The Hobbit is a trilogy of epic fantasy adventure films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s much-loved 1937 children’s novel of adventure, peril, friendship, and courage in a fantasy world.
All three films were directed by Peter Jackson, using many of the same sets, locations, actors, and production team members that were featured in his hugely successful, the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, which was originally released between 2001 and 2003.
Jackson and his creative collaborators have crafted these films not only as adaptations of The Hobbit book but also as prequels for The Lord of the Rings movies that they precede in narrative time but also follow in cinematic release by over a decade. Supplementing Tolkien’s relatively brief book, the three Hobbit films also draw material from Tolkien’s appendices at the end of The Hobbit: The Return of the King, the closing volume of The Lord of the Rings, as well as the active imaginations of Jackson and his filmmaking team.
The Hobbit movies tell the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a humble, diminutive hobbit who is pulled from his comfortable home life by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen). Bilbo joins thirteen dwarves under the leadership of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) in a quest to slay the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), who has captured their home kingdom (and its golden treasure) inside the Lonely Mountain. In the background of their quest, the shadowy rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the main villain in The Lord of the Rings, is also detailed.
Filmed in Jackson’s native New Zealand for over a year in 2011 and 2012, The Hobbit consists of three films: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2013). Taken along with The Lord of the Rings films, The Hobbit trilogy completes a six-movie saga of grand stories set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth encompassing memorable characters, fantastical creatures, exciting and tense drama, imaginative design, beautiful, expansive landscapes, ambitious battles, and exhilarating action sequences.
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