The Hobbit Movies and Where They Went Wrong


I used to make excuses for the Hobbit movies. I used to say, “If you ignore the book, they’re actually quite decent.” Before that, I used to say “There were things that could have been done better, but they were actually okay.” Heck, leaving the theatre after seeing the third movie, I remember being in tears because poor, poor Tauriel! And poor, poor Legolas!

Now, however, I merely say “Poor, poor book. You were sadly mistreated and mostly ignored. I do apologise.” Now, after my most recent reread of The Hobbit earlier this month, I appreciate even more the brilliance of the book and the lack of coherence in the movies.

But the question is – why are they such bad films? Here are three reasons why I think that the movies messed up.

Number 1 – Lack of Bilbo

When I reread The Hobbit earlier this month, the thing that struck me immediately was the fact that the entire book is from Bilbo Baggins’ perspective. Nothing happens from anyone else’s point of view. For some reason I had forgotten this; yet it is crucial to the book itself.

This is where the Hobbit movies immediately went wrong. All three movies ricochet between point of view to point of view. This not only makes them feel rather disjointed; it also changes the very feel of the movies.

Tolkien knew what he was doing when he wrote the book purely from Bilbo’s perspective. The book was intended to be a children’s tale, and it was written from the point of view of a character who perhaps never fully comprehends the danger that he is in. This ensures that the reader never fully comprehends the danger. Thus, you have a battle in a children’s book that is only really scary when you understand the entire background, something that a child might not.

However, when the point of view was given to characters who understood the danger that they were in, and all the circumstances surrounding it, the atmosphere becomes a lot darker. The movies made the mistake of creating unnecessary side quests, which both distracted from the very title of the franchise – The Hobbit – and made the films more like blockbusters, than a tale which could be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

If The Hobbit films had kept the point of view primarily to Bilbo and eliminated all the randomly-added side quests, then they would have kept a little more of the magic and brilliance of the book itself.

(This is also why I think that the first movie was the best – it focused a lot on Bilbo and less on other random adventures of Gandalf and Thorin!)


Number 2 – reliance on CGI

The Hobbit movies experimented with a lot of cgi which weren’t present in the Lord of the Rings films. The reason why the Hobbit films look and feel so different to The Lord of the Rings (although they were made by the same director) was because of their heavy reliance on CGI.

The Hobbit movies used CGI every scene, and it’s very obvious that it’s CGI. In fact, it’s so obvious that the intentionally awe-inspiring moment of a barrel crushing orcs is instead mildly funny and very very sad!

The Lord of the Rings movies felt like Middle Earth (at least in my opinion 🙂 ). They were raw and gritty, and the lack of CGI made the films feel genuine and real. The Hobbit movies felt so different because the set wasn’t the hills of New Zealand – it was the middle of a green painted warehouse.

Number 3 – what was the script doing??

Peter Jackson himself said that he wasn’t happy with the finished product of The Hobbit. And I think that it’s so easy to blame the script – but I’m going to do it anyway.

The script just wasn’t very good. There were unnecessary parts that should have been cut out, and there were parts not present that should have been. It was just too long, and thin, and stretched – “Like butter spread over too much bread.” 😉

With all this said, there was a huge push from the company to make three movies out of it. It wasn’t primarily Peter Jackson’s fault that the movies turned out to be money-making blockbusters, which really didn’t feel like Middle Earth at all. It’s really sad that such brilliance got turned into such sadness with no plot – but it’s the way of the world, I suppose!

img_0581I kind of feel bad for wasting a post on movies which I really don’t like, but at the same time, I had some thoughts that I wanted to get off my brain! 🙂

Do you agree/disagree? Tell me down below!

Keep smiling,

Emmi 🙂


my favourite films


Today I thought I’d do something a little different. I have loved films my whole life, but I’ve only recently begun to appreciate what makes a film a great one. Here are a few of my absolute favourites – all six!!

Lala Land

I left the movie theatre in a trance, and ten minutes later was crying my eyes out. The editing, the acting, the music – everything about this movie was spot on! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop appreciating this movie.

I’ve watched it 5 and a half times now, and I’m so so ready for the next one!

The Sound of Music

Another musical?? Yep! I love musicals, and especially when they’re done right. The Sound of Music was my childhood. It was the movie I’d watch whenever I was sick, curled up on the couch with my blankie and a cup of tea, watching Julie Andrews (Queen!) singing to the hills with a big smile on my face.

Now that I’m a bit older and know more of the history of the setting and time, this film just impacts me greatly. I can’t get through Edelweiss without tearing up, and the last twenty minutes or so always make my heart break. This is a film that I’d recommend to anyone. Anyone, and everyone.

Rogue One

(Careful Emmi, your nerdiness is showing 😉 )

But it’s true! I’ve loved Star Wars for years, but I think Rogue One is an excellent film in its own right. It’s got a female main character who isn’t made of cardboard, a decent and realistic romance, and a simply brilliant end sequence. If you haven’t seen this movie, I would recommend it highly.

If it wasn’t absolute blasphemy, I would even go so far as to say that I prefer it to Episode IV, arguably the best of the franchise. I’m treading on thin ice here, but I just really love Rogue One, okay!!


Cinderella (the 2015 live action)

I am flipping IN LOVE with this movie. The animated Cinderella was the first movie I owned, and having grown up on it, I can firmly say that the 2015 live action Cinderella is simply perfect in every way.

The story of Cinderella impacted me heavily as a child, and the remake fixed all the little niggles that I had with the story itself as I grew older. The theme of forgiveness that runs through the film was something that was entirely unexpected from a stereotypical Hollywood film.

I remember walking out of the movie theatre with my friends. They were all saying that the movie was okay, but not brilliant – and there I stood, struggling to hold back tears as Lily James’ haunting “I forgive you” danced around in my head! There’s just something so good and pure about this movie – and it never ceases to make my heart inexplicably joyous.

The Truman Show

The Truman Show – the one where the guy is unknowingly part of a reality tv show – is definitely one of my favourites. This was the first film I remember seeing that was made to make you think. I am haunted by this film, and I have nothing negative to say about it. Its representation of important themes, like free will and consumerism, were very relevant at the time and are even more so today.

One thing that I really love about this film is its nod to Plato’s The Republic. As Truman climbs the stairs, away from a life of deception, he decides to take the final step to a possession of free will. And nothing is ever quite the same when he returns, just like Plato pointed out in The Republic, and Peter Weir echoes in The Truman Show.

I seriously cannot recommend this film enough!!

Lord of the Rings

These movies are riddled with flaws (Tom Bombadil?? Aragorn’s character?? The sword?? The scouring of the Shire?? Saruman’s death??) BUT they introduced me to the books, okay!! The books are my favourite books of all time!! And if it wasn’t for me watching the movies, which are really quite impressive, I never would have opened up the books that my sister had been pesting me to read.

I certainly owe these movies a lot! And they do have their redeeming qualities – the soundtrack! The acting! The special effects! The amazing relationships between the characters! The fact that extended editions exist!

I’ll probably do a whole post on why I can appreciate the Lord of the Rings movies, but for now, it definitely deserves a spot on my list!

img_0581Those were all of my favourite films! I have heaps more which I love … The Princess Bride, ET, Shrek … but my top six are ones which have made me see the world a little differently.

What are your favourite movies?

Keep smiling!

emmi 🙂