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Here are some interesting things to mull over if we want to make The Hobbit as Prequel.

(The following list is by no means exhaustive)

(1) Motive. Why does Gandalf send Bilbo off with Thirteen Dwarves? To kill a dragon who might be enlisted by Sauron in his War? Frodo is sent off to sneak into Mordor and secretly destroy the Ring in the Mountain of Fire. Bilbo is sent - to do what exactly? To steal something, make Smaug mad enough to fly to Laketown and get killed. Such foresight surely must fail Gandalf! If Gandalf has this foresight - well, then the idea is ridiculous! The plan would need Bilbo sneak in and kill the dragon, or sneak in and discover a means of killing Smaug? Why pick Bilbo? What has he shown Gandalf which makes Gandalf think him capable of such brilliance? Also, the viewer must know early why Bilbo goes. Need a pretty good reason for a LotRized tale.(Yes, perhaps it is far fetched he go as a Burglar, as in the book, but not in a childrens tale as opposed to a grown-up tale, especially if burglary is the only reason he goes).

(2) The dwarves turn up AS EXPECTED. Bilbo surely knows the Plan!

(3) Trolls. Total rewrite required. The dwarves get captured by three trolls so readily. Big battle? Does any dwarf get killed? Does Gandalf trick them to forgetting daylight, which knowledge their existence depends on, and has always depended on! A big battle will do it, I guess.

(4) "Tra la ally." A serious bunch. Etheral singing allowed - but with new (Sindaran) words? Serious business (but loss of color). Bilbo can't be awestruck by the Elves and Elrond's Lore. Surely, Gandalf would have filled him in already about the world and dangers the little fellow faced on the quest?

(4) Stone Trolls. Nah! Just a storm with boulders tumbling. (Loss of color?)

(5) Goblins. No song. Dark, dark, evil goblins. Ambush? No cracks snapping shut? Too magical! (Lack of color).

(6) Gollum. No riddles. Ridiculous in an adult movie! You can't possibly have a serious riddle game, can you? (Serious enough for adult tastes, I mean).

(7) Goblins and wargs. No songs. Jeering as they light the fires beneath the trees, but of course! Very LotRingish. (What about the loss of color?)

I'll stop here (at least for the moment). The Hobbit takes you on a humorous but nonetheless thrilling and magical ride ("Prepare to suspend your disbelief!"Wink Smilie Beware The Hobbit Prequel! Beware the attempt to make it seem realistic! Won't work!
About the only thing on your list (thus far) that i would countenance, is Elves singing in their own language--Mirkwood Elves in resplendent debauchery, Rivendell Elves in merrier moods. Otherwise I'm with you on the rest :mrgreen: . Why shouldn't Goblins sing Goblin songs. Of course the Riddle Game is a must. So what if Gandalf has hitherto unspoken plans? All WE need to know to start is that Bilbo is to help the Dwarves steal back a lost treasure and that Gandalf thinks his old friend secretly craves an adventure. Yes to Beorn's animal assistants, yes to talking animals and arguing trolls. Yes to colour and Magic.

Gandalf's motive in sending Bilbo is imperative. The Burglar angle (and corresponding 'book' tone) is very workable. Any LotR motive (using Bilbo as any kind of agent) can only look stupid in a designated Prequel!

Have Sam (as an old man) begin the narration, I say! Telling his kids a "childrenized' version. The audience can read between the lines. Let them ponder what Gandalf's true motives were! Maybe, Bilbo was not quite the Unadventurous Hobbit we thought him, after all.

The book itself was Tolkien's childrenized version of more serious matters. Let the audience use their imaginations to ponder on what [i:rv8gcvhz]really [/i:rv8gcvhz]happened. This is not just about keeping the original story, it is almost as much about avoiding making a movie that is (unintentionally) stupidized! :ugeek:

Gandalfs motives for sending Bilbo along are not clear, even to Gandlaf himself it seems, in UT, in response to the question "Did you plan all this?" Gandalf replies "I do not know the answer...In those days I should have answered you with words like those I used to Frodo....I said to a small and frightened hobbit; Bilbo was [i:7ns4x0jo]meant[/i:7ns4x0jo] to find the Ring, and [i:7ns4x0jo]not[/i:7ns4x0jo] by its maker, and you therefore were [i:7ns4x0jo]meant[/i:7ns4x0jo] to bear it. And I might have added; and I was [i:7ns4x0jo]meant[/i:7ns4x0jo] to guide you both to those points. To do this I used in my waking mind only such means as were allowed to me...But what I knew in my heart, or knew before I stepped on these grey shores; that is another matter." would seem.

Yes, all very obtuse! Tolkien could not resolve the issue satisfactorly, not even for himself. Follow the Burglar idea (like in the book), but have Sam tell it (to begin the film). We the audience must just be like Tolkien and hypothesize (probably unsuccessfully) on what really (LotR-speaking) happened. There's no way out! There's no way out!
Well why not? Actually the whole Cryptic Wizard thing worked well enough in LotR. All Gandalf has to do is play it straight when he recruits Bilbo to burgle, then have a few cryptic close ups of his furrowed brow as he ponders in a haze of pipeweed :lol: .

I think you're moving from Childrens Humor to University Humour, GB. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> But at least you're moving The Hobbit in the right direction, away from LotR!
I wonder if anyone is holding on to the whimsical idea that The Hobbit should be a Prequel to LotR?
[quote="Odo Banks":34xz3s2u]I think you're moving from Childrens Humor to University Humour, GB. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> But at least you're moving The Hobbit in the right direction, away from LotR![/quote:34xz3s2u]

Just in case you decide to delete the evidence. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

What??? :? :?

Oh...I think I see your point!

No, GB, I don't see Childrens Humour as automatically being all "whimsy." You Dufus! Kids are sharper and broader in their tastes than you think!
That's MY point Odo![img:3cym2ys8][/img:3cym2ys8]

Is it? :?

Hey! How can I get those smilees you've got?! It seems an unfair advantage! :x
Concede the point and I'll tell you how to get them. :mrgreen:

I will not submit to blackmail... though they are nice smilee... no! It's a matter of highest principle... no matter how [i:ux8jaebk]nice[/i:ux8jaebk] they are... :?