Does the cover above look familiar to anyone else? This is the 1977 TV Movie version of The Hobbit based on the book by J. R. R. Tolkien. IMDB lists this animated movie at a run time of 90 minutes, a large change from the newer one The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey listed at a run time of 169 minutes per IMDB.
While the newer movies have a lot of great points going for them, there’s a place in the heart of many for the animated version. While watching it again there were a number of points that I never saw as a kid like the soundtrack being amazing and how Bilbo is pressured a lot in the movie.
The movie starts off with the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Orson Bean) answering his door to meet the wizard Gandalf (aka Gandalf the Grey voiced by John Huston) who requests him to work as a burglar. Bilbo says he’s no burglar, he’s a simple hobbit. Gandalf confirms who he is and Bilbo has gotten himself involved with a group of 13 dwarves. Their reason? They needed a burglar and 13 is an unlucky number. Bilbo is handed a contract to read and when the head dwarf asks if the contract is agreeable it’s not Bilbo who answers, it’s Gandalf!
Bilbo is traveling along with the dwarves and talking about how he misses his pipe and his walking stick, and basically just that he doesn’t really want to be helping the dwarves, but he will anyway. Soon enough nightfall comes and the group sees a trio of trolls eating meat and coax the burglar, Bilbo, into going and stealing the meat for them to eat. The trolls catch Bilbo and say how he wouldn’t make a meal when Bilbo shouts for help from the dwarves only to get the dwarves caught. Gandalf, who had disappeared earlier, rescues the group by bringing daylight faster and turning the trolls to stone.
That’s only the beginning of the problems for the group of adventurers. They still have to face spiders, goblins, humans, a dragon, and a war!
Heather: I remember watching this as a VHS tape as a kid probably a few hundred times. Watching it as an adult was a really fun way to relive some memories. Watching it as an adult with my mother added even more fun. As a kid I didn’t realize just how intrusive the group of dwarves was. I apologize now for anyone who’s around me and randomly hearing songs like “blunt the knives, bend the forks” and other songs from this movie. They’re just so catchy!