OK for kids 11+
Sequel bolstered by brave elves, scary dragon, big spiders.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Desolation of Smaug is the second installment in director Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of The Hobbit. Unlike the streamlined adaptations of each of the three Lord of the Rings novels, The Hobbit is expanded beyond the source material with additional characters and story lines. While this series remains more tween-friendly than the more violent Lord of the Rings, there are still a few jump-worthy and frightening scenes, mostly dealing with the orcs, the dragon Smaug, and that most evil of beings, Sauron. Viewers with a fear of spiders may find some scenes difficult to watch. Bows are the weapons of choice, but hammers, swords, and other forged weapons are also used in the fight scenes (in addition to the dragon's built-in weapon of all-consuming fire).
- Families can talk about how The Hobbit compares to The Lord of the Rings. How are the stories similar (a hobbit continues on a dangerous quest, deals with the precious ring), and how are they different? Which adventure do you prefer and why?
- For those familiar with the book, how does this movie adaptation differ? If you haven't read the book yet, does the movie make you want to start Tolkien's classic?
- Why do you think the filmmaker decided to insert a little bit of a romance/love triangle into the story? How about the reintroduction of Legolas?
The good stuff
Messages: The story continues with its message that even the smallest and seemingly weakest can be brave when it counts. Dwarves are small but strong warriors. Bilbo gains his confidence even as he cultivates his attachment to his secret ring. The importance of helping others is paramount to the story: two elves defy their leaders to help creatures they don't even particularly care about; a man helps the dwarves in a moment of need.
Role models: Many of the characters face difficult decisions. Bilbo must use his stolen ring to be invisible and help the dwarves. Thorin wants to lead his fellow dwarves to their homeland, but he's willing to sacrifice Bilbo's life if necessary; Tauriel disobeys the elvenking's orders in order to help the dwarves and fight the orcs; Bard helps the dwarves but doesn't want them to awaken the dragon that could lead to his lake town's destruction. Tauriel, a captain of the guard, is even more skilled than Eowyn and Arwen from the LOTR trilogy.
What to watch for
Violence: There a few jumpworthy moments courtesy of the orcs and the dragon Smaug. Audiences of all ages will be on the edge of their seats at least three times when dangerous, scary characters pop up on the screen. While it's not as violent as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there are deadly confrontations between the dwarves and the orcs, the elves and the orcs, and the dragon and the dwarves. Orcs are killed (one is decapitated); one dwarf is pierced with a poisoned arrow and nearly dies; Smaug spews fire toward Bilbo and the dwarves and is buried in a sea of molten gold. Sauron is very frightening and smothers Galdalf with his evil darkness. Beorn is a skinchanger that changes from a giant man into a terrifying bear-like beast. Giant spiders are sure to creep out sensitive viewers.
Sex: Both Legolas and Kili are smitten with the beautiful elf Tauriel. Kili asks her if she isn't going to check down his trousers for weapons, because she might find something; she responds "or nothing." Kili and Tauriel hold hands.
Language: Some insults including "coward," "rabble rousers," "shirkers," "usurper," "thief," "burglar," and a couple of humorous insults about Gloin's wife and son looking like a man or beast, respectively. One joking insult that seems like a curse word, but is in Dwarf language.
Consumerism: There aren't any product placements in the film, but the Tolkien books and Peter Jackson film adaptations have launched a huge amount of merchandise: clothes, video games, LEGO toys and board games, role-playing games, special movie tie-in editions of the books, electronics accessories, and more.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The dwarves have even bigger appetites than the hobbits. They drink on several occasions. There's a scene at a pub where there's drinking, and another where elves steal wine from the Mirkwood's cellar. In one scene elves appear passed out from drinking.
Fan Reviews provided by
pretty good by ceprn
Like the book, drahs in some places, but in some places, the scenes shift too much - would cayse a seizure in those prone to getting them from visual stimuli.
HOWEVER, it left me sitting with a Meh. It was kind of like the second Back to the Future - not a real conclusion o the story line, but just a half fulfilled bridge to the final movie.
I can hardly wait for the blu ray extended version boxed set.
Shame on Peter Jackson... by MADCELTACS
Peter Jackson has taken the HOBBIT and thrown in more Orcs and Battles than were written for All 3 Lord of the Rings Books. This is NOT a True or Honest Telling of
J. R. R. Tolkiein's Original Book in Any Way At All. The Hobbit should have been ONE, 3 HOUR movie without the Loss of such Characters as Tom Bombadil and others. The Troll Scene Sequence in the First of the 3 overdone films was completely inaccurate.
Peter Jackson has taken a most beloved piece of Literature and turned it into His Own Private Fantasy... It Bears very little resemblance to The Hobbit I have always known.
Unlike the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Jackson isn't after Smaug's Gold... just the Money in Your Pockets. I was 1st in line to see the Midnite Opening of Movie One and by its end I knew that I would only watch the next two at the $2.00 Theater and I will NEVER Buy This Horrible, Battle Centric Set of Films. THIS IS NOT "THE HOBBIT"... PERIOD.!!!
Another Great Peter Jackson Movie! by pooh1960
Loved-Loved-Loved this movie - thought it would be too long, but with all the action, surprises and 'romance', it flew by and then was over! Definitely a big screen must see!
The Hobbit just got that much bigger! by quezoman
I saw all three of the original motion pictures for LOTR in theaters, so needless to say I'm going to do the same for The Hobbit. The Hobbit movies focus on some small details that the original films don't. Such as the finding and and naming of the different weaponry some of the characters use. This is an excellent film with great special effects, and I look forward to the conclusion.
Still true by dlappin413
Though this episode of the series seems to drag just a hair in a couple spots, it is still very true to the book and very well played. If you're a Tolkein fan, I say it's a must go. I can't wait for the next one.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the #1 movie of all time! by ajabaker
The good parts were definitely all the parts with Smaug. That dragon is like, the greatest dragon of all time. It's cool how he talks, Benedict Cumberbatch did a really good voice. I would love to see The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The barrel escape was also good.