I actually got to see the Hobbit in theatres last week. My not so quiet 7 year old boy actually sat through the whole film, with no fuss. In fact, he was play-fighting the next day with a shield, but he asked that I pretend it was an oak branch.
The film is completely different from the book, but is enchanting and mesmerising in its own way. I’d go see it again in theatres if I get the chance. The Hobbit is very different from the LOTR films, much less formal in tone, more relaxed and fun.
The Erebor/Dale sequences at the beginning are full of lovely design elements; hexagons, octogons, angular shapes abound. There are a lot of what looks like hand-knitted garments too; this is easily noted in the Bag End sequences, during the Unexpected Party.
All the ‘changes’ from book to film seem to be added on. There is not as much hacking and chopping (I’m referring to the absence of Bombadil in LOTR) at the book itself, just many many details added on top of it. Or maybe I need to re-read the book again to find more stuff to nitpick.
There is a lot of action, so it should be a good film even for people who haven’t read the books / don’t like / don’t care about Tolkien, but it might be a bit long. I’ve read and re-read Tolkien since I was twelve, so I was riveted the entire time. My husband didn’t grow up with Tolkien, has no interest etc… (in his defence, he’s from China), and he found it boring, he had trouble following the story and he was truly shocked and disappointed when he found out that it was part one of three.
Watching The Hobbit got me in a knitterly mood, hopefully something will come of it and I will actually have some FOs.