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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles II: Creatures & Characters (The Hobbit Chronicles #2)

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles, Creatures & Characters explores the amazing cast of heroes and villains, beasts and beings that populate Middle-earth in the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and film stills, this comprehensive book goes s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles, Creatures & Characters explores the amazing cast of heroes and villains, beasts and beings that populate Middle-earth in the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and film stills, this comprehensive book goes species by species, character by character, through the film’s huge ensemble of characters and bustling menagerie of creatures, both physical and digital, telling the stories of how each came to be realized for the film. In first-hand quotes from the actors, make-up artists, digital effects artists, dialect coaches, prosthetics technicians, movement coach and many other crew, the stories of the production unfold, processes are described and insights into characters shared. As a bonus feature, unique to this book, there is a special fold-out Character Size Chart, which compares all the major creatures and characters of the film, from Radagast’s hedgehog friend to the towering Stone Giants! Compiled by Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer, and featuring a wealth of stunning imagery, this book puts the reader face to face with the Dwarf heroes of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the dark denizens of Middle-earth, such as Orcs, Goblins, Trolls and Wargs, and of course, the hobbit himself, Bilbo Baggins.


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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles, Creatures & Characters explores the amazing cast of heroes and villains, beasts and beings that populate Middle-earth in the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and film stills, this comprehensive book goes s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles, Creatures & Characters explores the amazing cast of heroes and villains, beasts and beings that populate Middle-earth in the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and film stills, this comprehensive book goes species by species, character by character, through the film’s huge ensemble of characters and bustling menagerie of creatures, both physical and digital, telling the stories of how each came to be realized for the film. In first-hand quotes from the actors, make-up artists, digital effects artists, dialect coaches, prosthetics technicians, movement coach and many other crew, the stories of the production unfold, processes are described and insights into characters shared. As a bonus feature, unique to this book, there is a special fold-out Character Size Chart, which compares all the major creatures and characters of the film, from Radagast’s hedgehog friend to the towering Stone Giants! Compiled by Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer, and featuring a wealth of stunning imagery, this book puts the reader face to face with the Dwarf heroes of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the dark denizens of Middle-earth, such as Orcs, Goblins, Trolls and Wargs, and of course, the hobbit himself, Bilbo Baggins.

30 review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles II: Creatures & Characters (The Hobbit Chronicles #2)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ruben (BooksVlogs) Arauz

    Final: 3.90 Es una experiencia pasada poder leer este libro de las películas de "El Hobbit" especializada en sus criaturas y personajes. En lo personal, la magia es aún más grande cuando puedo apreciar todo el trabajo que se tuvo que hacer para realizar estas maravillosas películas, lo importante que son los detalles y, como pueden afectar todo una saga si se comenten pequeños errores. Si eres fan de La tierra media, te lo recomiendo, sino sería una pérdida de tiempo, porque son MUCHAS páginas.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sam B

    This book is about the Creatures and Characters of the first Hobbit movie. The whole book is written in quotes by people that worked on the movie. There is so much that went into making this movie and this book gives us a glimpse of that. This book is also full of beautiful pictures both from the movie and behind the scenes. I would recommend this book to any fans of these films and will be reading the 5 other books in this series!

  3. 3 out of 5

    Parka

    ( More pictures on my blog ) The first Hobbit Chronicles book looks at the art and design. This second volume looks at how these characters are then created, through make-up or digitally. You get to see Bilbo, Gandalf, dwarves (again), Thorin, orcs, trolls, eagles, giants, goblins and their king, oversized rabbits, Radagast's hedgehog friend, Stone Giants and the Gollum. Oh, no dragon, not yet. The book's filled with highly detailed pictures, film stills and behind-the-scenes photographs. There ( More pictures on my blog ) The first Hobbit Chronicles book looks at the art and design. This second volume looks at how these characters are then created, through make-up or digitally. You get to see Bilbo, Gandalf, dwarves (again), Thorin, orcs, trolls, eagles, giants, goblins and their king, oversized rabbits, Radagast's hedgehog friend, Stone Giants and the Gollum. Oh, no dragon, not yet. The book's filled with highly detailed pictures, film stills and behind-the-scenes photographs. There are pictures of the cast working with silicone hand and leg prosthetics, make-up process, sculptures of dwarves, 3D models and more. The book's back has a scale size chart that's helpful at showing all the characters relative to each other. There are interviews with the actors and the many staff that worked on the set. The extensive writeup talks about the challenges of creating these characters and creatures, getting them to move, the accents and language, the digital effects and the 3D models. It's fun reading about the film production from the first person account. You get a good idea the amount of effort put in to create a film like this. Even for the 3D models created, they did not just model the muscles but also all the bones within even though they are not going to be seen on screen. It's a really informative book packed with content. Highly recommended to fans of the film.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Alexis Drake

