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

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Faneditor Name:
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

44 reviews
 
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Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.6(44)
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9.5(44)
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9.4(44)
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8.9(44)
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9.2(44)
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9.7
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10.0
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Overall this was very good. I have not seen a bunch of different Hobbit edits, but this one was very close to what I wanted so I am happy to stick with this.
What I wanted (which this edit delivered):
1. Doesn't need to be pure to the book, but should avoid unnecessary changes. (I'm not opposed to changes in principle but IMO Jackson's changes are always overwritten and trite)
2. Doesn't need to be short, but should avoid the long, cringey and ultimately boring action scenes which are the principle source of bloat in the films.
There were only a few points that could use a little tuning. There were a few jarring cuts, for instance at the Front Porch. And the final battle still felt a little long to me.
Overall, I am very satisfied with this edit. The next time I watch the Hobbit it will be this cut.

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8.0
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Excellent stuff! video quality is not great i must say but overall very enjoyable! theres only like a couple places where it's a bit jarring and obvious of a cut like "ok yeah something used to be there" but I don't blame him for that because its better than the actual thing. This is literally the only way i will watch the hobbit from now on!

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9.6
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As someone who was forced to watch original Hobbit film in the cinema and could never get through the other two, this was a breath of fresh air.

This edit makes the film much much much closer to the original books, and also leads much better into the Lord of the Rings.

The only criticisms I'd make of it, is it's a bit stop-start near in the first half (I feel like there is still more that could be cut!) and the battle of the five armies ends quite abruptly. Like, there isn't really an end? What happened to the 5 armies?

I'm not sure if I'm really being fair, because if the footage isn't there then you can't do much more, but it just needs something to complete the battle.

Having said that it's so so so close to being perfect, and so much better than the originals.

I wish I had known there was an intermission! We watched it in 3 sittings.

9.7/10

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9.8
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I haven't been capable of rewatching these movies since I saw them in theaters and this edit officially helped me get over that hurdle. I'm truly impressed by the sheer volume of cuts while still feeling like a cohesive, professional film.

Goes without saying that there are plenty moments where the edit makes you want for this to have been the manner in which Jackson had been able to approach the films. Still sucks to see the white orc but it's a necessary evil.

All in all deeply impressed and frankly can't imagine choosing any other way to rewatch these films.

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What a task this must have been! The amount of work needed to edit not just 1, but 3 (long) films must be immense.

Regarding the story, I found I agree with pretty much every removed scene / piece of dialogue / character. I was not sure some of these would work but after watching, I’m impressed. The overall narrative is now focused, thematically sound and represents a close interpretation of the original book.

As time and time again have proved, it’s a terrible idea for any scriptwriter / director / book writer to try to “interpret”, “improve” or “expand” on Tolkien’s work and worldbuilding. When Middle Earth is concerned, once you start adding characters and plot points unrelated to Tolkien, the final piece will always become worse.
Rule of thumb: no one improves on Tolkien’s world, no one. The swift extraction of many of these new characters and plot points, from all of the 3 original films, does indeed create a story that’s a “close approximation” of Tolkien’s vision.

In terms of quality and visual / audio editing, I could find no flaws.

Thank you for this!

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