Blog 1: The Hobbit
Announcing the Hobbit; The highly anticipated prequel to Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings trilogy hits the silver screen and boy does the trailer hit me in all the right places. Adapted from a Tolkien’s original children’s bed time story, this trailer shows not only the spirit of adventure that Tolkien had originally intended for children but brings this story to a rather more mature audience.
While I see this adaptation as a family movie, it is primarily directed at the age group of high schoolers and older. However, from the looks of the trailer, it would appear that there is nothing too terrible about it that would stop young children from seeing it, but it is in no way marketed towards the younger age bracket. Is this a typical family film? No, absolutely not. Is it probably not suitable for very young children? Not likely. Would I take a 10 year old to see it? Absolutely. This film is billed as an action/adventure with hints of comedy at the end of the trailer that suggests that it will have its moments of levity.
This trailer relies heavily on pathos as its main form of persuasion. The opening music for instance is that familiar tune that Howard Shore made famous and iconic in the Lord of the Rings films. That specific riff of music pulls all sorts of emotions from the audience. A sense of nostalgia that pulls at our heart strings can, as Lunsford states in Everything is an argument, “can add real muscle to arguments”. So firstly, the music is pulling all kinds of emotions and memories out of me. The first time I saw Lord of the Rings with my father and how happy I was, staying up to see the midnight premier of the Two Towers, and the bitterness I felt when I thought that there would be no more films. The Hobbit trailer, just through the music and the subtle hints to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is making me emotional and wanting to see this film. This argument, combined with a whole generation of young adults (and their parents) that have grown up on Tolkien’s books and then on Peter Jacksons films, this trailer and The Hobbit feels like a coming home of sorts and that feeling is the biggest appeal of this trailer.
Secondly, and this falls under pathos and logos, the actors. This film is full of both recognizable actors from the trilogy that we love (Sir Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchet, Andy Serkis, Ian Holms, Elijah Wood) and some new big names (Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman). These actors not only draw on the feelings of the audience from their time in the Lord of the Rings, but also are all stunning actors in their own rights from other productions. Lunsford explains: “We tend to accept arguments from those who we trust, and we trust them in good part because of their reputation”; this logos appeal is telling me that, logically, I have never seen a film with Martin Freeman in it that I did not like, so I will probably enjoy this film with only that recommendation.
So what rating would I give this trailer? As tempted as I am to give it 3 tickets out of 3 because of personal preference, I have to hold back and give it 2 out of 3. This trailer relies heavily on reeling in the target audience that went to go see the Lord of the Rings, but as a market, this is a no brainer. It appeals to a specific crowd and that is the crowds that already love Tolkien and are going to go see this film no matter what. It lacks a broader impact and appeal and it seems to me that the major marketing of this trailer is the little brother riding the coat tails of the old.