Adaptations of The Hobbit
The first authorized adaptation of The Hobbit was a stage production by St. Margaret's School, Edinburgh in March 1953. Subsequently, The Hobbit has been adapted for a variety of media including stage, screen, radio, board games, and video games.
Several of these adaptations have received critical recognition of their own, including a video game that won the Golden Joystick Award, a scenario of a war game that won an Origins Award, and an animated picture nominated for a Hugo Award.
The following is a list of dramatizations of The Hobbit.
Film and television
- The 1966 short animated film "The Hobbit!" was the first ever film production of The Hobbit. It was directed by Gene Deitch in the Czech Republic. American film producer William L. Snyder obtained the rights to the novel from the Tolkien estate very cheaply while it was still largely unknown, with the proviso that he produce a "full-colour film" by 30 June 1966, and immediately set about producing a feature length film, with screenplay by Deitch. The project fell through, but after the explosion in the novel's popularity, Snyder realized that his contract had not required the film to be of any length: he therefore instructed Deitch to create a 12-minute film based on his earlier work so that he could retain his rights. He later sold the rights for around $100,000 (not adjusted for inflation). The final project has very little to do with the source material.
- The Hobbit, an animated version of the story produced by Rankin/Bass, debuted as a television movie in the United States in 1977. Romeo Muller won a Peabody Award for the teleplay. The film was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, but lost to Star Wars.
- The BBC children's television series Jackanory presented an adaptation of The Hobbit in 1979. Unusually for the programme, the adaptation was narrated by several people. According to one of the narrators David Wood, the release of the production on video has been repeatedly stopped by the Tolkien Estate.
- A Soviet 1985 television play Сказочное путешествие мистера Бильбо Беггинса Хоббита ("The Fantastic Journey of the Hobbit Mr. Bilbo Baggins") aired on the Leningrad TV Channel.
- A live-action film version was announced on 18 December 2007, to be co-produced by MGM and New Line Cinema, and produced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. Guillermo Del Toro was originally signed on to direct both parts but withdrew from the project in May 2010, leaving Jackson as director. The narrative of the film is to be expanded and split over two parts. It was announced on 22 October 2010, after months of speculation, that Martin Freeman will be playing Bilbo Baggins. The casting had been uncertain due to the unexpected success of the summer BBC adaptation of Sherlock and Freeman's subsequent filming commitments for the second series. Filming began on 21 March 2011. The adaptation includes a new character that did not appear in the original book, Tauriel, who is the head of the Elven guard, and played by Evangeline Lilly. On 30 July 2012, Jackson revealed that there would be a third Hobbit film due to there being so much unused material from Tolkien's novel and appendices. The third and final film in the Hobbit series was released in December 2014.
The Finnish live action television miniseries Hobitit, from 1993, is an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings rather than The Hobbit (although it shows a flashback to Bilbo's encounter with Gollum). The name, literally "The Hobbits", reflects the fact that it follows only the storyline of Frodo and Sam (large battles and other events were clearly beyond the means of this relatively simple TV series).
- A BBC Radio 4 series The Hobbit radio drama was an adaptation by Michael Kilgarriff, broadcast in eight parts (four total hours) from September to November 1968. It starred Anthony Jackson as narrator, Paul Daneman as Bilbo and Heron Carvic as Gandalf. The series was released on audio cassette in 1988 and on CD in 1997.
- In 1972, The Hobbit: A Musical was published by Dramatic Publishing. The book is by Ruth Perry, the music is by Allan Jay Friedman, and the lyrics are by David Rogers.
- Der Hobbit, a German language radio drama was produced in 1980 by Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Voice actors included Martin Benrath as narrator, Horst Bollmann as Bilbo, Bernhard Minetti as Gandalf, and Jürgen von Manger as Gollum.
- Hobit aneb Cesta tam a zase zpátky, a Czech language 3-part radio drama produced in 1996 by Český rozhlas. Voice actors included Lubomír Lipský, Jaroslav Moučka, and many others. Script by Eva Košlerová, music by Petr Mandel, dramaturgy Ivan Hubač, directed by Jiří Horčička.
