Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey” tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a young hobbit who enjoys a peaceful living in his quiet home, far away from any danger or unexpected events, until the sorcerer Gandalf pays him a visit, inviting twelve dwarves at Bilbo’s home, for dining, and proposes him to join their adventure: reclaiming the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the Dragon Smaug. The adventures of Bilbo in the company of the warriors who are searching for their land indicates the hobbit’s journey to maturity, to finding his true identity, his adventurous spirit, hidden deep into the docile personality of a home – loving young man.
The 2012 production of “The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey” is based on an old story, written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in 1937. The producer Peter Jackson took the classical story that figures legendary creatures (dwarves, elves, trolls, goblins, wargs, dragons, sorcerers) and mythological themes and motifs (the magical ring, the dragon who have stolen the Dwarf Kingdom, the legend of a burglar who will help the dwarves in the quest for Erebor) and developed it into a modern production, based on impressive special effects meant to take the spectators of this movie right where the action is. Jackson managed to combine the classical story with the modern effects, linking them with good taste.
The movie follows Bilbo and his silent and peaceful bachelor life, entering the adventure of finding the Kingdom of the Dwarf, and stilling the treasure from Dragon who now holds the Erebor, helping the Dwarves to recover their land. The story of Bilbo and the Dwarves is based on a legend according to which for recapturing their kingdom, the dwarves need a burglar. Gandalf, the mighty and good sorcerer helps the dwarves to find the burglar that the legend mentions, in the person of Bilbo. Although the dwarves doubt Bilbo’s abilities to help them win back their land and face the adventures that they will come across, they discover an intelligent, altruistic and courageous hobbit, who knows what to do in crisis situations and also, they discover a person that they can trust and a real friend. Bilbo’s character develops from a clumsy, home – loving man, to a self – controlled and wit person, making solid choices and jumping to help his dwarf companions when needed, since he had stolen the ring from Gollum/Smeagol, the dubious character who lived under the waters, who showed signs of multiple personality disorder. The story does not end at the end of the movie, and Bilbo and his companions did not find the Kingdom of Dwarf (Jackson, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”). The closing of the movie deprives the viewers from a denouement, putting them on a waiting list for new adventures in finding the Kingdom of Dwarfs, until Peter Jackson will launch the second series of “The Hobbit” trilogy (Roberts, para 4).
The utilization of 3D is no longer a new trick on the Hollywood setts and for sure it is no mystery for Peter Jackson who is renowned for his taste in using special effects in his movies. For sure the science – fiction film fans can recall previous productions of Peter Jackson, which revolutionized the cinemas, such as the trilogy “Lord of the Rings” or “Peter Jackson’s King Kong” (Erb 5). A fan of special effects, he used them to emphasize the story and the adventures of the hobbit and his companions, including creating miniature or re-dimensioned characters by shooting stereo, using two cameras across two sets (May para 8). This effect, as many others in the movie, were difficult to handle in 3D, but the technicians used their creativity for pulling out the tricks and creating the magic and fantasy moments that follow the characters throughout their adventures if finding the Dwarf land. Besides the special effects, there are interesting angles and cinematic approaches to the stories that the movie captures. Mingling secondary plans with the main ones have significant value for the concatenation of the actions within the movies. The settings are impressive and they create the sensation of faraway lands, lost in time. From Bilbo’s house, with its iconic round doors, known from “Lord of the Rings”, to the journey through the magical woods and mountains that put up a fight, throwing stones and mountain massifs at each other, to dungeons or lakes, to the Kingdom of the Elves and back into mystical woods, the movie sets a fresh air of colors and creative decors, extracted from a fairy tale land.
The music in the movie, combined with the special effects and the characters’ odd physiognomy emphasizes the tension when watching the movie, expecting something to happen with every step that the hobbit and his companions take, but still, being taken by surprise of what actually happens.
Fantasy and humor go hand in hand in Peter Jackson’s production and this contributes to the success and appreciation of the movie throughout the world. Of course, “The Hobbit” is related to the famous film series “Lord of the Rings”, which already had an immense reputation throughout the world due to the, which totaled around $3.000.000.000 at the box office around the world, ranking on the 31st, 21st, respectively 6th position on the world wide box office ranking (“The Lord of the Rings”, Box Office Mojo).
Indeed, “Lord of the Rings” series might have had an influence in bringing the spectators inside the cinema halls, but there were solely the merits of “The Hobbit” for the reactions it received. The movie registered worldwide revenues of more than $1.000.000.000 on April 14th, 2013, in less than half of year from its release date (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, Box Office Mojo).
Box Office Mojo. The Lord of The Rings. Retrieved on April 16, 2013 from http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=lordoftherings.htm. N.d. Web.
Box Office Mojo. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Retrieved on April 16, 2013 from http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=hobbit.htm. N.d. Web.
Erb, Cynthia. Tracking King Kong: A Hollywood Icon in World Culture. Detroit: Wayne University Press. 2009. Print.
May, Steve. Behind the Scenes of The Hobbit: the Special Effects Masters. Retrieved on April 16, 2013 from http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/behind-the-scenes-of-the-hobbit-the-special-effects-masters-1136243. 2013. Web.
Roberts, Sheila. Peter Jackson Talks The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Coming on When Guillermo del Toro Left, and Post – Converting Lord of The Rings to 3D. Retrieved on April 16, 2013, from http://collider.com/peter-jackson-the-hobbit-48fps-interview/. 2012. Web.