So This Is What It's Like to Get Burnt to a Crisp By Smaug the Dragon

Yesterday, I stepped into the world of The Hobbit. I stood in Smaug the Dragon's cavernous lair. I cowered as the gigantic beast towered over me. The chance to go face-to-face with one of the most impressive CG creatures ever created, rendered using the most advanced graphics card in the world, is a pretty… »3/05/15 3:50pm3/05/15 3:50pm

A must-watch 4-minute explainer of the entire Tolkien universe

J. R. R. Tolkien's posthumous The Silmarillion describes the universe where The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place. It has all the secrets of Middle Earth, from individual characters to the genesis of wizards, elves, orcs, or men. This must-watch short explainer reveals its crucial elements in four minutes. »12/17/14 8:20pm12/17/14 8:20pm

Air New Zealand made a Lord of the Rings movie for an epic safety video

Air New Zealand loves to make fun in-flight safety videos that can include anything from body paint to supermodels to Richard Simmons to Betty White. This time though, they've gone beyond epic: the safety video is basically a full on LOTR and Hobbit movie set in Middle Earth. It's impressive. »10/22/14 11:35pm10/22/14 11:35pm

This 80,000-brick Lego kingdom from 'The Hobbit' will blow your mind

17 year-old Blake Baer and 18 year-old Jack Bittner have built an incredibly-detailed recreation of Erebor, the home of Tolkien's dwarves in The Hobbit. Using nearly 80,000 bricks and taking around 400 hours to build, this Lego kingdom is simply mind-blowing. It's 200-lbs and 56" of awesomeness. Just like a dwarf! »12/03/13 8:09pm12/03/13 8:09pm

You Can 3D Print Your Very Own Movie Prop From The Hobbit

If you fit into the piece of the Venn diagram between "Fans of The Hobbit," "Microsoft Users," and "Folks Who Have a 3D Printer," Microsoft and Warner Bros. UK have a treat: On December 13th, when the second Hobbit movie debuts, you'll be able to download plans to 3D print your own souvenir: the Key to Erebor. »12/03/13 5:20pm12/03/13 5:20pm

Google's Tour of Middle Earth: LOTR From a Great Eagle's POV

Middle Earth is an amazing fictional world, but if you want to really get to know it, you've got to read a lot of words. So if you're in the mood for a little Tolkien fantasy without hunkering down for a serious reading session, Google's brand new tour of Middle Earth is a beautiful (and effortless) way to get your… »11/21/13 11:32am11/21/13 11:32am

How Weta Digital Studios Delivers Middle Earth to Your Multiplex

We've come a long way since the days of Cool World and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I mean, just look at last December's blockbuster, The Hobbit. Peter Jackson's Weta Studios (the same group that created Looper's skylines and District 9's extra terrestrial tech) leverages cutting-edge CGI techniques to meld live action… »2/16/13 1:00pm2/16/13 1:00pm

Your Favorite Crazy Taiwanese Animators Weigh In on The Hobbit

There's been a lot of talk about The Hobbit surrounding it's release, whether it's about the special effects or about that contentious frame rate, but there's been a certain zaniness missing in the conversation. Not any more, characteristically wacky Taiwanese Animation studio NMA has weighed in with some absurdity. »12/16/12 5:08pm12/16/12 5:08pm

How All the Fantastical Creatures From The Hobbit Come To Life on the Screen

48 FPS or otherwise, The Hobbit features a wealth of stunning, unreal creatures like any good fantasy movie should. The magic behind it all—of course—is CGI, but motion capture and a variety of augmented reality shooting techniques makes the work behind the scenes almost as cool as the finished product. It's second… »12/15/12 9:00pm12/15/12 9:00pm

The Hobbit Will Play in High Frame Rate at 450 Theaters Across North America

Peter Jackson's version of The Hobbit has been causing a stir, because people expect its high frame rate—48 frames per second, no less—will make it look a bit like a 70s soap opera. At least you'll be able to tell for yourself, because 450 theaters across North America are equipped to show the film at its high frame… »11/08/12 4:28am11/08/12 4:28am