I haven't seen it, but may I gently suggest that If you haven't done so, read the book to your children before taking them to the movie.
The finding of the ring and how it was lost by Gollum is completely changed. The Riddle Game is abbreviated and made somewhat cheap. The prominence of the Goblins hunting the Dwarves before they’ve even left the Shire warps the original story. The encounter of the band of travellers with the mountain trolls and Gandalf’s role in it shifts a great deal from the story. The portrayal of the inherently flawed, yet noble nature of the Dwarves is spun to make them look like greedy, vacuous prima donnas. The list goes on.I often wonder at film-makers who fundamentally alter the stories of the classics they supposedly love and value. Why do they do that? Do they really believe they're making them better?
I'm sure many, many viewers are enjoying the movie as a movie, with little or no connection to "the book version." But you've got to wonder what Tolkien would think. At least it wasn't made by Disney. JRR was not a big fan:
- "It might be advisable [...] to let the Americans do what seems good to them — as long as it was possible [...] to veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing)."
- ― The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, #13
- "I recognize [Walt Disney's] talent, but it has always seemed to me hopelessly corrupted. Though in most of the 'pictures' proceeding from his studios there are admirable or charming passages, the effect of all of them to me is disgusting. Some have given me nausea"
Then again, some people prefer that version to Peter Jackson's first installment. So go figure.
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