The Hobbit

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 68,948
User image

The Hobbit Photos

Movie Info

J.R.R. Tolkien's classic book about the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and his unexpected adventures came to life in this animated, televised adaptation by Rankin-Bass Productions. Enthusiasts of Tolkien's lengthy and more demanding Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as adult readers of The Hobbit, may be disappointed by this somewhat simplified adaptation of the book, though children and first-time readers of Tolkien will appreciate its whimsical introduction to the fictional world of Middle Earth. As the story goes, "In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit...." Bilbo Baggins would much rather relax in his comfy hobbit-hole or take long walks in the Shire than have adventures. After all, "adventures make one late for dinner." Unfortunately, Gandalf the Wizard shows up one day with other plans for Bilbo. Gandalf introduces Bilbo to a rag-tag band of dwarves whose leader, Thorin Oakensheild, asks Bilbo for help in recovering his family's treasure from the fire-breathing dragon Smaug. Bilbo meekly accepts the offer, and soon finds himself on a long journey through Mirkwood forest, to Smaug's dark lair in the Lonely Mountain. Along the way, the unlikely band is captured and nearly eaten by trolls, shackled and prodded by goblins, tied-up in webs and hung from trees by giant spiders, and finally imprisoned by the swarthy, distrustful woodland elves of Mirkwood. With keen hobbit-wits and a magic ring he finds in the goblin caves, Bilbo manages to free the band on several occasions and helps them recover their lost inheritance. Understandably, much detail was omitted from Tolkien's novel to fit this made-for-TV adaptation -- most notably the story of the group's encounter with Beorn the shape shifter, and the somewhat complex issue of the Arkenstone, a legendary gem which Bilbo steals from Smaug's treasure-trove unbeknownst to the dwarves. Rankin-Bass Productions made another foray into Middle Earth several years later with The Return of the King, picking up where animator Ralph Bakshi left his unfinished adaptation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Watch it now


News & Interviews for The Hobbit

Critic Reviews for The Hobbit

All Critics (16)

Audience Reviews for The Hobbit

  • Jul 13, 2012
    "The greatest adventure is what lies ahead..." The Hobbit is a wonderful animated feature from Rankin/Bass based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. The story follows a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who is recruited to embark upon a quest to help a group of dwarves reclaim their home from a dragon. The animation is fairly good for its time, and has a strong level of detail and depth. Additionally, the music is especially impressive; including Glenn Yarbrough's theme song "The Greatest Adventure." And, the voice work is quite good and very distinct. Unfortunately the story has been condensed significantly for this format, but the essence and style of Tolkien's work is still here. The Hobbit is a fun and exciting family film full of adventure.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2009
    It's a pretty decent 70's made-for-TV animation. With only 77 minutes it ha enough entertainment value, but obviously cuts out a LOT of stuff from the book. One scene is completely narrated over to save time. The dwarfs are just background as opposed to characters, they walk about but don't say much. The thing I loved most was the character designs. I really liked the goblins and Gollum's amphibian look was interesting. It's a good try and I was pleased with the parts they did, rather than being distracted by the bits they cut.
    Luke B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2008
    This movie always creeps me out. Frodo looks like an old, weird, genderless midget. I don't like the animation and the music really gets on my nerves.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2008
    My first intorduction to the world of Tolkein as a child. Not bad way to start at all.
    John M Super Reviewer

The Hobbit Quotes

News & Features