The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series are undoubtedly some of the most iconic movies of our time. Everything about them, from the imagery to the music in the soundtrack, are distinctly unique to this franchise. But is one better than the other?
To offer a quick explanation of these movies, the Hobbit is the chronological precursor to the Lord of the Rings movies, which according to the story takes place about 60 years prior to the great Lord of the Rings adventure, despite the Lord of the Rings movie series having been created first.
The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) pic.twitter.com/u8d8DIZgtt
— 4K LOTR Perfect Shots (@lotr__shots) May 13, 2023
There is approximately a 10 year disparity between the creation of the LOTR series and The Hobbit series. Because of this, there is a notable difference between the computer generated imagery in the two series’. The Hobbit CGI technology is distinctly superior to the LOTR technology, which can be observed in virtually every aspect of the film, down to the appearance of the orcs. The Hobbit features a hyper-detailed depiction of the orcs, and because of this, the creators were able to make the orcs more unique and individual. In contrast, the LOTR orcs appear to be more similar to each other in appearance, and are noticeably grosser-looking than the orcs in The Hobbit. Slimy-looking, even. Some believe that the amount of CGI used in the new movies was excessive and they preferred the method used in the LOTR, which was a combination of CGI and prosthetics.
do you prefer the lord of the rings or the hobbits villain design? pic.twitter.com/GOriqdCMpN
— anna 🏹 (@myelessar) October 7, 2021
Another significant difference between the series is the development of the characters. It appears that there was more care put into the adaptation between book-and-movie with The Hobbit, as the characters’ personalities appeared to match their depictions from the book more closely. The wizard Gandalf also has much more wit and personality in The Hobbit as Gandalf the Grey as he does in LOTR as Gandalf the White.
Another difference in these films is the extent to which they incorporate the magic of fantasy. Being part of the fantasy genre, the theme is obviously present in both series, but the focus of LOTR appears to be centralized around themes of repetitive war and conflict. In contrast, The Hobbit’s story is distinctly more magical, with more supernatural additions such as the dragon Smaug, the shape-shifting bear Beorn, and noticeably more usage of magic by Gandalf.
I know The Hobbit movies are controversial for some but Smaug was one hell of a dragon pic.twitter.com/222yeUDFDE
— Pat Guy (@ThisPatGuy) March 11, 2023
It’s fascinating to compare and contrast the features and characteristics of the two series. Regardless of which is superior, this franchise undoubtedly remains a timeless masterpiece.