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TheLostPilgrim
01-16-2012, 05:16 AM
Reading a bit about the ideas Del Toro had for The Hobbit, when it was going to be his project, sound a lot better than PJ's and sound in some ways closer to the book:

"Del Toro said that he interpreted The Hobbit as being set in a "world that is slightly more golden at the beginning, a very innocent environment" and the film would need to "[take] you from a time of more purity to a darker reality throughout the film, but [in a manner] in the spirit of the book". He perceived the main themes as loss of innocence, which he likened to the experience of England after World War I and greed, which he said Smaug and Thorin Oakenshield represent. Bilbo Baggins reaffirms his personal morality during the story's third act as he encounters Smaug and the Dwarves' greed. He added, "The humble, sort of a sturdy moral fibre that Bilbo has very much represents the idea that Tolkien had about the little English man, the average English man", and the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin would be the heart of the film. The Elves will also be less solemn.
Del Toro met concept artists John Howe and Alan Lee, Weta Workshop head Richard Taylor and make-up artist Gino Acevedo to keep continuity with the previous films, and he also hired comic book artists to complement Howe's and Lee's style on the trilogy, including Mike Mignola and Wayne Barlowe, who began work around April 2009. He has also considered looking at Tolkien's drawings and using elements of those not used in the trilogy. As Tolkien did not originally intend for the magic ring Bilbo finds to be the all-powerful talisman of evil it is revealed to be in The Lord of the Rings, Del Toro said he would address its different nature in the story, but not so much as to draw away from the story's spirit. Each Dwarf would need to look different from the others.[93] Del Toro would have redesigned the Goblins and Wargs and the Mirkwood spiders would also have looked different from Shelob. Del Toro felt the Wargs had to be changed because "the classical incarnation of the demonic wolf in Nordic mythology is not a hyena-shaped creature".

Del Toro also wanted the animals to speak so that Smaug's speech would not be incongruous, though he explained portraying the talking animals would be more about showing people can understand them. Smaug would not have a "snub Simian [mouth] in order to achieve a dubious lip-synch", and Del Toro noted that such is the attention given to him that he would be the first design begun and the last to be approved. Del Toro, whose Chinese zodiac sign is the Dragon, is fascinated by the mythological species and attempted to include one in Pan's Labyrinth, but was unable to for budget reasons. His favourite cinematic dragons are Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and Vermithrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer. He has also provided a foreword to Howe's portfolio book Forging Dragons, where he discussed the dragon's differing symbolism and roles in various cultures and legends.

Del Toro and Jackson considered the sudden introduction to Bard the Bowman and Bilbo being unconscious during the Battle of the Five Armies to be "less cinematic moments" reminiscent of the novel's more "fairy tale world" than The Lord of the Rings, which they would change to make The Hobbit feel more like the trilogy. However, Del Toro considered some of these moments like Bilbo waking up to find the battle is over iconic and would require the "fairy tale logic [to] work as is".

Morthoron
01-16-2012, 09:25 PM
I have always stated the gangrel, hyena-like beasts Jackson presented as wolves were asinine, and certainly not a logical extension of Tolkien's mythos and the influences he used. That Del Toro recognized the Norse aspects of Tolkien's book, his willingness to incorporate Tolkien's art into the visual style of the movie, and his obvious attention to detail regarding dragon symbology, implies to me that he had a far profounder grasp of the subject matter than Jackson, who dealt in superficialities: make the ugly uglier, make the weapons larger, make the battle more immense, strip subtlety and nobility from the characters, etc., and he continues to do so with formulaic Hollywood additions and tediously unnecessary character proliferations in the story.

Dumbed down and slicked up, like a drunken whore at a science fiction convention.

Dilettante
01-17-2012, 06:49 PM
I have always stated the gangrel, hyena-like beasts Jackson presented as wolves were asinine, and certainly not a logical extension of Tolkien's mythos and the influences he used. That Del Toro recognized the Norse aspects of Tolkien's book, his willingness to incorporate Tolkien's art into the visual style of the movie, and his obvious attention to detail regarding dragon symbology, implies to me that he had a far profounder grasp of the subject matter than Jackson, who dealt in superficialities: make the ugly uglier, make the weapons larger, make the battle more immense, strip subtlety and nobility from the characters, etc., and he continues to do so with formulaic Hollywood additions and tediously unnecessary character proliferations in the story.

Dumbed down and slicked up, like a drunken whore at a science fiction convention.

Well Put. The whole thing makes me wish Del Toro had been the director rather than Jackson. Peter Jackson seems to be more concerned with making a Hollywood-style "dumbed down and slicked up" epic rather than using the beautiful subtlety, symbolism, and art that Tolkien has left us with. JRRT left us enough material to work with for five lifetimes, it does not need to be added to or modernized.

Your mention of stripping subtlety and nobility from characters brings to mind both Frodo and Elrond, the two characters that probably most suffer. Frodo was very courageous in his own right "By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair,. ect." Jackson turned him into someone who runs away from danger and stands around and stares. And Elrond, Ah! See the thread where we discuss how Jackson stripped the wisdom, kindness, and nobility from the character and turned him into a bitter old man. Alas! I wonder if The Hobbit will fare as well.

As for the "wargs"...you mean the button-eyed hyena-lemmings? I'm not sure what those are supposed to be, but they are not wolves.