J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (Maple Films Edit)

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Experience the Hobbit Trilogy as a single film, recut to be more faithful to Tolkien's classic novel.
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2012 / 2013 / 2014
Original Running Time:
542
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
247
Time Cut:
295
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
I have cut over half of the cumulative running time of the films. What was once a bloated, 542-minute trilogy is now a more digestible 247-minute epic. In general, I’ve tried to keep the spirit of the book intact by removing unnecessary subplots, characters, ridiculous action scenes, and so on.
Intention:
Like many others, I was disappointed by Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. I wanted to see a version of The Hobbit that was closer to the spirit of Tolkien’s book. This is that film.
Other Sources:
- Howard Shore's Original Motion Picture Soundtracks
- Video Copilot Action Essentials (for additional flame/smoke effects)
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Special Thanks:
Eric Odmyr, Chad Mosby, Eric Olson, Bobby Fitzsimmons, Benjamin Marechal, Sandro Algra, Reijo Nyberg, PiNokKiO, Eric Odmyr, Simon Lydell, Nicolas Clavijo, Scarlett Buse, and others that contributed semi-anonymously!
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray
  • Digital
Special Features
- Durin's Folk and the Hill of Sorcery, an hour-long side quest film that features the Dol Guldur/White Council subplot and how it ties into the dwarves' backstories.
- Official Trailer
- 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound AND Stereo Options
- Kili & Tauriel: a One-Minute Love Story
- Subtitles Available via my website
Editing Details:
Many of you probably saw or heard of “The Tolkien Edit” when it was released in early 2015. That was not my fan edit. It was hastily assembled and had very poor audio/visual quality, especially since the editor used a pirated DVD screener copy of Battle of Five Armies as his source. A guy named David Killstein released his own edit shortly after that, called “There and Back Again.” It had better editing, but the technical quality was still poor. Regardless, both of these edits grabbed a lot of attention because they were the first Hobbit fan edits out of the gate, and it showed people that it was possible to cut a 9-hour trilogy in half (or more) and still make sense.

So if you liked those edits, you will LOVE this version. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has been created using only the highest-quality media available- full HD Bluray and 5.1 surround sound. Working with 5.1 has given me far more options for audio editing than a simple stereo track. I’ve said it many times since I began working on this edit, but buried somewhere underneath the uneven, bloated Hobbit trilogy is a truly great film. For me at least, I have finally found that film. Hopefully you’ll think so too!

Basic Cutlist:

- A 542 minute trilogy cut to a single 247 minute film
- Well over 600 actual edits and trims made
- An Intermission splits the film in half, at the exact point where Peter Jackson originally intended to split the Hobbit when it was still two films. (For the curious, it's the scene where the company first encounters Bard)
- Overall, the film remains focused on Bilbo and the dwarves
- Unnecessary subplots, characters, and CGI silliness have been jettisoned. That means little to no Legolas, Tauriel, Alfrid, Radagast, and more
- Color corrected in several sequences to match LOTR’s visuals more
- Edited and mastered in 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
- Numerous digital alterations, including a new opening title, gold coating removed from Smaug, Radagast erased from an eagle flyover shot, etc.
- Orc subtitles altered to explain plot adjustments
- Several unused music cues by Howard Shore have been re-inserted in key scenes, including the famous Misty Mountains theme that was abandoned after AUJ.
- Various scenes from the Extended Editions have also been added where needed. Yes, Thorin’s funeral is in here.
Cuts and Additions:
EDITS FOR AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY:
- No Dale/Erebor prologue. This was cut because the dwarves’ backstory is told in a much better fashion when they are in Bag End.
- Bilbo’s opening lines remain, but Frodo is removed
- Some dwarf silliness is gone from the Bag End sequence (just a few shots)
- No Necromancer/Dol Guldur subplot. It distracts from the main quest and was poorly conceived and executed anyways. As it was in the book, it is only briefly hinted at now.
- No Radagast whatsoever
- Azanulbizar flashback is gone, but is featured in my side quest film "Durin's Folk and the Hill of Sorcery."
- Azog. This is one of the biggest issues with the fanedit. Azog is a lousy CGI villain that looked immediately dated upon the film’s release. However, Jackson made him the primary antagonist across the three films and his role is unfortunately essential. Even so, I have cut his role down considerably in AUJ.
- Troll scene has been trimmed, with some silliness removed
- The Daylight orc chase is gone. I spliced the company checking out the troll cave with their entrance to Rivendell.
- No White Council/Galadriel/Saruman
- The Stone Giants, while they were in the book, were overdone and ridiculous in Jackson’s film. They have been cut.
- All scenes with Gollum are untouched except for his initial scene knocking the goblin out and dropping the ring in front of Bilbo. As it is now, Bilbo awakens alone and finds the ring without knowing anything about it...just like the book. The film makes it clear that he sees Gollum drop the ring and decides to steal it instead.
- Goblintown escape has been cut drastically, removing almost all of the physics-defying stunts and cartoonish CGI bits.
- The tree fight/eagle rescue sequence is edited to remove the Azog/Thorin showdown. It was obviously beefed up late in production in order to have a more “action-packed” climax for AUJ. Orcs show up and the party is rescued by eagles. This segues immediately into the beginning of DOS with the company arriving at Beorn's house.
- Other miscellaneous trims here and there

