Traumafession:: Maren M. on The Hobbit (1977)

Hi, I absolutely ADORE your blog….so many memories (and so much terror!) I don’t know if this has been covered but I would like to make a traumafession about the 1977 cartoon version of THE HOBBIT. When I was a kid this cartoon (along with many others) sent me into a spiral of panic. The whole mood of the production is eerie, the music is melancholy, the characters drawn in a grotesque, baroque style. Not to mention there is a hellish scene involving goblins, and another with trolls. Oh my gosh! Even Gandalf, the lovably wise and good, was creepy in it! My parents were still together when I was first exposed to this life altering cartoon, so I had to be around the three to five age bracket. I still remember crying and hiding during the goblin battle. However, I’m happy to report that this trauma did not deter me from loving adventures, or the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Thanks! Maren

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Eric Eddy
9 years ago

I had always loved this movie and Rankin/Bass animation in general. As well as being a horror nerd, I am also a sci-fi nerd, a fantasy nerd and an animation nerd. The animation is always so well done and very reminiscent of their later works like Thundercats.

JSusskind
9 years ago

Those Rankin-Bass cartoons had a tremendous effect on me artistically. Not as polished as Disney, but nowhere near as cheap as Hanna-Barbera, it really showed a different, darker side of animation.

Drew Bludd
Drew Bludd
9 years ago

Another nightmare inducing cartoon from this time: The Secret Of NIMH.

Jesus, kids movies used to be dark.

Also – can anyone tell me how to change my avatar? I can’t for the life of me figure it out on my WordPress profile page.

RawhideAlmondMache
9 years ago

Wah! I so wanted to see this as a kid but my sister was afraid of the dragon so Mom wouldn’t let us watch. Usually, it was the other way round. Anyway, I’ve never forgiven her. I still haven’t seen it.

mamamiasweetpeaches
9 years ago

Youre reminding me I have to watch this whole thing now that Im an adult. I only got as far as Gollum as a kid. That was some scary sh1t!

Maren Moyski
9 years ago

Also interesting is that these guys also did The Last Unicorn. A movie that I loved, but that didn’t prevent me from being absolutely terrified by it. That scene with the Red Bull….whoa.

Kelly Harmon Çoban
9 years ago

This movie scared me as did The Secret of Nimh, those bad rats were horrifying. But the scariest movie from my childhood was The Dark Crystal.
You can see the trailer here: http://youtu.be/XN-tmO_3xFE
Those giant birds scared the hell out of me. Everything in that movie was scary, especially the way to giant birds drank the juices out of the little dwarfs. The Dark Crystal is the epitome of a dark children’s movie.

Kelly Harmon Çoban
9 years ago

Another movie that was frightening for me as a child, Willow.
Here is the trailer: http://youtu.be/D-P03NGSP6Y
The troll in that movie was crazy scary!
However, the movie does have a very young and thin Val Kilmer. A point I did not recognize as a child but I appreciate now.

Eric Eddy
9 years ago

Willow is an awesome movie. One of the best collaborations between George Lucas and Spielberg.

Faniel Dranz
9 years ago

Talkin´bout Bass and Rankin. I always was scared shitless by the witch Mommy Fortuna in THE LAST UNICORN, especially when she was killed by that harpy bird creature. Most of the cartoons were much darker then. I don´t think that any of those kids nowadays would be scared by an Pixar-CGI-Animation.

Faniel Dranz
9 years ago

Okay, that Dollhead-Robot-Steampunk Creature-thing from the first TOY STORY was kinda disturbing… 😉

Erin Lashley
9 years ago

My parents took me to see the Rankin Bass LOTR in the theater in 78 and had to leave because I freaked out about the Ring Wraiths. The Hobbit must not have been as scary to me, because it became a watch-all-the-time favorite, but I’ll admit that the spiders were unnerving.

Harry
Harry
9 years ago

I watched Rankin/Bass’ The Hobbit as a kid, too, every year it was on; the part with the spiders was the bit that always got me.

And yes, kids’ movies used to be so much darker! I definitely grew up during the right era. I remember being pretty mesmerized by ‘The Mouse and His Child’ when I was about 9; there are a number of scenes in there that are disturbing and surreal. The whole thing is on Youtube here, for anyone who’s interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OWdw1IwdYY

And oh my god don’t even get me started on ‘Watership Down’. How many parents must have dropped their kids off at that on a Saturday afternoon and had to mop them up off the floor two hours later?

El Borak
El Borak
9 years ago

watership down. wow

Grokenstein
Grokenstein
9 years ago

“The Secret of NIMH:” Dying child, drowning family, nightmarish tractor attack, “giant” spiders and owls (and of course Dragon, the cat), husband eaten by cat, heroine slapped, burned, slashed…God almighty. I wonderful movie!

I’m sure all the nasty ripping in “Watership Down” freaked out kids, but that is absolutely NOTHING compared to the other toon based on the author’s works: “The Plague Dogs.” I don’t hold to the delusion that “cartoon = kiddies,” but if you insist upon watching it, you will wonder what possessed anyone to think this was viable animation material.