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Yes, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies are incredibly well-known, and they have been talked about endlessly. I know. However, I want to look at them from a different perspective. Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite books of all time, and I have often been very critical of the films. I want to both take a look at these as adaptations and also to see if perhaps I’ve been too hard on them.

I am going to give every benefit of the doubt possible here by watching the special extended editions, instead of the theatrical ones I have criticized in the past. Maybe there’s something I’ve missed. That said, I am not going to ask if the book or movie is better, because across the board, it’s going to be the book. I can guarantee that much.

In addition to the six Peter Jackson films, I’ll take a look at the animated The Hobbit from Rankin-Bass, the Russian The Hobbit from 1985, Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, and Rankin-Bass’ return to Middle Earth with Return of the King.

I’ll be looking at just three factors:

Adaptation (50 Points): Does it hold true to the text? When changes are made, are they for the better? Do we miss the things left out?

Cast (25 Points): Actors and voice actors (obviously)

Experience (25 Points): Music, direction, cinematography, etc.

Maybe I’ve been wrong about the Lord of the Rings films and the later two Hobbit films (I actually enjoy the first one enough). Maybe a non-Peter Jackson one will surprise me. Let’s find out.

The first review will be a bonus review of a short cartoon version of The Hobbit from 1966.

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