EDITS FOR DESOLATION OF SMAUG:
- No prologue at the Prancing Pony
- Once again, no Dol Guldur/Necromancer subplot
- Once again, no Radagast
- Legolas and Tauriel. Another unfortunate addition by Jackson that cannot be removed entirely. They make a brief appearance in Mirkwood when they arrest the dwarves, and are briefly in the orc skirmish during the barrel chase. Every other scene with them in DOS is gone.
- The barrel chase has been heavily cut. No more Bombur rolling all over orcs or Legolas tap dancing on the dwarves heads
- Laketown scenes have been cut or trimmed, especially regarding Alfrid
- Bilbo’s encounter with Smaug is pretty much untouched. This was one of the high points of the Hobbit films.
- Smaug playing hide and seek with the dwarves is gone, along with the dwarves lighting the furnaces and throwing flashbangs at Smaug’s head. Dumb.
- Smaug bursts out of Erebor right after telling Bilbo he can watch the people of Laketown die. His skin has been digitally color corrected to remove the gold coating in the original version.
- Other cuts here and there

EDITS FOR BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES:
- Smaug’s attack on Laketown is now dwarf and Tauriel-free.
- Alfrid has been completely removed from the film aside from the opening scene and the shores of Laketown.
- Since the four dwarves from Laketown were never actually there, I removed their reunion scene with the company.
- Some of Thorin’s “dragon sickness” scenes have been cut or trimmed. There were too many of these scenes in the original version and they dragged the film too much.
- The giant were-worms are gone. Azog’s army simply marches out of the mountainside.
- The actual Battle of Five Armies has been drastically cut. I boiled it down to its most essential element- Dain’s army is quickly overrun and Thorin must decide whether to help or not. Everything else that happens is not crucial to the plot. Therefore, most of the fighting in Dale has been cut along with some of the more ridiculous bits of the battle. Everything has been streamlined and is much easier to follow now. It also puts more focus on Dain, which is nice.
- Legolas and Tauriel appear VERY briefly once the battle begins. Legolas warns Gandalf of the approaching army from the north and is never heard from again.
- Ravenhill has been trimmed considerably as well. Fili and Kili's deaths occur at the same time, to make it appear that they were both captured and killed in front of Thorin and Bilbo.
- Unfortunately there is no onscreen death for Bolg since PJ gave him and Legolas the most unrealistic and ridiculous fight scene ever. So let’s just assume Beorn ate him or something.
- Thorin’s fight with Azog is trimmed a bit but is mostly the same.
- The film is basically untouched after Bilbo begins his journey home. I added Howard Shore's sublime "Dreaming of Bag End" over the scene where Bilbo and Gandalf part ways.
- The End!
Cover art by eldusto84 (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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User reviews

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9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.6(27)
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8.6(27)
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9.0(27)
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7.7
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7.0
Overall I thought this edit was fairly good, I did think it was a bit overhyped. I found their color corrections to be a bit over the top and very noticeable in the shire specifically. Before watching this one I originally watched the Tolkien edit which has far lower quality video but I did find a few things about it that I personally proffered. I think that the Tolkien edit handled the overall story a bit better but I really enjoyed the maple edit for some of it's character development .

