The Hobbit (1966 film)

From Tolkien Gateway
The name The Hobbit refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Hobbit (disambiguation).
The Hobbit
The Hobbit (1966 film) - Title card.png
DirectorGene Deitch
WriterJ.R.R. Tolkien
(Novel)
Gene Deitch
(Screenplay)
ProducerWilliam Snyder
NarratorHerb Lass[1]
CinematographyAdolf Born[1]
MusicVáclav Lidl[1]
ReleasedLimited audience: 29 June, 1966[1]
Runtime00:11:42
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
IMDbIMDb Profile
"A homebody hobbit finds himself going on a quest to save a dwarven treasure from a dragon in this loose adaptation of the classic novel."
― IMDB description[2]

The Hobbit, presented as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, was the first film adaptation of The Hobbit, created by Gene Deitch in 1966. The film was produced by William Lawrence Snyder and took less than a month to create. The film was approximately 12 minutes long and was only created so Snyder could extend his license for The Lord of the Rings and sell it back to Tolkien and his publishers, which he did for $100,000.[1]

Cast[edit]

Actor Role
Herb Lass[1] Narrator

Plot[edit]

The story begins with Dale, the city of Golden Bells, just before Men came to power in Middle-earth. But then the Monster Lizard Slag the Terrible, the Agent of Evil on Earth, came and ransacked the Golden Realm of Dale, taking all of their treasures for himself, including the precious Arkenstone of Old, the White Heart of the Mountain. Only General Torin Oakenshield, Princess Mika and a lone, unnamed watchman (who had been asleep when Slag attacked) survived. Desperate, they turned to the Great Wizard Gandalf the Grey in his lonely tower. He pointed them to a prophecy of the Dragon's death in the Great Book, for which they needed a Hobbit. The whole party went to the house of Bilbo Baggins who, living a different sort of life than his ancestor, initially refused the task requested of him, but after some persuasion from Gandalf and the princess, joined the three on their quest.

Soon, they encountered two "Groans", monstrous creatures that turned to trees when exposed to sunlight. Bilbo's companions were captured, but Bilbo tricked the two into a fight until the sun rose. They continued their journey, and General Oakenshield and the Princess started to appreciate their burglar. But suddenly, Bilbo disappeared. He had fallen though a crevasse in the mountain, and fell past the evil "Grablins" into the lake where "Goloom" dwelt. He found Goloom's magic ring, and dashed away through the tunnels. He hid behind a rock, and allowed Goloom to overtake him so he could find his way out.

After traveling through Mirkwood Forest, Bilbo came to the Lonely Mountain. He stole the Arkenstone, crafted a bow from mining tools, and shot the Arkenstone through Slag's heart. Slag was killed, and Dale restored. Bilbo returned to Hobbiton with Princess Mika as his wife.

Status[edit]

The film remained unknown to Tolkien fans until 2012, when Deitch posted on his blog about the film's history.It was also considered lost for a long time until it was rediscovered by Snyder's son and released on YouTube in 2012.[3] Currently, it is available online.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]

References

Licensed film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's works
The Lord of the Rings film series The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) · The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Hobbit film series The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Other films The Hobbit (1966) · The Hobbit (1977) · The Lord of the Rings (1978) · The Return of the King (1980) ·The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (2024, upcoming)