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The Hobbit

3.7 21
Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.

Cast: Otto Preminger, Don Messick


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J.R.R. Tolkien's classic book about the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and his unexpected adventures came to life in this animated, televised adaptation by Rankin-Bass Productions. Enthusiasts of Tolkien's lengthy and more demanding Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as adult readers of The Hobbit, may be disappointed by this somewhat simplified adaptation of the


J.R.R. Tolkien's classic book about the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and his unexpected adventures came to life in this animated, televised adaptation by Rankin-Bass Productions. Enthusiasts of Tolkien's lengthy and more demanding Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as adult readers of The Hobbit, may be disappointed by this somewhat simplified adaptation of the book, though children and first-time readers of Tolkien will appreciate its whimsical introduction to the fictional world of Middle Earth. As the story goes, "In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit...." Bilbo Baggins would much rather relax in his comfy hobbit-hole or take long walks in the Shire than have adventures. After all, "adventures make one late for dinner." Unfortunately, Gandalf the Wizard shows up one day with other plans for Bilbo. Gandalf introduces Bilbo to a rag-tag band of dwarves whose leader, Thorin Oakensheild, asks Bilbo for help in recovering his family's treasure from the fire-breathing dragon Smaug. Bilbo meekly accepts the offer, and soon finds himself on a long journey through Mirkwood forest, to Smaug's dark lair in the Lonely Mountain. Along the way, the unlikely band is captured and nearly eaten by trolls, shackled and prodded by goblins, tied-up in webs and hung from trees by giant spiders, and finally imprisoned by the swarthy, distrustful woodland elves of Mirkwood. With keen hobbit-wits and a magic ring he finds in the goblin caves, Bilbo manages to free the band on several occasions and helps them recover their lost inheritance. Understandably, much detail was omitted from Tolkien's novel to fit this made-for-TV adaptation -- most notably the story of the group's encounter with Beorn the shape shifter, and the somewhat complex issue of the Arkenstone, a legendary gem which Bilbo steals from Smaug's treasure-trove unbeknownst to the dwarves. Rankin-Bass Productions made another foray into Middle Earth several years later with The Return of the King, picking up where animator Ralph Bakshi left his unfinished adaptation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Tolkien and filmmaker highlights (vintage featurette); Bonus cartoons; Knight-mare hare; Knighty knight bugs; Rabbit hood

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Hobbit
1. Scene 1 [10:20]
2. Scene 2 [13:18]
3. Scene 3 [10:49]
4. Scene 4 [9:13]
5. Scene 5 [9:09]
6. Scene 6 [8:42]
7. Scene 7 [10:51]
8. Scene 8 [3:57]


Customer Reviews

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The Hobbit 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just to let you know... the book is NOTHING like the movie!!! read the book and then watch the movie!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic as always! Except that the VHS release, which we have, had added audio that seems to be ommitted in this new DVD version. Watch as characters and things happen without any sound throughout this release, while on the VHS version the effects for events are there. Other than that great stuff man!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The hobbit was a very interesting book that took you into a world with fantasy and dreams. Bilbo lived in a hole and didn't expect any of this to happen to him. He thought of the idea of him being a ''burglar'' would be a bad thing to do until he got thinking that it would be an advantage for him. ON his way to the treasure, he got into some troubles and some difficulties but had an advantage of a ring that he got from a troll. This was also an advantage for him getting through difficulties on his way. Once he got to the treasure of Thoron, Bilbo was the one who found out how to get in and was the one who had to go in and investigate. this he did with the ring and saw the dragon pretevting the treasure. I found this an interesting part as Bilbo was discribing himself as different things such as a ''barrelrider''. this goes on through the hole book and more interesting parts such as getting trapped in a castle. chased by wolves and rescued by eagles. until finally after a year of excitement. Bilbo diecides to go home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first thought this would of been a book for smaller children! But I read it and soon came to find that I as an adult loved this book! It was fasinating to be able to feel you were part of all the adventures Bilbo was in! I loved every minute of this captivating book!
Midnightowner More than 1 year ago
A very well put together cartoon film, the music and characters were great for a cartoon film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think it is great. It has a definite old school 70's style and I just loved the bad guy's theme song. Oh yeah, but the dragon is what little children's nightmares are made of, so parents of toddlers should be warry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok I'll make this short. 1) The movie is in mono sound not Dolby 5.1 as listed above and 2) There are sound effects missing buy the video tape this DVD is in major need of being redone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Horribly wrong, and a disgrace to the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this way back when I was a little tike!! I am sixteen now, and I still remember being scared out of my mind when Bilbo came to the dragon. Just recently have I became facinated with Tolkien's work, but as I started to read the ''Hobbit,'' I started to remember the movie of old. Truely it is a great movie, and believe me I remember it. I suggest to go and buy this movie as I know I will!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was always one of my favorite films as a child, and stands the test of time even today. If you love Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, or just fantasy films in general, you will adore this picture. If you're a fan of animation, you will love what you find here--every unique scene looks like a fantasy watercolor masterpiece come-to-life. The voice acting is superb--some of the best actors of the day lended their voice talents to this sparkling gem of a movie. However, that being said, let me tell you how disappointed with the DVD I was. Having watched the original on TV many times, and later watching the VHS version over and over, I was treated with a sad surprise upon watching the DVD for the first time: in MANY scenes there is a glaring absence of the orignal sound-effects. If you never saw the orignal (non-DVD) version, you'd never know what you were missing. But let me tell you, without those sound-effects, a lot of the dramatic punch is lost from many of the best scenes. It's almost like someone just turned the sound off at the most dramatic moments! Warner Bros, you should be ashamed of yourselves, releasing this film for the first time on DVD in an incomplete state! Do right by this American classic film and those that love it, and redo the DVD--restore it back to it's original magnificence! This timeless film deserves better.
Lisera More than 1 year ago
I love this movie, but it seems to me that some of the audio for the movie is missing from the soundtrack of the movie. I know this because I own the vhs tape and my parents also have an old copy of The Hobbit. But it's still a good movie to watch.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many Tolkien books and absolutely love his writing. I saw this animated movie when I was very young and that's why I wanted to read the books. I loved this movie; it makes younger people interested in Tolkien's work. Two thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember watching this movie when I was around 7 or 8 years old and it really inspired me to look up Tolkiens works. As a matter of fact, I still have my beta (format) copy of this movie and its like having the new LOTR movie back then, giving you vivid, tangible images of what you have only read, including the Return of the King cartoons that followed this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this movie the first time I saw it in 1979 and still enjoy it. The animation and music are great. The story is entertaining for young and old. I had the VHS version but I wanted the DVD version. I am glad I got it. The technical limitations, if existent, were transparent to me. I have read all the these books and find these DVD's very close to the book stories. Needless to say, I love the new versions of LOTR too. Enjoyable pieces all of them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although any attempt to capture Tolkien's work in one movie is ambitious at best, this was probably one of the best. Rankin & Bass' animated feature not only treated the book with respect and admiration, but also rates high as one of the best and most memorable animation features for quite awhile. Highly recommend this movie!!!!
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