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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Movie Technical Discussion 1 - Book to Script
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Tol Eressea

Jan 13 2008, 9:09pm

Post #76 of 83 (125 views)
No problem [In reply to] Can't Post

And you didn't come across as a fan of Bob Shaye, I understood what you meant. Smile I think just about everybody thinks he behaved badly with regards to cooperating with PJ. Sheesh all the guy had to do to avoid all this was comply with the audit(s) in the 1st place.

In Reply To
I just want to clarify--"had Bob Shaye not acted as he did", I have NOT turned into a fan of Bob Shaye! I'm not referring to his treatment of Jackson, but his battle to keep the Hobbit rights. I didn't want the Hobbit rights to expire with New Line and go by default to MGM. I preferred the settlement to have worked out under the ageis of New Line still having the films.

You know, thinking about this, maybe Gramma is right; maybe things happen for a reason and history MAY repeat itself after all.

EDIT: You're right, 5 by 5; that was a bit of a "partisan" remark.....no naming of politicans, it should be a rule. ....I was really thinking of the writer's strike when I wrote that, the attitude of the Media Conglomerates. (The Golden Globes "press conference" --how exciting--is in about 2 1/2 hrs.)

I can't edit that post, but I'd delete that part if I could. My apologies.

Great, where are we going?

Peredhil lover

Jan 13 2008, 9:10pm

Post #77 of 83 (129 views)
OMG [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for the long explanation, Sunflower! As I never was one to watch many movies, I didn't know much about all this, and I am still not very knowledgeable about it. So this explanation was very interesting. (And I certainly don't think it is a lie!!)

Honestly, the image of *Disney* using Tolkien's characters makes me sick! It's simply unimaginable to have our beloved characters commercialised in this manner. Thank Godness for the Miramax-New Line-Deal!

Another example for Disney 'stealing' characters is Kipling's 'Jungle book' - that's the one I have seen the most around here. Way too many people think it is from Disney. For me, all these characters belong to the authors of the books, but of course, I am a librarian and know the truth very well.

It's very possible you're right about the outcome of Tolkien Estate sueing Disney. Though sometimes David beats Goliath even today - I remember a German publisher who published some years ago a book with school materials for Harry Potter, like they exist for countless other novels. Of course Time Warner at once sued them, but two or three judical authorities decided in favour of the publisher. Even though the court was German, and maybe an American one would have decided differently, it was encouraging (and TW got a lot of bad press, even more so as they were coming down with a host of lawyers on twelve-year-old children to close their Harry Potter websites).

Anyway, I am glad we don't have to worry about that in regard to Tolkien. No matter what changes he made, PJ did use the rights much better!

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Jan 14 2008, 12:04am

Post #78 of 83 (142 views)
With apologies to OhioHobbit.... [In reply to] Can't Post

hijacking your most excellent thread one last time, and then I'll go away and let this all get back ontopicWink

Peredhil, "The Jungle Book"--forgot about that! I've read the origional stories, and plus other tales of his like "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", "Kim", etc. I suppose people forget that he was also the foremost British Empire propagandist of his day--the author of the infamous Poem "White Man's Burden", etc.
You know, I remember being shocked to find out that Bambi was a *book*! OMG, as you say! While Uncle Walt did a great job adapting it (generally the farther back in time you go, the better the animated Adaptations are, storywise; Uncle Walt was first and foremost an experimeter and avante garde artist, NOT AT ALL like the safe, saccharine formulaic person he later became and his successors. If you saw the Extras on the Little Mermaid DVD you can see what I think are heartbreaking art stills of the origional Little Mermaid"--Uncle Walt was working on The Little Mermaid to be his next film after Bambi, instead of Dumbo. In a tribute to Uncle Walt's abandoned version, in 1989 the animators even dug up some of the surviving 1940 footage and colorized it and put it in the film--the Hurricane sequence, the storm and shipwreck, is an origional 1940 sequence.) In fact, think they were working on TLM and Fantasia and Bambi at the same time. The commentary said that Disney not only wanted to adhere strictly to Andersen's tragic version, he wanted to make it EVEN DARKER. (How is this possible? I couldn't even get through the Andersen tale--by the time I got 6 pgs in and the image of the 5 sisters swimming to the surface in a row their hands all linked, with the little sister, still a child, at the bottom, I was in floods of tears.) Of course, the project was abandoned as being too expensive after Bambi was released and it was a Box Office Flop (!!) and there no money to do it. They had to make Dumbo as a happy, more audience friendly little cash cow. Of course, that means that there was a 50-yr delay and (tragically, IMO) what we got instead was Little Miss snippy American teenager Ariel.

My problem is not that Ariel exists; many Little Mermaids before her came and went. But today, it's ONLY Ariel sitting on that rock. Most people don''t even know what the statue in the Copenhagen harbor looks like anymore. And of all poses, WHY did they have Ariel exactly copy the Statue pose? In so many articles of clothing for little girls, it's always Ariel sitting on that rock. Because it was a corporate statement that Disney's Mermaid was the one that was one that counted and was meant to last forever. Let the Danes have Andersen; Ariel would henceforth belong to the world.

