Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Hobbit Art The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles - Art and Design
by Daniel Falconer

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey Chronicles – Art and Design is, as the title most strongly suggests, the story of the art and design within the movie The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey. This book shows the journey from concept piece to finished design for all nearly all the art that was unveiled in the movie. The truly serious fan will know what has not been included, lament the loss and take devious pride in knowing the omissions.

As it has been structured The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey Chronicles – Art and Design is an excellent cross between coffee table art book and serious exposition on the land and cultures within the world that is the movie. What the reader needs to remember is that The Hobbit is not a fresh world; enough of it has been presented before in the Lord of the Rings movies to make The Hobbit very familiar – and the contributors to this book openly acknowledge that familiarity and build on it.

Daniel Falconer has done a brilliant job in arranging the chapters of this book in a way that mirrors the unfolding of the story as told in the film: from the beginning in the Shire and Bilbo Baggins’s hobbit-hole to the last ditch stand and rescue of the travellers from the warg riders.

This book is not a dry presentation of concept design to possible imaginings to finished piece. The conceptual journey has been enriched and broadened by anecdotes and asides from the various artists, designers, sculptors, costumers, prop specialists and actors involved in turning The Hobbit into a real world land and culture that could be filmed for the entertainment of the masses.

If I have any quibbles then they are due to fact that my copy lacked the cloth swatches and pieces of leather and iron that would have given me a real feel of the clothes and props. However, if such had been included the book would have run to double the thickness and three times the weight and at least ten times the price.

This is a wonderful book that any fan of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings should own and treasure. This is a book to get lost in and glory over. I compliment Daniel Falconer on a job most well done.

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