Movie Report: The Hobbit (1977)

Book coverWell, when I said I was done with cartoons last month, clearly I was overstating things. I’ve had this videocassette in the cabinet for years (which differentiates this videocassette from all other DVDs and videocassettes in the cabinet as opposed to on the cabinet how?), but it was not rewound, so I rewound it as part of my recent project to handle that. So when I wanted something short to watch (ahut) with my youngest son this week, I popped it in.

Well, all right, you probably at least know the plot by now, ainna? Hobbit Bilbo Baggins is drawn from his hobbit-hole by Gandalf to accompany a, er, company of dwarves who are going to recapture their ancestral mountain and a bunch of gold from a dragon named Smaug.

Along the way, they have adventures. Peter Jackson turned this story into three movies. An animation company turned this into an hourlong television movie akin to Puff the Magic Dragon. Which actually came out the next year, so Puff the Magic Dragon came after this cartoon special. Which is weird, or maybe not. I remember the annual airing of “Puff the Magic Dragon” as a bit of an event at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s–I think I watched it all the time, but it was probably only three or four times. The Hobbit never reached that fame. I don’t remember seeing it even listed. But it was not a thirty minute special but almost a movie-length animation, so it didn’t drop in as easily, I suppose.

So: Probably worth a watch if you’re into being an old-school geek completist or a 70sphile. Probably only a little more cartoonish than the Jackson films, which I have yet to see in their entirety (although I did see The Lord of the Rings set when they came out in cinemas because I have been a geek for a long, long time.)

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