If Disney was not afraid to subvert and drown out the popular memory of such authors as Hans Christian Andersen, Collodi, Lewis Carroll, Kipling, what makes you think that they wouldn't care about doing the same thing with a mere 20th-century gnat like Tolkien? (Why COULDN'T they have a cartoon series set in the Shire? Alter their looks?)The fact that I can't for the life of me even remember the authors of Bambi or the Pooh characters, even though I've read the origional stories, speaks for itself. It's not that they have a deliberate corporate policy of doing this; it's just the avalanche of MERCHANDISE that they drown the whole planet in does the job all by itself. (I'll bet there are a lot of Danish kids who are more familiar with Ariel then Andersen's mermaid. In the end, who wins--the statue in the harbor, or the living room TV? ) And I think it's a sort of "wink, wink" policy on their part. Of course, many people are taught the origionals in school, college courses, they find the books in stores, etc, but it's what you learn when you're under 15 that stays with you for life. This is what Tolkien (and Jackson quoting him) meant by "stories...when you were too small to understand why" etc. And Disney knows this too.

Now, like I said, I;m a huge animation buff. One of my alltime favorite films is Beauty and the Beast, it ABSOLUTELY deserved its Best Picture Oscar nomination. Peredhil, if you want to see one of the best films of your life, get the BAAB DVD Special Edition, and watch the unfinished New York Film Festival version....it's closer to the spirit of Uncle Walt than anything. More emotionally powerful than the theater edition.

Interestingly enough, the French didn't mind Disney getting hold of Madame Beaumonet's fairy tale BAAB; but they went BALLISTIC over Hunchback of Notre Dame. As well they should have. Which was tragic b/c ironically at the time, the post-Howard Ashman Disney were very conscious of the origional material and DID try to adhere to the book. It;s one of their best films. With Tom Hulce playing AND singing Quasimodo one of THE great Disney performances. The probem was..*SIGH*..they just couldn't resist being...Disney. The gargoyles had to crack jokes, and Quasi had to live, as well as Esmerlada....Uncle Walt would have let her hang! (wellll,.....maybe. Though he would have never have shown it onscreen.) But the French went up in arms, and thankfully won.

This is all interesting in that it brings up subjects of the corporatization of literature.....popular media controlling literary legacy.....with Tolkien, it;s better to know that that there'll never be that blanket of cutsie STUFF smothering the Tolkien legacy..there wil be lot for while, but it'll die down and Tolkien's legacy will remain unscathed and (more importantly) unchallenged in the popular memory......the *characters*, as you say, Peredhil, will remain unscathed. Now that NL has The Hobbit, his legacy is assured. After this, there are no more books to adapt, except The Children of Hurin, which is hardly Hollywood material to fight over, and NOT Disney at all. And nothing lese in the Tolkine canon is as adaptable....as a film that is. Well, we can debate this, but you know what I mean.

Of course, Kristin Thompson might disagree with me about the marketing jauggernaut, but it's the types of characters being marketed, as well as their (IMO) still tasteful useage of their images. It isn't going bonkers, and the Tolkien Estate IMO need not panic....not like if DIsney had gotten it.

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Jan 14 2008, 12:14am)


Jan 14 2008, 12:32am

Post #79 of 83 (118 views)
New thread [In reply to] Can't Post

PPS. I'm going to start a new thread on this, so that OhioHobbit will get his thread backSmile

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 14 2008, 2:08am

Post #80 of 83 (126 views)
Um, Disney doesn't own MGM [In reply to] Can't Post

MGM is privately held, with major investors being Sony and Comcast.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.

NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Jan 14 2008, 3:44am

Post #81 of 83 (112 views)
Oops. [In reply to] Can't Post

My bad...BlushBlush

I replied elsewhere too. So I'm letting OhioHobbbit get his thread back:)

N.E. Brigand

Jan 14 2008, 3:57am

Post #82 of 83 (144 views)
It's tricky, dating "The Silmarillion". [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyway, to make a general observation (to step back from The Hobbit a moment here), I have always found it interesting that (to me anyway) the storytelling structure, or the feel, of Tolkien's earlier work, namely the stories of the Sil, are more "contemporary" in style. That is, they seem to be less linear and more anticipatory of the "modern" -- that they are (in spirit, anyway) the contemporaries of e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, and esp. Hemingway.

The spare, summary style of the 1977 Silmarillion was first used by Tolkien beginning in the late 1920s-early 1930s, when he wrote up a synopsis of his "Lost Tales" mythology as background for his long Lay of Leithian. This makes it roughly contemporary to The Hobbit. However, much of the actual text of The Silmarillion was written in the 1950s, after LotR was completed.

We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Jan. 7-13 for "Strider".


Jan 14 2008, 5:18pm

Post #83 of 83 (409 views)
Thanks for your list. [In reply to] Can't Post

 I've only seen two of those films (Simpson's & A Beautiful mind), but I wouldn't be surprised if
more European films also would follow the same basic structure as Mc Kee's script formula. As long as it isn't too glaringly noticeable, it doesn't matter too much. That was my problem with Jackson, because sometimes you could feel how he had adjusted the story turns to the script rules.

Also, I'd like to add, what has made some films truly great for me, hasn't been just the story, but the lighting, the immediacy of the acting, the careful pacing, the camera movement and so on. These are the things that make some movies great or exceptional, while others are just good.

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