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(updated November 2015)

Hi! I’m Fiona van Dahl/FekketCantenel. I grew up watching and re-watching The Hobbit, the animated Rankin/Bass movie. It was also one of the first books I ever read. Having recently gone back and re-read the book, I view the animated movie as a near-perfect adaptation, cutting the most superfluous elements while highlighting the most uplifting and entertaining ones.

Like most, I was very excited to hear that Peter Jackson would be taking it on, and the casting and effects looked excellent. However, I was less enthusiastic once it was split into two, and then three, movies. Then they added Legolas, and a love triangle subplot, and Radagast, and layer upon layer of mind-numbing padding… Looking back, I can pinpoint the exact moment my good faith died. (I wrote more on this here.)

I can also pinpoint the exact moment I knew this trilogy was worth rescuing (warning, ending spoiler).

Process

This was my first fan-edit ever, and boy, it was a learning process. I had to learn Adobe Premiere from scratch, and made a few mistakes early on that later needed to be cleaned up.

The whole thing went through several distinct stages. You can see the last half of the process’ updates on Twitter, but here’s the summary:

  1. (15 days) An initial edit to remove everything not in the book. I seriously had a PDF copy open on the other screen, and went page-by-page. I even named the sequences in Premiere after chapters in the book, so I could keep track. The final runtime was around 3.5 hours, but when I learned of the Tolkien Edit, I knew I had to bring something more to the table. This is also the stage at which I created the Misty Mountains sequence (see below), though it would undergo many changes later on.
  2. (6 days) A second edit to remove plot elements that were skipped in the Rankin/Bass version, such as Beorn. This tightened up the plot and pacing quite a bit.
  3. (1 day) After screening it for a few friends, I went back and tweaked sections, correcting mistakes. I also cut even more, thirty seconds here and there, mostly extraneous dialog.
  4. (2 days) After another small screening, I went back and added a few things back in, plus more tweaks.
  5. (2 hours) At my birthday party, I screened the fan-edit for a group of friends and noticed just a few more transitions that needed work. I also noticed that Thorin being Fili and Kili’s uncle isn’t established until well into the second movie (unless someone can find a stray line I missed). I may be able to edit a line in later. Anyway, this is version 5.0, and was released on June 29, 2015.
  6. On November 30, 2015, I released version 6.0, the ‘final’ version. In it, I reincorporated several scenes and shots from Battle of the Five Armies: Extended Edition is out, and applied many more polishing edits.

As I worked on the final version, I occasionally took time out to play with clips and create jokes, YouTube Poop-style.

Change List

Hope you brought a snack. (Spoilers ahead.) Revisions from the final (6.0) version are marked with a .

Downloads

thehobbit_poster480p (2 GB) – magnet link
MD5: 0B661A6B454DE9277FF9695C63904F32
SHA1: 1DF06F4EA90F324C8AB4581460AD18226917D641

720p (5 GB) – magnet link
MD5: 936E64823AC98E90166A64E77178AEDF
SHA1: 8AA1D25538D17BE4EBBF8D439082B43F5BCDFF2E

1080p (10 GB) – magnet link
MD5: DC405F0B5EF4687A621EB3654005D1C2
SHA1: 910EF16B7726A43CE6BE843C96F74A03BDA4D2F5

Here’s a video guide to using magnet links. Please seed! I don’t have the best connection in the world, so any help passing this on to others would be greatly appreciated. If there are no seeders, tweet @FekketCantenel and let me know!

If anyone is willing to create subtitles for the fan-edit, please let me know.

This fan-edit is and will always be free. If you find anyone charging for access to it, or for hard copies of it, please let me know!

Final Thoughts

I did not create this fan-edit because I hate these movies. I love these movies. It’s just that there’s too much of them. The additions and tonal choices that turn off most people are just background noise to me. Always, but especially through working on this fan-edit, I’ve played a game of peering past the noise, at the awesome ideas that Tolkien created eighty-three years ago.

While I liked reading The Hobbit as a kid, and was always glued to the Rankin/Bass version, and the Lord of the Rings movies were good, it is the Peter Jackson-directed Hobbit movies that truly drew me into that world. They were my obsession for the entirety of 2015. Besides starting and completing the fan-edit (in service of which I taught myself Adobe Premiere), I started an extremely NSFW fanfiction trilogy starring a genderbent Martin Freeman (… Shari Lewis?). I painted runes on my door. My boho wardrobe took on a hairy-footed flair.

The experience was even enlightening. One Japanese word for ‘friend‘ is nakama, which (in troper circles) has come to evoke a group of comrades who ‘know they can depend upon each other in a crisis’. These are companions in a common goal. Through these movies, I finally grasped this concept, and now I know that I want a nakama of my own.

I could go on forever about the nailed-it! casting, the great practical work, the relatively successful CGI, the abundance of humor and drama (which I strived to balance in the fan-edit), the score… I hope I’ve succeeded in highlighting the talent and ingenuity that went into creating these movies, and I hope that somewhere, someone will think of this fan-edit as their favorite version.

Science Fiction/Horror

Eden Green Final CopyI wrote a science fiction/horror novel about people getting infected with immortal alien needle parasites. If that’s something you’re into, check out Eden Green.

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This page was created on June 17, 2015, and last modified on December 15, 2015.
All original content © 2000-2017 Fiona van Dahl.