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7.9
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7.0
Certainly an improvement over the originals. And, besides a few awkward A/V editing moments (nothing major but just a few times where cuts were noticeable), the technical elements were great. Unfortunately in my case, the films are still far too bloated, even at only half their runtime: with some ultimately unnecessary set-ups and sequences left seemingly untouched. Obviously this cut has impressed many, and it more-or-less has done the same to me, but it's just not quite there.
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9.6
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I am a huge LotR's fan but really struggled to enjoy/finish the original Hobbit trilogy. I found them extremely bloated and tough to sit through (I fell asleep in the theatre several times). Fortunately, this was one of my first introductions to fan editing and it honestly set the bar extremely high. Not only did I love this edit but it's now my only go-to when watching these movies.

The scene edits for the most part are perfectly executed with only a few very small cuts that are slightly noticeable. I was particularly impressed and how the Smaug scene played out as that seemed to go on for days in the original cut.

The pacing and storytelling were very well done considering a large chunk of the trilogy was cut and anyone who can still keep my attention for a 4-hour feature length film has my instant approval.

I only had the stereo SD version for years but thankfully just got the 5.1 1080p version and can't wait to watch this again.

Thank you for making these movies watchable in one sitting and inspiring me enough to take on my own edits. I highly recommend this version.

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This was a great introduction to the fanedit world. I enjoy the original versions of the movies and am not as bothered as some by the extra stuff put in there. That said, this edit definitely cleaned up the story arc and moved things along.

The cuts all made sense and most of it I did not miss even with the knowledge of what was dropped. Only a couple places felt abrupt jumping past scenes. That was mainly in Beorn's house and Laketown. For me a little bit of what was cut would help smooth the story a bit. The group just appears at Beorn's dinner table where some short cuts to show how they got there would help. While most of Laketown's side plots were extraneous, you are left to make assumptions about Bard--particularly how he suddenly is imprisoned when Smaug arrives; having watched the original movies helped me fill in the blanks. Cutting the battle in Erebor helped a lot, but there's only so much that could be done with CG Smaug bursting from the gates covered in gold.

Overall I really enjoyed this take on the movie that more closely follows the original book.

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Dustin Lee has created a great edit of The Hobbit trilogy that is definitely worth watching.

I'm going to start off and say that I have never seen The Hobbit trilogy in its original form. I loved the novel since I've read it in middle school, but I never watched the movies because I'd heard so many negative things about them. I didn't want such a great story that I adored to be ruined by a poor adaptation. I asked around to see what the best fanedit of the trilogy was that I could watch. I had two big recommends: the Maple Films/Dustin Lee edit, and the Original Two-Film Structure (which I have yet to watch). So I decided to give this one a try.

I was not disappointed. Dustin did a masterful job of editing the films into one four-hour film (that I watched split into the two-hour parts split by an intermission. In a way, this was also the original two-film structure).

Audio/Video Quality:
Both were absolutely superb. It was a 1080p MP4 with a 5.1 surround track, giving the full experience of watching the film. I especially appreciated the 5.1 track, as it is something often omitted/converted to stereo in fanedits.

Visual Editing:
At no point in the film did I notice that any visual editing had been done. This is a good sign! It means that everything was seamlessly integrated into the new story. Well done.

Audio Editing:
Also superb. No complaints here.

Narrative:
I loved how close to the book this adaptation was. Sure, there was still a bit of extra stuff in there, but I didn't find any of it to detract from the story. There was also no point in the film where I thought, "Something was definitely taken out." Dustin has essentially rewritten the film into a cohesive plot that follows Tolkien's original novel.

Enjoyment:
Overall, I very much enjoyed watching this. It will be a part of my collection from now on. Well done, Dustin!

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