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- Rated: PG-13
- Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Hugo Weaving, Kate Blanchett, Graham McTavish
- Written By: J.R.R. Tolkien (novel) Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson (screenplay)
- Directed By: Peter Jackson
- Original Year of Release: 2013
- Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
- Extras: See Below
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition Blu-Ray Review
A Little Bit More
By Tim Janson
December 01, 2013
Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
© Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy know you never buy the films upon initial DVD or Blu-ray release because there will be an extended edition that follows. The extended edition of The Hobbit checks in at a mere 182 minutes, 13 minutes longer than the theatrical cuts while the LOTR’s extended cuts were 30 – 45 minutes longer in length. Of course, a lot of people may say that an extended edition is totally unnecessary considering a single novel (and a relatively short one at that) is being stretched into a trilogy. Unlike the LOTR’s extended editions which add important elements to the film, such as the parlay with the Mouth of Sauron before the gates of Mordor, the additional scenes are more like the garnish on the dinner plate. They might make it look pretty but ultimately you toss them aside.
I’m not going to go into many details and analysis of the film itself. Yes it’s a highly padded version of Tolkien’s novel but the film adds elements and plotlines from The Lord of the Rings that didn’t appear in those films. Radagast the Brown who was barely mentioned in the Hobbit and the LOTR’s plays a much larger role in the film. In Middle Earth history it was Gandalf that investigated the abandoned fortress of Dol Guldur, in the film it is instead Radagast that discovers the fortress is inhabited by a Necromancer, i.e. Sauron.
So with that said, lets quickly cover some (but not all) of the additional and extended scenes that comprise the extra 13 minutes:
- Peter Jackson’s daughter Katie plays a hobbit, along with the film’s production designer Dan Hennah as Old Took. It’s also in this scene that we see a four-year old Bilbo playing with Gandalf as he releases his famous fireworks.
- More footage of Bilbo in the Shire prior to the Dwarves arrival.
- We get more footage of the Dwarves raiding Bilbo’s pantry
- Additional footage of the dwarves feasting in Rivendell as a beautiful Elf maiden plays a harp.
- Additional footage of Gandalf and Elrond discussing how Gandalf found the sword Glamdring and of a Dwarves singing a lively song
- Bilbo overhears a conversation between Gandalf and Elrond in Rivendell discussing their quest. Maybe the most important of the additional scenes.
- Another important scene between Gandalf, Elrond, Galadrial, and Saruman discussing the fate of the seven rings of power that were given to the Dwarves.
- After being captured by the Goblins, its discovered that the dwarf Nori stole several items from the elves in Rivendell including a candelabra that the Goblin King finds and discards.
No one does extras like Peter Jackson and the Extended Edition Blu-Ray is filled with over eight hours of new material.
Audio Commentary by Peter Jackson and Co-Writer Philippa Boyens
New Zealand: Home to Middle-Earth (6:53) – This appeared on the first blu-ray release.
The Appendices Part 7: A Long Expected Journey
The Journey Back to Middle-Earth (48:19) - This extra looks at the massive production, and Jackson reveals that he had to begin shooting with less than a quarter of the pre-production time he had on Lord of the Rings.
Riddles in the Dark (17:00) – This looks at the riddles scene between Bilbo and Gollum.
An Unexpected Party (25:28) - This focuses on the Dwarven party at Bilbo's house as Jackson discusses improvements in motion-capture technology and the evolution of sizing his actors appropriately for the scene.
Roast Mutton (17:12) – A look at the Dwarves being captured by the trolls and Jackson talks about last-minute changes to the scene.
Bastion of the Greenwood (10:41) - The filmmakers bring Radagast the Brown and his rabbit-pulled sleigh to life in this piece.
A Short Rest (29:12) - McKellan, Blanchett and Weaving return to set to film their scenes in Rivendell, and Christopher Lee, Holm and Wood reunite in London.
Over Hill (13:40) – A look at the Misty Mountain scene where the giants do battle.
Under Hill (19:15) – Creating the Goblin King and the Goblin stronghold.
Out of the Frying Pan (16:07) - This featurette focuses on the battle between the orcs and dwarves at the climax of the film.
Return to Hobbiton (18:35) – A look at theOld Took's party scene that sees a young Bilbo meet Gandalf.
The Epic of Scene 88 (8:28) – A look at the Warg chase sequence
The Battle of Moria (10:57) - Shooting the epic battle, shown briefly in the prologue.
Edge of Wilderland (22:37) - The cast and crew discuss their work in New Zealand on An Unexpected Journey.
Home is Behind, the World Ahead (11:40) Gglimpses of scenes from the upcoming sequels.
The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth
The Company of Thorin (1:02:41) - This documentary dives into the histories of each dwarf family in the film and the backstory Tolkien and Jackson provided for this film.
Mr. Baggins: The 14th Member (16:10) - Martin Freeman discusses the development of his character, from the pages of Tolkien's novel to the big screen.
Durin's Folk: Creating the Dwarves (57:25) – Another feature about the dwarves, that focuses more on Weta's contributions to the effects.
The People and Denizens of Middle-Earth (58:09) - This extensive segment focuses on the various races and people of Middle Earth from the goblins to the trolls and Radagast the Brown.
Realms of the Third Age: From Bag End to Goblin Town (58:59) - This hour-long exploration of the film's locales features looks at Hobbiton, the Misty Mountains, Rivendell and Goblin Town.
The Songs of The Hobbit (32:32) - This final featurette focuses on the filmmakers' adaptations of Tolkien's original songs for the film.