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Throwback Thursday: The Hobbit

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

The theme song for this week's movie spotlight seems especially fitting for this time.  It reminds us that, while we don't know what's coming next and some things are out of our control, there are things we CAN control.  And we can view it as an adventure rather than an ordeal.

The 1977 animated television special of The Hobbit is one of my favorite movies.  I still watch it regularly even now at age 40.  It introduced me to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien.  And, while I love the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit live-action trilogies, this animated classic still holds a special place in my heart.

First of all, it is just 77 minutes long.  And it manages to include almost every aspect of the source material.  That is a rarity in the current fantasy movie industry.  Second of all, it is filled with delightful songs straight from the book.  My sister and I still burst into Hobbit songs at every opportunity.  My college friend Blake Hudson does the same thing.  In fact, the first time I realized he knew all the words to all the songs was the moment I knew we'd be friends.  The animation also stood out to me as a child.  It was so different from the cartoon styles I was used to seeing: Hanna-Barbera and Disney.  I didn't know it at the time, but it was done by a Japanese studio called Topcraft, a precursor to Studio Ghibli.

In 1977, NBC, Rankin and Bass won a Peabody Award for The Hobbit.   The Peabody annually honors the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media.  The movie was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1978, but lost to Star Wars.  The Hugo is science fiction's most prestigious award.  See?  I'm not the only one who loves it.  Add it to your next binge-watching session.

Learn more about the man behind the story.  Read one of these excellent biographies.
John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister
Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Famous Writers by David Stabler (ebook on Libby)
Mythmaker: The Life of J.R.R. Tolkien, Creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Anne E. Neimark
Who Was J.R.R. Tolkien? by Pam Pollack & Meg Belviso (ebook on Libby)

Did you miss last week's post in this series?  Take a look at Throwback Thursday: Mary Poppins.

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