At Arts and Faith, Peter Chattaway comes up with two interesting links on The Hobbit.

The first one is an interview, in which Del Toro says things that make me want to cheer.

The only thing I will be pushing for more in these films that the other three are full animatronics and animatronic creatures enhanced with CGI, as opposed to CGI creatures themselves. We really want to take the state-of-the-art animatronics and take a leap ten years into the future with the technology we will develop for the creatures in the movie. We have every intention to do for animatronics and special effects what the other films did for virtual reality.

Fantastic. The Dark Crystal remains a wonder two decades after its arrival, but no movie since then has taken puppets and animatronics much farther than that. CGI is wonderful, but I think it has cheated us out of some of the magic that Jim Henson’s workshop does so well. CGI Yoda never had the magic of Empire Strikes Back Yoda. I can’t wait to see what Del Toro does with this.

He also says:

Another thing people will notice, at the beginning of the film will be the palette, that will be slightly different, the world will be the same but it will be a more ‘golden’ world, a more wide-eyed world. But by no means will we depart from the canon, we will take the three previous films as canon. When I become part of a world that I love, such as this, I really come with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work, and we know we are recreating and creating a world that is part of the mythos of millions of people and we will approach it as passionately and respectfully as it needs to be taken.

And then:

Do you have any roles cast?

… I had the most charming meeting with Sir Ian, and all bureaucracy pending, he‚Äôs on board, as is Andy Serkis.

Good. The Hobbit is a children’s story. It shouldn’t have the fierce, dark tone of The Lord of the Rings. It should be lighter, more inclined to moments of wonder than terror. And, as Greg Wright has so rightfully insisted, the goblins that attack Bilbo and company are *not* the Uruk-hai.

Then, Chattaway offers up Andrew O’Hehir’s commentary, in which he expresses why he’s really worried about Del Toro’s massive two-film deal. I find myself in full agreement.

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