The Hobbit was bad for obvious reasons as well as behind the scenes reasons. This is why fans didn’t like the prequel trilogy.
The Hobbit the prequel trilogy was not as well developed as The Lord of the Rings trilogy that preceded years. Both trilogies were directed by Peter Jackson, but The Hobbit does not even hit its target. There are several reasons for this, including a change of director, a lack of preparation time, and the company’s insistence on doing The Hobbit book in three separate films. Fans may agree that the previous trilogy was thin and stretched out, like scratched butter on too much bread.
Initially, Peter Jackson wanted to do The Hobbit before The Lord of the Rings back to the mid-1990s. But the rights to Tolkien’s novel weren’t available, so Jackson started doing The Lord of the Rings. New Line Cinema gave him creative freedom and he was able to make the films he wanted. When is the time to do The Hobbit, most people would probably assume that Peter Jackson would reprise the role of director. However, due to some personal conflicts between Jackson and New Line Cinema, he was initially only supposed to be a producer because the production company didn’t want him to be in the driver’s seat for The Hobbit, Peter Jackson also didn’t want to compete with his previous trilogy.
Guillermo del Toro was the originally chosen director. He and Peter Jackson worked together on the screenplay. Del Toro spent two years in pre-production of The Hobbit. But due to financial problems encountered by the MGM production company, the project could not be lit green. Del Toro had to resign as manager due to scheduling conflicts as he couldn’t wait indefinitely for the company to get its affairs in order. So Peter Jackson had to intervene. But, not only did he have virtually no prep time to put his ideas together and make changes, he was under the strict control of Warner Bros. LOTR trilogy. And he basically had to take someone else’s movie notes, try to decipher them, and make a movie based just on that.
Worse still, that of Guillermo del Toro The Hobbit was supposed to be two movies. But if a studio can get away with charging 33% more, why not do three? Well, after a while it will break the trust that a consumer has in a certain studio. If a company consistently produces low-quality films, a consumer will not be spending their hard-earned money on a theater ticket to see them. So Peter Jackson got someone else’s ratings for two movies, and the studio said “make three, have fun!” Warner Bros. also gave Jackson tight deadlines and strict rules. This obviously resulted in 3 uninspired movies that looked too much like the original trilogy.
Part of the creative process is not that stuck in a box. Letting ideas flow while following a guideline can produce some amazing moments in filmmaking. So, by being told what to do every step of the way by a studio, Peter Jackson was unable to make a successful prequel trilogy. The director even admits that sometimes he didn’t know what he was doing and just got on set and piloted it. This is not surprising news, considering the end product is mediocre. Perhaps the greatest tragedy that surrounds The Hobbit was the loss of over two dozen animal actors who were not housed properly during filming. Apparently 27 animals died during production, including horses, goats, sheep and chickens. Aside from the many backstage issues with The Hobbit, there are also history issues.
The first is that the movies seem too long and don’t perform enough. This is probably because there was only one book to start from. There are no memorable moments in the trilogy because the “right” scenes are too few and too far apart to capture anyone’s attention for the 3+ hours of each movie. There are also too many characters. Sure, the Lord of the Rings had a ton of characters, but they were all so different and well developed that they were easily recognizable. The Hobbit had too many main characters who were mostly dwarves, so they were too similar in appearance, and even had similar names that weren’t spoken often enough to remember.
Anyone who remembers watching the Lord of the Rings for the first time will remember how real everything was. Orcs were real actors in prosthetics and makeup. Almost all of the characters wore a prosthesis or at least a wig and contact lenses. All armor and weapons were made by hand. There weren’t any big green screen rooms where the actors struggled and pretended to be doing something cool. The actors were on hand, bringing the moment to life and capturing it on camera. Anything that could not be achieved to scale was still staged (in miniature form) and filmed. The Lord of the Rings The trilogy used all the tricks from the book, and the climax of all these different types of artists working on a project was magical.
The Hobbit went too heavy on the CGI. Everything was cold and worded. It was a clear cash grab and nothing more (at least in the studio member’s eyes). The best thing about The Hobbit The trilogy is Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Bilbo Baggins as well as Bilbo’s story. The way Freeman adds subtle humor to the character is very skillful. Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect voice for Smaug, and Andy Serkis has done another amazing job as Gollum. But sadly, the few good things in the trilogy were ruined by pacing issues, a low climate threat, and lack of direction.
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