When I was un piccolo bambino, I discovered The Hobbit in my school library, sometime during the winter of second grade, and I fell in love with that. Shortly after, I started reading The Lord of the Rings (I was an odd child) and after one of our family’s friends saw me reading the first book, a tattered tenth-hand Balentine paperback from the 60s, he decided that an 8-year-old was not reading and understanding that book. So, he quizzed me about the book. Hard. Once he figured out that I really was reading the book and not just carrying it around (an aside: I remember being particularly peeved at the review in the front of one of the books, the one that started “This is not for children, nor is it for whimsy-lovers and Alice-quoters…”) he got me a good boxed set of the four books, and either he or my parents got me the calendar with images from the just-released movie.
Now, this was mid-to-northern Michigan in pre-multiplex, pre-cable (for our town, at least) and even pre-VCR. Plus, the movie was something of a box-office bomb. The story I remember hearing is that it didn’t even last a whole week at one of the theaters in Flint. So, I had nothing to console me and my drive to see a movie made from what I would proudly tell anyone who asked, and quite a few people who didn’t, was the best book written in the history of forever. I think I was finally able to track down a dubbed copy when I was in eighth grade or so, after I’d already read the books a second time, along with the first section of The Silmarillion, which I enjoyed until my brain melted. And while I liked the movie (and still do) it could not hold a candle to the sounds and dialogue and music I had put to the images that I would stare at from across the room while I was reading the books.
All this is just to say that I damn near had heart failure when I read this article in bOING bOING. Okay, maybe it’s just a few shots (from one of the scenes I laminated and hung on my wall) but it still impressed the high holy hell out of me). Check it out.