Figure of Destiny

Before there were Kithkin proper, there were…

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, 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.


facebook comments:


#1 MTGBattlefield on 12.21.09 at 12:23 am

Figure of Destiny…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#2 nordahl on 12.21.09 at 7:35 am

Thank you. I really enjoyed that.

#3 l_neiman on 12.21.09 at 9:27 am

I watched the Rankin/Bass version of The Hobbit DI times as a kid, and I still like to come back to it every few years, :-).

Word of warning: do NOT watch the Ralph Baksi animated version of Lord of the Rings; it’s pretty terrible.

Did you ever see the Rankin/Bass version of Return of the King? It’s not as good as The Hobbit, but I have fond memories of it from when I was a kid:


#4 admin on 12.21.09 at 10:50 am

You’re welcome!

I am surprised to hear you say that about the Bakshi version. It is considered very influential on the Jackson version, and I think it holds up well. The Bakshi version suffered from a disconnect with customer expectation and shenanigans on the back end, but i think as a chronicle of the first half of the Lord of the Rings… Well, I liked it as a kid, and despite the Balrog scene (the Balrog isn’t that scary, and also Glamdring breaking), I like it still.

I was actually considering showing if not this movie, some Bakshi film at Movie Klub!

#5 l_neiman on 12.21.09 at 12:49 pm

Re: Bakshi’s LotR, I wasn’t too impressed with it when I saw it in college (mostly because I think Rotoscoping is too gimicky), but maybe it’s because I love the Rankin/Bass version of the Hobbit so much and I felt that Bakshi’s take didn’t live up to it, :-). I haven’t seen any of his other films, though, so I’ll keep an open mind.



#6 scoutinthenight on 12.22.09 at 1:27 pm

I know alot of people upset by the Baksi version since it was sold as the whole story but the theatrical release only went through the seige at Helm’s Deep. Plus, the second half of the movie got a very limited VHS release, so most of my friends didn’t believe me when I told them that the second half had been made.

I found the creation chapters of the Silmarillion really slow going, but after that loved the rest of the book.

#7 Cabrera on 12.23.09 at 4:03 pm

First of all, I’d like to give big ups to Mike Flores for his Naya Lightsaber deck. I would say I’m surprised it isn’t doing better at recent tournaments, but the current truth is that such elegance can be considered negatively feminine by the masses.

“May the hair on his toes never fall out!”

#8 Five With Flores » Stuff to Watch on 04.24.10 at 9:24 pm

[…] with Figure of Destiny, I am embedding a YouTube video of my favorite Doctor Who episode of all time, “Blink” […]

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