Tuesday, 31 July 2012

CONCERNING HOBBITS, RINGS & THINGS

So –– rumour and speculation are over!

Yes, it's now official: Peter Jackson's  two-picture release of The Hobbit is to become a three-picture release; the prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is to be ––– another trilogy!


Those of us with a nose for such things expected nothing less!

What now remains to be seen is whether my two books on the making of the films will become three books or whether the second title (originally scheduled to coincide with the second movie) will now be delayed until the release of the third.

As this photo shows, I am not the only one with questions on my mind...


Bilbo checks his contract to see what it says about
the number of movies in which he's been engaged to appear

Meanwhile, I've been re-reading the passages in my book Peter Jackson: A Film-makers-Journey relating to the history behind the filming of The Lord of the Rings and, in doing so, I was reminded that, early on (long before Jackson and, indeed, long before even Ralph Bakshi), WALT DISNEY sought to obtain the film rights.

If The Hobbit had ever got beyond simply being on Uncle Walt's 'wish list', what would such a film have been like?

A possible answer is provided by




15 comments:

Josna said...

Funny cartoon! But thank goodness Disney didn't get its hands on Lord of the Rings (much as I know you like Disney)!

Brian Sibley said...

Well, maybe you're right, but – who knows – back in the days when Walt was still a personal force within the animation department at the studio...

For example: I know many Italians would disagree with me, but I, for one, can't regret that Disney gave us his take on Signoir Collodi's 'Pinocchio'.

In terms of faithfulness of film to book, PJ's LotR is as far from JRRT's book as Disney's 'Pinocchio' is from the original; but they are both (in their very different, highly individual ways) remarkable and enduring works of cinema.

Brian Sibley said...

PS: I have just had an enjoyable visit to your webpage... Tell Me Another. I'll certainly be back for 'another'... :)

SharonM said...

Love the cartoon!
Hope you get to write a book on the 3rd film, Brian.

Jack Machiela said...

Wow, I didn't realise that Disney tried to get in as well. If I recall correctly - didn't Tolkien specifically exclude Disney from coming near his work, ever?

When the USA edition of LOTR was published, and JRRT was asked to do repeated new covers that were rejected, didn't he say something along the lines of "get an american artist to do the cover art, and I'm sure it'll be great as long as it doesn't look like Disney did it"...?

I'm REALLY glad Disney didn't get hold of it, that's for sure! I'm with Josna on this one! :)

- Jack M.

Bob S said...

I'm not so sure, look at the great things they did with The Black Cauldron!
Seriously though, I'm with Brian on this one, if only to even up the sides! Disney had a wonderful gift for storytelling, and "The Hobbit" was very different from LOTR.
Absolutely love the cartoon by the way - imaginative casting indeed!

Josna said...

Thank you, Brian. I'll try to give Disney another chance. I didn't grow up with Disney and have never learned to appreciate animation. And then I tend to pre-judge because of the founder's rabid anti-Communism; the studio's representations of women among others; and the inevitable "Disneyfication" of all the stories the studios chooses to lay its hands on, which then become the dominant version of the story. I grew up with the original Pinocchio (certainly a disturbing book for children) and watching almost no films, so actually don't think I've ever seen the Disney Pinocchio all the way through. Shocking?! I'll try to remedy it soon and let you know when I have.

Thank you for visiting Tell Me Another and for having added it to your blog reading list! I'm honored and delighted. I love your blog.

Brian Sibley said...

Jack – Yes, JRRT was a Disneyphobe – unlike C S Lewis who spoke warmly in his letters about seeing SW&7D.

Bob – You can't blame Walt for The Black Cauldron!! :))

Josna – As with all films of books, 'Pinocchio' is NOT the book, but it is a masterpiece of animation. The interesting thing about 'animation' is that it is not a single 'thing': there are as many different types of animation as there are genres/types of film itself. Everything in fact from (or to) Disney to (or from) animation with puppets, Plasticine, silhouettes or made using sand or painted onto glass or even directly onto film. Today it might as easily be created with a computer as with pen and ink and paint and brushes.

It is a multifaceted art form in its own right and it can be used for any and every purpose to which conventional film has been put: to make us laugh, cry, think, protest...

It deserves exploring. some aspect of it might even give you a subject to write about... :)

Good Dog said...

I have to say, I'm looking at my copy of The Hobbit on the bookshelf - there's no way I'm taking it down and flicking because we what'll happen then - and thinking, three films? Seriously?! Still, they know what they're doing down there in NZ. More importantly, I hope you get three books and PAID for three books.

Now a Disney version of The Lord of the Rings would be intriguing. Why am I thinking of Roger Radcliffe for Boromir?!

Brian Sibley said...

Daniel Radcliffe or Roger Rabbit?

Josna said...

Thanks for reminding me, Brian. that of course, animation is not one thing. That delightful claymation version of _The Wind in the Willows_ some three decades ago was also animation. And also, of course, "live-action" movies these days are full of computer-generated effects (like Gollum in LOTR or the owls flying in HP). Even though I'm well aware that the idea of an "original" is outdated, I grew up with books and am simply not as comfortable with the medium of film, still less so with animation, so I've got a lot of learning to do. (See my story, "Making Sense of Movies"
Yes I need to explore animation further--and yes, perhaps I will write about it. Thanks again for your reply and for your blog--always enlightening and fun. J

Woman on a Raft said...

Stroike a loight Elrond of Rivendell and nah mistake. I only hobserve the li'le feller was 'ere but a moment ago and now 'ee's gorn, so 'ee 'as, chim chiminee.

Gotta be Aragorn.

Brian Sibley said...

Excellent suggestion! :)

Ryan Rasmussen said...

With the extended production on the horizon/already happening, is there any chance we can expect your journey "back again"?

Brian Sibley said...

Unlikely, I think, Ryan... Not sure, with all these changes, what this will do to the book schedules...