Peter Jackson vs. Rankin-Bass: Shire Smackdown! | EW.com

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Peter Jackson vs. Rankin-Bass: Shire Smackdown!

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93654__hobbit_lPetitions: Sometimes they have tremendous power. Other times, they have no effect at all. They’re kind of like echinacea that way. And, like, echinacea, we continue to put our faith in them, just in case. How else are the faithful gonna get themselves a Hobbit movie?

It would appear that the petition to have Peter Jackson direct a film adaptation of The Hobbit has reached the highest-ranking ears at MGM — whose execs, admittedly, don’t have much else to do besides approve Bond one-sheets. Will Jackson be moved by the movement?

Honestly, I’m torn. For me, the One True Hobbit will always be a knobby Rankin-Bass cartoon (pictured) with the voice of Orson Bean. I’m not sure I can separate Bilbo’s fateful first journey into the wilds of Middle-earth from the quavering ’70s folk-tenor of Glenn Yarbrough. Where is old Glenn these days? Is he available for an updated version? And, if not, would these guys consider jumping on the soundtrack?

Doubtful. And so, I’m just not sure I want my Rankin-Bass Hobbit supplanted by a live-action version, however visionary and authoritative. I’m afraid I must oppose this, just as I opposed the late Stanley Kubrick’s long-planned live-action adaptation of Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.

Anyone else out there feel a little weird about overwriting the definitive Hobbit? Or am I just fundamentally immature? Or both?