Well that’s just cheating!
I am going to be getting on a plane in about two days and going down to relatively sunny Orlando, Florida for almost two weeks. I am taking the kiddies to Disney World and also visiting with family over the Christmas holiday.
Chances of playing much Magic while I am gone are next to nada, but there is something I have been wanting to post for a couple of weeks.
Sharp readers probably recall I posted a few weeks back that I was re-reading The Hobbit. Boy is that book superb!
If you buy The Hobbit now from Amazon.com, I will make millions and never return from vacation.
I had read The Hobbit previously, of course, but I remember not liking it that much (I liked The Lord of the Rings on first read, but The Silmarillion I actively disliked on first reading but loved on subsequent reading). Anyway, for some reason if you re-read The Hobbit at 33 it goes very quickly… I read it in a matter of hours and loved every second.
Now the reason I got back into all the JRR stuff is that I was actually telling Bella the story of The Lord of the Rings on a train ride home one day and she was completely captivated. This got Katherine and me to pull out the Peter Jackson DVDs and start the reels turning, but of course Bella (at five) is too young for the good stuff.
But what about the also-good stuff?
While I didn’t have a really solid memory of The Hobbit the book before re-reading this time around, I have had for as long as I can remember (before kindergarten, certainly) a very specific memory of The Hobbit the story. And that picture comes from the Rankin/Bass version from my childhood.
If you haven’t seen the Rankin/Bass version, you’re in for a treat! My mom still sings me songs from it, and it has been about 30 years since we first saw it together, when I was younger than Bella.
Because this is 2009 — almost 2010 — you can find basically anything on YouTube… Including the entire Rankin/Bass version of The Hobbit… I’m embedding all of it below. If you have about 90 minutes and a hankering for a pocket full of joy, I suggest you bust out some microwave popcorn and enjoy the show.
I was medium terrified of the villainst in this version when I was in the single digits, and thirty-ish years later, I still find even Elrond creepy. The animation doesn’t look “modern” but it is still quite nice to look at… I still enjoy it, and I think they did a great job with the characters; in particular Gandalf, who is played distinctively by John Huston.
For what it’s worth, Bella absolutely loved it.