- Nicol Williamson played over 20 different characters, each with a unique voice, in an adaptation directed by Harely Usill. Music by R.J. Stewart .This performance was released on four LP records in 1974 by Argo Records.
- The American radio theatre company The Mind's Eye produced an audio adaptation of The Hobbit which was released on six one-hour audio cassettes in 1979.
- Rob Inglis performed the only unabridged audiobook edition of The Hobbit, for Recorded Books in 1991. It contains original music composed by Inglis and music written by Tolkien himself, and Claudia Howard of Recorded Books.
Stage productions and musicals
- A musical production, The Hobbit, was staged in 1967 at New College School in Oxford. It was scripted by Humphrey Carpenter, set to music by Paul Drayton and performed by members of the New College School choir. Among the cast were Simon Halsey and Martin Pickard. The audience included a young Howard Goodall and, on the last night, Tolkien himself.
- In 1968, J. R. R. Tolkien authorized Patricia Gray's adaptation for the stage. This dramatization makes changes to the original plot, removing sections and giving Thorin the role of dragon-slayer, amongst other deviations. Many productions of this version have been performed up to the present day.
- Rob Inglis adapted and performed a one-man theatre play of The Hobbit. This performance led to him being asked to record the unabridged audio-book for The Lord of the Rings in 1990. A year later, he read the unabridged version of The Hobbit.
- The Manitoba Theatre for Young People commissioned Kim Selody to adapt The Hobbit. His version premiered there in 1999. The play is only licensed to be performed in Canada. Various productions have been reviewed as being "whimsical, wild and not too scary" and "not really that exciting".
- Christine Anketell produced a puppetry version that toured Australia in 1997 and again in 2000. The production featured 82 stringless Bunraku-style puppets that took about 6,000 hours to make. 11 puppeteers manipulated the puppets with Gandalf played by an actor in full costume.
Games and toys
Board, war and role-playing games
The Hobbit has been the subject of several board games.
- In the 1970's, TSR, Inc. released two editions of a war game based on The Battle of Five Armies, designed by Larry Smith, using cardboard tokens and a map of the area around the Lonely Mountain as the setting. The game was criticized for a lack of clarity in the rules, and praised for evoking the onslaught of the Warg and goblin army.
- Iron Crown Enterprises has produced several games based on The Hobbit:
- Coleman Charlon designed The Lonely Mountain (released in 1985), which features groups of adventurers entering Smaug's Lair to capture his treasure before he awakens.
- Also in 1985, Iron Crown Enterprises released its version of The Battle of Five Armies, developed by Richard H. Britton, Coleman Charlton, and John Crowell, again taking the theme of a war game and using card counters and a paper map.
- The Hobbit Adventure Boardgame [sic] was the last game from Iron Crown based directly on The Hobbit. They continued to publish the Middle-earth Role Playing Game, a game licensed on both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings properties, combining elements from both works.
- Middle-earth Strategic Gaming (formerly Middle-earth Play-by-Mail), which has won several Origin Awards, uses the Battle of Five Armies as an introductory scenario to the full game and includes characters and armies from the book.
- In 2005, Games Workshop released a Battle of Five Armies tabletop wargame, designed by Rick Priestley using highly detailed 10-millimetre figures sculpted by Mark Harrison, based on Games Workshop's Warmaster rules and designed to be played in a small space suitable for the home gamer. Gams Workshop also is expanding its Lord of the Rings: The Strategy Battle Game in the form of The Hobbit: The Strategy Battle Game.
- In 2011, British game publisher Cubicle 7 released The One Ring - Adventures over the Edge of the Wild, a role-playing game set several years after the events of The Hobbit. Supplements so far include Tales from Wilderland and The Loremaster's Screen and Lake-town, with others scheduled for release in 2013.
