- Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Hobbit"
- Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring"
- Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Two Towers" (aka A Visual Guide)
- Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Return of the King"
Secrets of Middle-Earth - Inside Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" (4-Pack)
DVD | Box Set
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Discover the secrets of Middle-earth on a unique journey into the heart of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. With amazing new insights into Tolkien by international authorities, this four-disc set takes you deeper into these great books than ever before. Using the latest advanced mapping techniques and the fantastic art of the brothers Hildebrandt, these magical programs bring the lands and folk of Middle-earth spectacularly to life and reveal the intricate themes and influences that shaped this extraordinary epic. EXTRA FEATURES: The Brothers Hildebrandt and the Art of Middle-earth. Mostly Autumn: Music Inspired by the Lord of the Rings.Tolkien: His Life and Work DISC ONE Inside Tolkien's The Hobbit DISC TWOI nside Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring DISC THREE Inside Tolkien's The Two Towers DISC FOUR Inside Tolkien's The Return of the King
Top customer reviews
It is, of course, most likely things that a Tolkien aficionado already knows (after all, it's a documentary, so what else?) and a huge amount of material from these documentaries has been pirated for little 5-minute "interview" segments on YouTube. These original episodes put it all back together so that it makes a lot more sense. And I still learned quite a bit. For instance, I had not previously understood the significance of the Father Christmas letters and was unware that J. R. R. Tolkien started telling the story of The Hobbit to his children when his oldest son was only 9 years old, many long years before the original children's book was published. It was quite a treat to hear an interview with John; it seems that today the only of Tolkien's kids we hear about is Christopher.
I see a lot of the reviews going on about some perceived nit where the writer inaccurately portrayed Tolkien's story, but I cannot agree with any of those complaints. The pronunciation of the names of most of the characters and places seems quite odd, but that's the only factual blunder that I notice.
On the other hand, the documentaries do have some incongruously repeated footage and are illustrated with the horrendous Hildebrandt paintings. I just avert my eyes when the Hildebrandt pictures come on screen and enjoy listening to narrative; but then, I'm used to do that because prior to all the illustrations and paintings they created to support the movies, there was very little good artwork representing Tolkien's stories, the best being the little sketches that the author made for himself and never intended to be published.
The one for THE HOBBIT was the only good one of the bunch. That DVD actually felt like they researched the book they were looking into, and words were consistantly pronounced correctly. And frankly, I liked the narrator on that one much better than the narrator on the LotR side. This one actually seemed as though he was a fan (or was really good at coming across as one).
The three for LotR whoever, are very lacking. D. Kamionkowski already pointed out some of the plot points that were incorrect, but what really got me was the mispronouncation of words. What really gets on my nerves is when people use incorrect syntax or grammer, or they mispronounce words, and this set drove me straight up the wall. The narrator kept pronouncing words that began with the letter "c" as though it were pronounced like an "s", instead of pronouncing it like a "k" (which Tolkien said to do in the appendix). It gets really irritating when you hear it pronounced "Selaborn" and "Sirith Ungul", and it should be pronounced "Kelaborn" and "Kirith Ungul". And what's even more fun than that is the pronouncation of "Minis Tirith". Whenever you get the voiceover, it's pronounced correctly (with the first "i" in "Minis" pronounced as a short "i"), and then, when he's actually in front of the camera it's pronounced incorrectly (with the "i" pronounced long). I ended up wanting to scream at the screen, "Just pick one!! If you're going to pronounce it wrong, then pronounce it worng ALL of the time!!"
Overall, it really did feel like they didn't check their facts before this set was made and really wanted to cash in on the new-found popularity of LotR.