Yes, it’s true – this oddball film that has been making the news rounds lately really is as strange as it sounds. Gene Deitrich, creator of Tom & Gerry, joined his producer Tom Snyder in a desperate venture to retain – and the sell – the rights to the book, which he had acquired for a paltry sum just a two years before. The full story from io9 is just as much of a fractured fairy tale as the resulting film.
Featuring General Thorin Oakenshield (resident of Dale), a princess (who marries Bilbo), Slag the dragon, and some trolls who look suspiciously like man-eating ents, this eleven-minute film does have a handful of similarities to the story. Bullroarer Took is mentioned (though not by name), Bilbo does indeed save his friends (none of them dwarves) from being eaten by the “trolls”, and the Arkenstone makes several appearances! Not too shabby for a rush job.
Once Deitch read The Lord of the Rings, according to The Mary Sue, he went back and added scenes:
“When I did manage to get and read “THE LORD OF THE RINGS,” I realized I was dealing with something far more magnificent than what appeared in THE HOBBIT alone, and I then back-spaced elements from The Lord into my script so as to logically allow for a sequel.”
Now that this version has come to light, just imagine all the inspiration that Peter Jackson must be drawing from it. I kid!