Toys and collectibles
- Lego has released a number of brick sets and minifigures titled Lego The Hobbit as part of Jackson's Hobbit film series franchise.
- In June 2012, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Weta Workshop announced they would offer a "range of authentic prop replicas, collectibles and merchandise based on the upcoming films" in October 2012.
Several computer and video games, both licensed and unlicensed, have been based on the story.
- One of the most successful was The Hobbit, an award-winning computer game developed in 1982 by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House with compatibility for most computers available at the time. A copy of the novel was included in each game package to encourage players to engage the text, since ideas for gameplay could be found therein. Likewise, the game does not attempt to re-tell the story, but rather sits alongside it, using the narrative to both structure and motivate gameplay. The game won the Golden Joystick Award for Strategy Game of the Year in 1983 and was responsible for popularizing the phrase, "Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold."
- In 2003, Sierra Entertainment published a platform game with action-RPG elements titled The Hobbit Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows PCs, and Xbox. A version, based on the same character design and story, but using a 2D isometric platform and using 3D characters which were pre-rendered using models from the console version, was also published for the Game Boy Advance.
Graphic media and literature
- Fleetway Publications published a fifteen-part adaptation of The Hobbit as a "visual serial" in Princess and Girl magazine in the United Kingdom. The story was published on a weekly basis between 10 October 1964 and 16 January 1965, accompanied by five or six illustrations by Ferguson Dewar.
- In 1989, Eclipse comics published a three-part comic book adaptation with a script by Chuck Dixon and Sean Deming and illustrations by David Wenzel.
- Unwin Paperbacks released a one-volume edition in 1990, with cover artwork by the original illustrator David Wenzel.
- Del Rey Books released a reprint collected in one volume in 2001. Its cover, illustrated by Donato Giancola, was awarded the Association of Science Fiction Artists Award for Best Cover Illustration in 2002.
- In 1998, the Royal Mail of Great Britain released a commemorative postage stamp, illustrated by Peter Malone, in a series entitled Magical Worlds: Fantasy Books for Children.
- The Soddit or Let's Cash in Again is a 2003 parody written by A.R.R.R. Roberts. The book consists of primarily slapstick-style jokes, with characters names slightly modified from the original (for example, Bingo as opposed to Bilbo) and a slightly altered storyline. As the book progresses, the story departs further and further from the original storyline that it parodies.
- Leonard Nimoy sang a jaunty ditty about The Hobbit titled "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins". The recording originally appeared on the album The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy, released in 1968. A music video accompanied it, featuring sand dunes and dancing girls.
- Paul Corfield Godfrey, who has written a large amount of music based on Tolkien with the permission of the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins Publishers, wrote a full-length opera on The Hobbit during the years 1971-76. The work divides into two parts entitled "Over Hill and Under Hill" and "Fire and Water", but the score of the second part only survives in fragments. Two orchestral suites were extracted from the work; the first of these was performed in London in 1971.
- German power metal band Blind Guardian have recorded many songs which contain either tributes or references to the works of Tolkien. On their 1992 album, Somewhere Far Beyond, the song "The Bard's Song - The Hobbit" tells part of the story of The Hobbit.
- In 2001, Marjo Kuusela produced the ballet Hobitti (The Hobbit in Finnish) with music by Aulis Sallinen for the Finnish National Opera.
- Dean Burry was commissioned by the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus to write an operatic version of the story for piano and choir to be performed in 2004. The performance rights were subsequently locked up by Tolkien Enterprises before being released in 2006. The Sarasota Youth Opera of the Sarasota Opera then requested full orchestration. With that and some revisions by the composer, the second version premiered on 9 and 10 May 2008 in the United States and was conducted by Lance Inouye.
- Anderson, Douglas. The Annotated Hobbit. p. 23.
