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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
**In the beginning was the Rankin Bass Hobbit, Part 9 -- A king, a door, and a guy you can't see..."**


Sep 25 2012, 2:58am

Post #1 of 4 (1041 views)
**In the beginning was the Rankin Bass Hobbit, Part 9 -- A king, a door, and a guy you can't see..."** Can't Post

Welcome to another installment of this very irregular series in which I'm posting images from the Rankin Bass Hobbit (in the case the Soundtrack Booklet for it!) as an opportunity for discussion...

We're up to Part 9, and here are today's images:

1) The Elven King...

2. The Door and the Key...

3. Invisible Bilbo Engages in Smaug-Talk...

And here are a few starting questions for discussion, for those so inclined!

1. What do you prefer -- a "woody", smallish Elven King like this or Jackson's version, who promises to be tall, thin, and very well-groomed? Or do you have another vision of the Elven King in mind? What elements do they have to get right, for you, for the Elven King to be an acceptable adaptation of the character Tolkien wrote?

2. In LOTR, we have the moonlight and password trick to open the door; now we're going to have the moonlight and key trick. How many other Hobbit scenes can you think of that are similar to moments in LOTR? What would you do, if you were the film maker, to give those scenes a fresh look and not look like a rehash of something you did when you made LOTR?

3. In LOTR, Bilbo and Frodo are never invisible for very long -- in the Hobbit, Bilbo is invisible for long stretches where a lot of action occurs. Rankin Bass gave us this shadowy sort of effect; Jackson has the hobbits disappear entirely, and then shows us how things look to them once they have the Ring on. Did you like the Rankin Bass solution for helping us to see what we can't be seen? Do you suppose Jackson will take us into the Wraith world in the Hobbit, like he did in LOTR, for the invisible scenes - and how might that work if he does? And just how does one deal with an invisible character in a visual medium?

4. Other thoughts or comments on these three R/B images? Share them here!



Sep 25 2012, 4:52am

Post #2 of 4 (406 views)
Here are my thoughts... [In reply to] Can't Post

I never liked the way Rankin & Bass envisaged the Elves of Mirkwood...it was a bit too ridiculous. I've always been very happy with the way PJ & Co visualised the Elves in general, & I'm stoked about how Lee Pace looks as Thranduil.

Re: the invisibility issue, I reckon we might see a toned-down version of the wraith world in which the differences between it & the real world are much less pronounced but still apparent (with a subtle sinisterness surrounding the scenes in which Bilbo has the Ring on).


Sep 27 2012, 2:02pm

Post #3 of 4 (111 views)
Sit up straight! [In reply to] Can't Post

1) The R/B version of the Elven King looks like a slouch - a very unkingly appearance even if he is relaxing in his hall. I suspect he should be tall - at least as tall as Legolas was portrayed. His crown, to me, should be faithful to the book; there's really no reason not to do this. That and the tone he takes with the dwarves. Highly suspect and quite willing to throw them in the dungeons for however long it takes. Then he motions for his minstrels to entertain him while downing a glass of Dorwinion wine. Just a matter of business that was attended to that interrupted his daily routine.

2) This will be different as it is the last rays of the setting sun that illuminate the keyhole. Kind of like how Indiana Jones had to have that staff just the right length at the right time of day to make it shine on the correct building in the map room.

3) I don't think we will see the wraith world. My expectation is that Bilbo will be invisible, but at these times, will see the world through his eyes - with little to no distortion. Otherwise, he would likely have said something in TH book and specifically when he gave the ring to Frodo in LoTR movie. Careful Frodo, it's dangerous to put on the ring; or something to prepare him for what he was about to see. Since he did not do this, I can only assume Bilbo's view of the world was unchanged when he wore the ring.

4) It would not surprise me to see a laser-like beam of light illuminating the hole. Is the R/B Elven King wearing knee highs or are his feet devoid of toes? Reminds me of the Grinch. Laugh

A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


Sep 27 2012, 2:18pm

Post #4 of 4 (171 views)
Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

The king looks like exactly the kind of twee Victorian elf that Tolkien hated, and wanted to get as far away from as possible, but I quite like the Indiana Jones style keyhole. It's a bit less (apparently) random than knocking thrushes.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...


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