In America, we just celebrated our Independence Day with flashy displays of fireworks. They’re everywhere–I went to a show last night and tonight, and littler ones are still popping all over my neighborhood as I head to bed. The whole shebang reminded me of a little dragon and a lot of fireworks in Mulan–Disney’s fictional take on a girl giving all of China a chance at their own freedom from the threat of evil Huns. Here’s the climactic moment where dragon+fireworks=freedom. Enjoy, and for my American readers, tell me how you spend your Independence Day!
Monthly Archives: July 2013
Right after I started my series on dragon lit for young people, the trailers for the new Hobbit movie came out. I don’t want to wait for that series to wrap up before I briefly mention the trailer, so I’m using this post as an aside on the Hobbit. I’ll get back to the dragon lit later in the week.
I’m a fan of Tolkien. Admittedly, the only time I’ve read through The Lord of the Rings in its entirety was when I was eleven, but I acknowledge its superiority above the movies (which I watch regularly) and grew up in a Middle-Earth-loving home. I was first introduced to The Hobbit when my dad read it to me and my sister as a bedtime story when we were young (much like he did with My Father’s Dragon). I loved it, and having enjoyed the LotR movies, I expected great things from Peter Jackson’s take on the prequel.
I didn’t post about the first movie after I went to see it at Christmas because it hadn’t reached the dragon portion of the story yet (Jackson chose to expand the book into a movie trilogy). Even though almost everyone I knew loved the movie, I wasn’t so crazy about it. I didn’t feel like it kept the heart of the story or characters for me, and too many flashy effects common to today’s action/adventure genre were added in. After part one alone, I wasn’t sure if I would be planning on seeing the other two parts.
Enter the trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Friend after friend posted the link on Facebook as they practically drooled in excitement, so I took a look. As expected, the trailer hints at more material that isn’t from the book, more added drama and action, and just plain more of everything that made me dislike the first movie. The fact that this is the segment involving giant spiders doesn’t help matters any, either–I may or may not have a bit of a phobia. And then there was Smaug.
Smaug, for those of you who don’t know, is the dragon from the Hobbit movies. He’s big, he likes to destroy villages, and his hoard happens to be the destination of the adventurers. The dragon eye shown at the end of the first Hobbit move is impressive; the scaly CGI creation that chases Bilbo around the second trailer is not. For such a high-budget, reputable production, I was disappointed. Even if they didn’t get the characters “right” according to my picture of the story, how can you go wrong with a dragon? Apparently, Jackson and I have far more differences in our imaginations than I guessed after The Lord of the Rings.
Here is my question for my readers: What about you? Why do you like or dislike what Jackson is doing with the Hobbit story? I have the trailer below, so let me know what you think. Am I alone in my disappointment, or are these movies and this dragon really that far off?