- "William L. Snyder". genedeitchcredits. Gene Deitch. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Kayatta, Mike (9 January 2012). "A Long Lost Adaptation of The Hobbit Makes Its Way Online". The Escapist. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Emami, Gazelle (11 January 2012). "Gene Deitch's 'The Hobbit' Short Film Surfaces Online Nearly 50 Years On". Huff Post Culture (The Huffington Post). Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Kask, TJ. NBC's The Hobbit, Dragon Magazine, December 1977.
- "The Hobbit". Jackanory. Internet Movie Database: Jackanory, "The Hobbit" (1979)
- David Wood Guest Book at Stiles and Drewe
- "Peter Jackson to produce The Hobbit". CNN. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- "Guillermo del Toro 'leaves' as director of The Hobbit". BBC News. 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 3 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
- "Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit". BBC News. 22 October 2010.
- "Hobbit filming finally under way". BBC News. 21 March 2011. Archived from the original on 22 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "Evangeline Lilly Reveals Her Fears About Her ‘Hobbit’ Character", Access Hollywood, 3 October 2011.
- Bramlett, Perry C. I Am in Fact a Hobbit: An Introduction to the Life and Works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Mercer University Press, 2003 p.239
- The Hobbit (musical)
- The Hobbit (musical)
- "Der Hobbit, WDR 1980" (in German). Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Michael D.C. Drout (2006). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. p. 131. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- Joseph P. Menta (December 2001 – January 2002). "Talking With Rob Inglis". AudioFile. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "The Hobbit, the Musical", BBC Radio 4. accessed 4 August 2012.
- Ignatius, Jeff. Don't Mess With the Hobbit, on River City Reader, 6 July 2004. (retrieved 26/04/08)
- Photos of a performance during book-week in a school(retrieved 19/01/08)
- The Hobbit at Globe Theater Live
- Wilson, Lisa "The Hobbit is Hugely Entertaining" (review), Canoe.ca, 1 December 2001. retrieved 20/05/08
- The Hobbit Media Coverage at Korda Productions
- Chryssides, Helen (18/10/99). "Land of Dreams". Who. Check date values in:
- Easterbrook, Martin (Oct–Nov 1977). "Open Box Review". White Dwarf (3): 15.
- "Newsboard: Fellowship Follows". White Dwarf (57): 45. September 1984.
- "What is MERP?" on Other Hands
- More information can be found at: the Middle-earth Games page for the game (retrieved 25/02/08)
- Jones, Rich (2005). "Battle of the Five Armies Rules and miniatures for recreating battles in Middle Earth". Wargames Journal (1). p. 91.
- More information can be found at: Games Workshop's Specialist Games site
- TOR sub-site at Cubicle 7
- "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey collectibles partnership announcement". 5 June 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Moore, Phil (1986). Using Computers in English: A Practical Guide. Routledge. p. 44.
- Aarseth, Espen (2004). Ryan, Marie-Laure, ed. "Quest Games as Pos-Narrative Discourse". Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling (University of Nebraska Press). p. 366.
- "Game Keeper for the Autumn". CRASH (4). p. 43. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Campbell, Stuart (December 1991). "Top 100 Speccy Games". Your Sinclair Magazine (72): 28.
- Casamassina, Matt. "The Hobbit (review)". IGN.com. Retrieved 18 March 2008.
- Anon. "The Hobbit (review)". IGN.com. Retrieved 18 March 2008.
- "The Princess Hobbits". TolkienBooks.net. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "2002 Chesley Awards". The Locus Index to SF Awards. Locus Publications. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Anderson, Douglas A. (October 1988). The Annotated Hobbit. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 23.
- Silver, Steven H. (2004). "The Soddit, A.R.R.R. Roberts". SF Site. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- Angie Errigo, Paul Simpson (2003). The Rough Guide to the Lord of the Rings. Rough Guides. pp. 289–290.
- "The Hobbit ('Hobitti'), Op.78, Aulis Sallinen". ChesterNovello. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- Hobbits set for opera stage on cbc.ca
- Dean Burry, The Hobbit in Sarasota, April 2007, retrieved 17/02/07