Of all the animated specials in the 70’s, The Hobbit has to be one of my favorite. It severely oversimplifies the book, but it is a genuine work of art and one that I’ve been enjoying since it was released by Rankin:Bass in 1977. It was this animated special that introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien, and to the lore of Middle Earth.
While there are many lessons that it teaches us, none are more important that those we learn, by proxy, on Thorin Oakenshield’s death bed. Having been through the horrors of World War I, Tolkien imparted his wisdom to us and to the animator’s credit, they kept the essence of that lesson in the story.
“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”