:03pm

Post #12 of 35 (389 views)
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Interpretation... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The Hobbit is meant to be a lighter story than LOTR, so there should be a fair number of light moments in it.


Everyone keeps saying this, presumably because TH is not a "saving the whole world from Doom" tale, but I still say it is just as adult in essence as LotR, even though it is considered a children's book. If it was purely a kids' book then it wouldn't have such enduring appeal to us as adults.
However, the main reason the book is suitable for children is that most of the "nasty stuff" happens off-stage, and is described only in limited terms. This is something that automatically causes problems for a dramatic adaptation, and the director needs to make the decision to go one way or the other right fromt he start. I still think PJ is caught in some indecision on this, and that is one of the things that makes AUJ neither fish nor fowl...

I look at it as the "lightness" coming from the way Tolkien wrote the book: I can imagine TH as being Bilbo's story told in the same way that we saw him regaling the Hobbit children with the Troll scene at his 111th birthday party in FotR. It is Bilbo's lighter version of what really happened - so that is the explanation for why the White Council and Appendices parts are darker when Bilbo is absent from the storyline.

Saying that, I didn't agree with how PJ increased the humour of the Troll sequence, in particular. Surely TH as written has enough lightness without exacerbating it further? And I certainly don't think that the darker parts should be sanitized.


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort






arithmancer
Grey Havens

Feb 23 2013, 6:20pm

Post #13 of 35 (381 views)
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No problem in DoS [In reply to] Can't Post

There are humorous episodes in the book in the parts I expect will be in DoS. It is conceivable Bombur falling asleep and needing to be carried could be played that way. The book escape from the Elves, certainly was, what with the guards being drunk and the Dwarves complaining abou the barrels. The casting of Stephen Fry (to me, anyway, best known for his comic acting) as the Master of Laketown suggests there may be humor in those scenes as well.

It's the third movie where I could see this being more of an issue.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Feb 23 2013, 6:25pm

Post #14 of 35 (369 views)
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I forgot about Bilbo's cold [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope they put it in. That could get dicey but I have no doubt Martin Freeman can pull it off really well.


Owain
Tol Eressea


Feb 23 2013, 7:42pm

Post #15 of 35 (331 views)
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Welcome to tORN, Ceridwen!// [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

"Question everything, embrace the bad, and hold on to the good."


Ceridwen
Registered User

Feb 23 2013, 9:00pm

Post #16 of 35 (319 views)
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Thank you :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 23 2013, 9:17pm

Post #17 of 35 (342 views)
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Well, the book grows darker [In reply to] Can't Post

nearer the end, and I figure the movies will too. By the time the book is at the Bo5A, it has an epic tone similar to that in LOTR, which is in quite a contrast to the lighter tone at the start of the book. I hope PJ follows the spirit of that tone-change. If he does the Bo5A right, then TABA will not be a kids' movie. I'm not really sure how TABA could be done as a kid-friendly movie. Losing Thorin and the princes is going to be distressing enough for grownups, and the violence of the battle should be enough to make the movie questionable for all but the oldest children.

I'd suggest The Hobbit isn't really a children's book by the end, even though children enjoy reading it. My own young boys love the book, but I'm not about to let them watch AUJ -- at least not until we have the DVD and I can fast-forward through lots of parts -- and I seriously doubt they'll be watching any of TABA until they're much older.

As for Beorn's people and Orcs, I remember reading somewhere that they *have* been persecuted by Orcs (in the movie-verse). One or two of Azog's minions appear to be wearing decorations of bear-claws, and I think those are supposed to be taken from slain bears. I doubt we'll see loads of bears being killed, but I expect this subplot will be developed somewhat, probably in order to set up Beorn's passionate hatred for Orcs, which will explain why he appears suddenly and in full battle mode at the end of the Bo5A.


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Feb 23 2013, 10:04pm

Post #18 of 35 (301 views)
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Well, PJ on't be able to resist another opportunity for more snot!! ;-) / / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort






Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 23 2013, 10:05pm

Post #19 of 35 (316 views)
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Welcome, Ceridwen! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice to have you join us. Smile I trust this cast to nail it too. Can't wait.

Love your learner-fangirl daughter. My boys are younger, but they're pretty keen too, if very disappointed that I won't let them see the movie!


Ceridwen
Registered User

Feb 23 2013, 11:08pm

Post #20 of 35 (281 views)
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Thanks for the kind welcome :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 23 2013, 11:24pm

Post #21 of 35 (291 views)
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Welcome to Ceridwen, too, from a comparative newbie [In reply to] Can't Post

I think AUJ is fine for children, you know. There is no visible blood and gore, and the children that have been in the cinema while I've been there have enjoyed it massively (down to playing with mock swords in the aisles at the end of the film). However, BoFA in particular may be another matter with the deaths of much-loved characters it could well turn out darker than LOTR.

Unimpressed


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Feb 23 2013, 11:51pm

Post #22 of 35 (271 views)
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Honestly [In reply to] Can't Post

As much as the book was written for a younger audience, really to me it's not that great for kids under 10. My friend asked me whether she should take her 5 year old and I said no. Not so much for the content, but I just don't think a 5 year old is going to maintain the attention span and follow the story. I really don't.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 23 2013, 11:58pm

Post #23 of 35 (275 views)
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Under tens [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As much as the book was written for a younger audience, really to me it's not that great for kids under 10. My friend asked me whether she should take her 5 year old and I said no. Not so much for the content, but I just don't think a 5 year old is going to maintain the attention span and follow the story. I really don't.


Oh, yes, I absolutely agree with that. The film is not right for children under ten, who wouldn't understand it but children over ten should be fine with it, and enjoy it.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Feb 24 2013, 12:03am

Post #24 of 35 (273 views)
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Yeah very much so [In reply to] Can't Post

And I commend Jackson for keeping the blood etc. to a minimum.


imin
Valinor


Feb 24 2013, 12:42am

Post #25 of 35 (266 views)
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I think they will maintain the humour [In reply to] Can't Post

whilst trying to make the tone more serious as the movies progress.

Personally i really don't like PJ's humour so i doubt i will like the next two films attempts at humour but it needs to be there for the kids and its good for anyone whose sense of humour matches to PJ's.

Any kid around the age the movie is rated at should be fine and parents know what their kids are like. Some are older than their years, others are younger.

I don't think book Thorin went totally horrible and i always have liked him as a character so although he may 'fall' some will still like him, others will not.

After having just watched 29 episodes of The Walking Dead back to back - partner is ill! I feel i have a high tolerance to gruesome scenes - i actually like watching them so would think it kinda cool to see some orc's get their heads crushed, limbs cut off etc but obviously that could scar kids for life! Save that for the HBO tv series dramatization of the books, lol.


(This post was edited by imin on Feb 24 2013, 12:42am)

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