The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey parents guide

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Parent Guide

Fans (and others with the patience to endure the drawn out plot) will undoubtedly love what they discover here, and so they should.

Overall B

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in a trilogy that follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a Hobbit who joins Gandalf the Wizard (Ian McKellen) and a group of Dwarves on a dangerous quest to reclaim a stolen treasure.

Release date December 13, 2012

Violence C
Sexual Content A
Profanity A-
Substance Use C

Why is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

Run Time: 170 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

There are a few movies that are “critic proof,” and needless to say The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is likely one of those select titles. Released nearly a decade after the first of Peter Jackson’s film depicting the troublesome ring that was tossed into the fiery pit, Tolkien aficionados have had their eye firmly set on the day the acclaimed author’s junior companion novel would be put to film. And no nay saying of any kind is likely to keep them from filling up theater seats.

For the few, like me, who have not enthusiastically read the book, you can anticipate a road trip movie of massive proportions—think Lord of the Rings with a little more humor and not quite as much blood. The tale opens with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) reminiscing to Frodo (Elijah Wood) about a time, 60 years ago, when he became the very unwilling 14th member of a Dwarf army determined to regain their lands from fierce invading dragon named Smaug. Led by the legendary warrior Thorin (Richard Armitage) and under the guidance of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the little group battles a new foe around every corner… and in every scene. Orcs, goblins, trolls, giant spiders and a variety of other nasty nemeses populate the screen en masse giving much opportunity for epic scenes of swordplay. 

Undaunted, they hope to find their way to the Lonely Mountain where the dragon lays amongst their riches and gold. Of courses the trip will also provide some pivotal meetings, the most notable being Bilbo’s discovery of Gollum (Andy Serkis) deep in the goblin tunnels where the young hobbit also comes across the emaciated being’s most precious possession—The Ring.

Like the LOTR trio, this film easily winds past the two-hour mark. And don’t expect a tidy ending, with this being only the first in yet another triple title adaptation. Considering this time director Peter Jackson only has one book to stretch into three movies, this adventure sometimes slows to the pace of a hobbit on holidays. Battles are tediously long and there’s lots of time to admire the beautiful surroundings of the director’s home and native land (this franchise is also shot in New Zealand). That being said, at least the visuals are an engaging feast filled with digital and real world characters and objects.

Perhaps the greatest issue with this film will be the question of its appropriateness for some of the youngest admirers of the novel. Unlike reading a book, where a child’s imagination is limited by his or her own experience, this movie often details battle scenes with fairly explicit imagery. Decapitations leave heads rolling, arms are sliced off and countless humans and other beings meet their deaths in massive battles. While the violence is a bit less explicit than the previous Lord of the Rings movies, and blood effects are minimal, there is still plenty here to keep children up at night. As well there are frequent jump scenes and moments of peril. Thankfully sexual content and profanity are pretty much non-existent.

Fans (and others with the patience to endure the drawn out plot) will undoubtedly love what they discover here, and so they should. This is a massive undertaking and while the story isn’t complete, there are positive messages about extending ourselves beyond our comfort zones and committing to a greater cause. For teens looking for adventure at the theater The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will likely be a satisfying return to the shire.

Directed by Peter Jackson. Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis. Running time: 170 minutes. Theatrical release December 13, 2012. Updated

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey rated PG-13? The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

Violence: Dragons attack a castle causing mass destruction and implied loss of life. Many large battles take place between humans and other mythical creatures, resulting in many deaths and some explicit injuries including decapitations and dismemberment (one creature’s arm is sliced off—we see the stump afterward). Large creatures capture dwarves, rope them to a spit and attempt to cook them over a fire. The movie includes some scary “jump” scenes and depictions of characters in nearly continual peril.

Sexual Content: None noted.

Profanities: A single humorous colloquial reference is made about male anatomy.

Drugs/Alcohol: A character smokes a pipe with an unknown substance, and at one point he offers it to another character to calm his nerves.

Other: Characters burp loudly. A character makes an informal wager on the possibility of a future event. There is a discussion about a necromancer, and other occult and mystical themes are found throughout the script.

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More parents' guide for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey after the break...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Parents' Guide

Bilbo Baggins is very reluctant to join the dwarves on their adventure. What are his reasons for not wanting to go? Have you ever passed up an opportunity that you lived to regret afterward? How can we determine if our reasons for not wanting to do something risky are justified?

What are some historical examples of one group of people agreeing to help another in a time of need? How can we offer this same assistance in our everyday lives?

Learn more about J.R.R. Tolkien and his novels that ignited the world’s imagination here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie is November 5, 2013. Here are some details…

October 11, 2016
Warner Brothers studios has announced the combined release of all six of Peter Jackson’s films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. This compilation is available in two packages: The Middle Earth Theatrical Collection (A 6-disc set (Blu-ray or DVD) featuring the theatrical versions of each movie) and The Middle Earth Limited Collector’s Edition (a box set of 30 discs featuring the extended editions of each movie plus extras).

Home Video Notes: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Extended Edition)
Releases Date: 17 November 2015
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies releases to home video (Blu-ray/ DVD Copy/UltraViolet Digital Copy) in an Extended Edition with the following extras:
- Featurettes
- Music Video
- Trailers
- Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter.
- The Appendices – The Appendices Parts XI and XII showcase a chronological history of the filming of The Battle of the Five Armies, documenting the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
- New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth – Part 3.

Also Releasing on November 17, 2015: The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition
This box set includes extended editions of all three movies:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Home Video Notes: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition)

Release Date: 5 November 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releases to home video in an Extended Edition (now 182 minutes long). Both the Blu-ray (3 Discs) and the Blu-ray 3D (5 Discs) packages include: 

- The Filmmakers’ Commentary

- New Zealand: Home of Middle-Earth

- The Appendices Part 7: A Long-Expected Journey

-The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth

- And More!

Home Video Notes: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Release date: 19 March 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is releasing to home video in a Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet) or in a Two-Disc Special Edition (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy). Extra features include:

- New Zealand: Home of Middle Earth

- Video Blogs

- Theatrical Trailers

- Game Trailers

Home Video Notes: The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy
Release Date: 24 March 2015
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Related home video titles:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit has been turned into a three-part saga.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

He followed up this novel with a trilogy of his own (The Lord of the Rings) that has also been adapted for the big screen:

Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Trailers & Clips

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