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The Hobbit Movie Trivia

VO: Rebecca Brayton
This popular book by author J.R.R. Tolkien remains a literary classic. The other books in the Lord of the Rings saga have already become popular films, and it is finally getting its own movie series. While you wait for this trilogy to arrive, we dig up interesting facts about the prequel story. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore ten pieces of trivia you should know about “The Hobbit.”
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The Hobbit Movie Trivia


This film series truly is precious! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be exploring ten pieces of trivia you should know about “The Hobbit.”

#1 – Bringing Middle-Earth to the Big Screen


Kicking off our list is a factoid about the struggle to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical writings to the screen. Legends like Stanley Kubrick and even The Beatles voiced interest, but the first to actually do it were Rankin and Bass, the guys behind all those classic stop-motion Christmas specials! Their 1977 musical “The Hobbit” came out a full year before the ambitiously rotoscoped adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings.”

#2 – More Than One Kind of Hobbit


The central characters in both “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” series are, well, the hobbits. These Halflings only measure between two and four feet tall, and are the cousins of mankind. There are even three distinct offshoots of the hobbit race: the tiny, dark-skinned and beardless mountain and hill dwelling Harfoots, the broad-shaped river-dwelling Stoors, and those who live in the woodlands, the tallest and fairest of them all, the Fallohides.

#3 – Becoming Bilbo Baggins


Finding a young Bilbo Baggins for 2012’s “The Hobbit” series was not an easy task. Before the part went to Martin Freeman, Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, Doctor Who’s David Tennant, Transformers’ Shia LeBeouf, X-Men: First Class’ James McAvoy and Spider-Man’s Tobey Maguire were all candidates.

#4 – Who’s Who Again?


Middle-Earth can be a confusing place: for example, the two main villains in “The Lord of the Rings” are Sauron and Saruman. Because of the similarity, studio execs for the 1978 animated feature renamed Saruman “Aruman,” but changed it back after receiving negative feedback. However you can still hear the altered name in certain parts of the movie! Meanwhile, in the world of “The Hobbit,” there are no less than 13 dwarves accompanying Gandalf and Bilbo on their adventures – and most of their names rhyme.

#5 – The Comic Relief


Even though it caused the director grief, the Company of Dwarves was an important part of “The Hobbit.” These quirky characters brought humor to the story, and helped make this installment more child-friendly. Since their names were so similar, it was important for Jackson to distinguish them from each other. Different clothes, hairstyles and beards appeared on each dwarf, not to mention their individual personalities! Jackson expanded the characters so much, he had to split the novel over three movies.

#6 – The Screen Legend Returns


To our relief, director Peter Jackson didn’t need to find a new Saruman for 2012’s Hobbit trilogy! Christopher Lee overcame old age and health issues to reprise his role, and it’s a good thing: Tolkien himself had recommended that Lee be involved should Middle-Earth ever appear on the big screen. Sure, he intended Lee to play Gandalf, but the Saruman role isn’t too shabby either.

#7 – The Shire is a Magical Place in “The Lord of the Rings”


Middle-Earth was created using effects and trickery: Two different-sized Bag End sets were built for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and recreated for “The Hobbit” so the actors would appear smaller than Ian McKellan’s Gandalf. But that’s nothing compared to the eighteen hundred hobbit feet that were produced over the course of a year for the main cast for the original 2001 film!

#8 – Creature Features


The Hobbits are not alone in Middle-Earth. One of the creatures they face are inbred Orcs called the Uruk-hai. In “The Lord of the Rings,” filmmakers gave them blotchy skin and other deformities to make their heritage apparent. The actors portraying them even had to blacken their mouths with licorice-based mouthwash! Of course, the terrifying creatures in “The Hobbit” will make expanded use of computer technology…

#9 – Miniature No More


Speaking of improved technology: computers have advanced by leaps and bounds since “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was released, and this eliminated the need for miniature models of Middle-Earth locations. As a result, “The Hobbit” is dominated by CGI, marking a clear break from cinematic tradition.

#10 – A Fellowship of Tattoos


Rounding out our trivia list is a factoid about the cast’s ink. The original “Lord of the Rings” cast worked together for years, so it’s not hard to imagine the bond they forged. After filming wrapped, eight of the nine Fellowship members got tattoos of the Elvin word for “nine.” With many reprising their roles in “The Hobbit” trilogy, we may even catch a glimpse of the tats in Middle-Earth!

What’s your favorite “Hobbit” factoid? For more entertaining trivia videos, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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