In addition to being American Business Women’s Day, Dear Diary, and National Ice Cream Cone Day, yesterday (September 22nd) was also Hobbit Day. Unlike some other seemingly arbitrary holidays (I’m looking at you, National Ice Cream Cone Day), Hobbit Day specifically takes place on this date because it is the shared birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. I learned this after attending a hobbit party last night, which ended up being everything that a pop culture nerd could ask for. The party also served to remind me that there’s a new-ish trailer for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: Part 1, Sonnet 138, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (I’m assuming the full title is something like that), and that I have yet to write a Hobbit post for my blog, so I’ve decided that to honor Bilbo and Frodo, I’m going to do some good old-fashioned trailer analysis.
Before I go any further, I just want to say that I’m nervous about Peter Jackson breaking up The Hobbit into 3 parts. Real nervous. I mean, those people who made the animated Hobbit movie in the ’70s sped through the source material in under 80 minutes. (And can you really improve on the greatness that is that film.)
(Well, yes. The answer is most definitely yes.)
Tolkien’s book is fairly long, but it’s not nearly as involved as his Lord of the Rings trilogy. In fact, if memory serves, the first third of the book is basically taken up by that dwarf song, right? However, I’ve been assured by people who know much more about Middle Earth than I that Jackson is also incorporating material from other Tolkien texts, and if the latest trailer is any indication, there’s going to be plenty going on other than the dwarf song. Below are a few of my casual observations. (Note: When I say casual, I mean casual. I like Tolkien, but I’m certainly not an expert on his extended mythology, so if you’re looking for legit, informed commentary on the trailer…you’re probably not going to find it here.)
0:00-0:04 Yay, more New Zealand!
0:05-0:12 Ian McKellen resumes his role as Gandalf, Local Badass and…wait, is that Richard Armitage leading the dwarves?! Incredibly hot Richard Armitage of BBC masterpiece North and South? Mr. Thornton, what are you doing here?!
0:13-0:20 Can I just take a moment to say what a good choice it was to cast Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins? Martin Freeman just seems like the type of guy with whom I could go out to get…oh, I don’t know, a bagel or something, and then we could go mini-golfing and it would be fun for once. And I think I’d also enjoy doing those activities with Bilbo Baggins…ergo, expert casting.
0:21-0:29 Dwarf party!!! Man, those dwarves are smooth operators, managing to throw a party under the watch of Bilbo “I Hate Loud Noises But Enjoy Fun in Moderation” Baggins. Good for you, dwarves.
0:30-0:45 But then shit gets serious and we learn that dwarves don’t always party, they also make plans to go into battle. I hope Jackson works at least one really good battle scene in this first installment. I want to see someone take down an oliphant.
0:46-0:49 Why don’t I live there?
0:50-0:53 Or there? Stupid elves in their elf mansions, thinking they’re better than me…
0:55-0:56 Does anyone else think that the stone giants look a bit like giant three-toed sloths?
0:57-1:00 Seriously, Ian McKellen could read all of Atlas Shrugged on camera and I would watch it.
1:01-1:13 Here’s a nice montage directly setting us up for the inevitable Hobbit video game.
1:14-1:19 Decrepit Jack Sparrow figure creepily strokes a hedgehog. Is that Tom Bombadil? I’ll be honest, I haven’t read The Hobbit since I was 11, and I don’t really remember what Tom Bombadil’s role was, beyond possessing an awesome name.
1:20-1:35 Yes, Gollum is back and being sassy! And by sassy I mean threatening to eat Bilbo whole. Oh, Smeagol, you kidder, you.
1:36-1:40 Okay, I definitely don’t remember this part in the book…
1:41-1:55 Woot woot, underdog story! Richard Armitage gives a moving mini-speech. I thought it was moving, at least. Especially when paired with footage of Bilbo and the dwarves having a series of really rough days.
1:56-2:08 More awesome action footage, and some brief glimpses of some of our main players. Is it wrong that when they show the quick shots of the different characters, I want there to be freeze frames and ’70s-style sitcom credits? Like “Gandalf as ‘The Mentor'” and “Jittery Jazzhands Gollum as Himself”? I don’t know where I got the name “Jittery Jazzhands”. I’m sorry, I’ll stop now.
2:09-2:18 Time for one last one-liner and some slapstick, troll-related humor. What wacky adventures lie in store!