Hmm. Decent article, but two disagreements:1) Contrary to Olson, the
Hobbit is not about identity. Bilbo doesn't spend a single page reflecting
on who he really is, nor does he "find himself" on his journey. Saying
the Hobbit is about identity is to read into it an existentialist philosophy
that Tolkien would have abhorred.2) I'm not sure how you can
write about the morality of the Hobbit without once mentioning the moral theme
that animates the entire story: the love of money is the root of all evil. Smaug
takes the dwarves' mountain because he loves money. The King of Mirkwood
imprisons the dwarves in part because he loves money. The dwarves nearly start a
war because they love money and refuse to share it with those in need, or even
give it back to its rightful owners. In the end, Bilbo's chief value to the
dwarves is that he does not share their greed--he loves them more than their
gold. The whole message of the Hobbit is to care more about people and
relationships and the beauty of nature than about wealth.
I have seen the movie twice and may see it again. (I recommend the 48 frame 3-D
version.) Not for small children but all right for middle school aged
children—accompanied by parents. I agree with the distinction between
fantasy violence and the raw violence in many R-rated movies.
I'm surprised that you found the violence in The Hobbit to be "too
intense" and too much. It isn't realistic at all. It's what is
known as fantasy/sci fi violence. It is akin to what we see in the old cartoons
such as The Roadrunner, where the coyote kept getting smashed by anvils or even
currently shows like Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles. Your kids (and you) need to
understand the difference between that kind of pretend violence and the gritty,
realistic violence found in many movies.
I went to the movie on Monday December 17th. I could not sit longer than about
45 minutes and had to leave. Way too intense and so much violence. I love the
old Star Wars movies, that had a lot of story telling without a ton of violence.
I have decided to not go to any PG-13 movies anymore. The stories do have a
Christian Theme, and could have been told in a kinder, gentler way. Tolkien was
a master and was a good friend of C.S. Lewis.
I saw it, and I agree there's a lot of head-popping-off violence, and
it's very intense in places. That said, some of the really
strong themes that I really enjoyed were shown in the theme of courage,
sacrifice, showing mercy for those who don't deserve it, and facing
one's fears. There's also a theme about the importance of having a
home. It's a very thoughtfully done film. They've put a lot of effort
to make it such that it ties directly into the Lord of the Rings movies. They do
a much better job of explaining backstory and motivations of Gandalf, the
Dwarves, even Bilbo, and other forces in the world of Middlearth, than is found
in the actual text of the Hobbit. There are some fun characters and
also some scary ones. It should be interesting to see if they can keep as rich
and beautiful a story going as they have through the first part, because it was
very well done.
I saw the movie last night in a prescreening and I would never take a child
under 12-14 to it. It is very violent. The stuff nightmares are made of. My
friend and I were trying to find the "Christian themes" but it was hard
to do so because of all the scary stuff. Bilbo's behavior is such a
contrast to all the violence, that is about the only obvious one.