The Hobbit Book by Rankin Bass

All this talk of the final Hobbit movie by Peter Jackson has gotten me interested in the Rankin Bass version. As I showed the animated movie to my son yesterday, who’s becoming more and more interested in Dragons, I realized that the story could have definitely been told over the course of one or even two movies. I mean, the cartoon version isn’t perfect, but it covers many of the key elements of Tolkien’s story, albeit in a slightly rushed way. It clocks in at about an hour. Imagine how Jackson could have done it as one 2.5 to 3-hour movie, let alone two movies.

As much as I enjoy seeing more of Middle Earth in film form, I do feel that Jackson’s films are a bit excessive. Some scenes in the book have been rushed or trimmed down (ironic, considering that the story has been stretched out to THREE movies) which bothered me a bit. Poor Beorn, for example.

Anyway, I dusted off my old Rankin Bass Art Of the movie / novel and took a few snapshots. I had intended to do full page scans but with two sick kids at home I only had time to take quick snapshots. I intend on doing much nicer scans later of my favorite pieces.

It’s a really nice book. I noticed that the main font was Souvenir (which some old-school RPG folks will like).

Without further ado, here are some of my favorites. Look carefully: there’s art for Beorn in there, which sadly was scrapped from the final production:

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