    Bellissimo secondo volume sulla realizzazione della trilogia cinematografica della Hobbit: rimango ogni volta stupita dalla passione e dall'impegno di ogni singola persona che ha lavorato magari mesi per realizzare un oggetto di scena che magari alla fine non è stato neanche utilizzato o ripreso. Adoro in special modo vedere le foto e i costumi della Contea, bellissima nei suoi colori estivi. Ho imparato poi moltissime sui tessuti e sui capelli, e sulla realizzazione delle parrucche! E adesso mi ma Bellissimo secondo volume sulla realizzazione della trilogia cinematografica della Hobbit: rimango ogni volta stupita dalla passione e dall'impegno di ogni singola persona che ha lavorato magari mesi per realizzare un oggetto di scena che magari alla fine non è stato neanche utilizzato o ripreso. Adoro in special modo vedere le foto e i costumi della Contea, bellissima nei suoi colori estivi. Ho imparato poi moltissime sui tessuti e sui capelli, e sulla realizzazione delle parrucche! E adesso mi mancano altri 3 volumi!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wren

    This was absolutely fascinating and I adored all the backstory and little details the actors put into their characters, all the quirks and feelings you didn't get to see during the films. Such a great resource for any fan and highly entertaining.

  6. 4 out of 5

    somnomania

    Beautifully done; I wish these were available for Lord of the Rings! There's so much information packed into these books, and I was delighted to find that most of it was not stuff I'd already learned from watching the DVD extras. There were only three or four typos/typographical errors, pretty par for the course, and it certainly didn't detract from the experience at all! The fold-out extras in each one are lovely as well; Thorin's map (complete with glow-in-the-dark runes), Bilbo's contract, th Beautifully done; I wish these were available for Lord of the Rings! There's so much information packed into these books, and I was delighted to find that most of it was not stuff I'd already learned from watching the DVD extras. There were only three or four typos/typographical errors, pretty par for the course, and it certainly didn't detract from the experience at all! The fold-out extras in each one are lovely as well; Thorin's map (complete with glow-in-the-dark runes), Bilbo's contract, the portrait of the Master of Laketown (that's only seen in the background for about two seconds in the second movie), and, most welcome of all, a scale chart showing the size of each of the major denizens of Middle-earth. Definitely grab these books if you're a fan, because there's a ton of insight into why the characters look the way they do, how the little details (many of which I hadn't even noticed, because I don't have an enormous TV to watch on) came to be, and even explanations for things like the differing accents between the dwarves.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    The first Hobbit film was on Xfinity On Demand recently, and became my comfort watch through the month of December. It powered me through the mountain of freelance work that was due before my winter holiday; somehow the constant blood-soaked roar of orcs and dwarves suited my frame of mind (ah, Christmas!). I am a middling LotR/Hobbit fan; bigger than some, but nowhere near Stephen Colbert levels. But I like Middle Earth, and I LOVE film-making, and have always been incredibly impressed by the ar The first Hobbit film was on Xfinity On Demand recently, and became my comfort watch through the month of December. It powered me through the mountain of freelance work that was due before my winter holiday; somehow the constant blood-soaked roar of orcs and dwarves suited my frame of mind (ah, Christmas!). I am a middling LotR/Hobbit fan; bigger than some, but nowhere near Stephen Colbert levels. But I like Middle Earth, and I LOVE film-making, and have always been incredibly impressed by the artistry and innovation behind Peter Jackson's LotR and now Hobbit trilogies. This was a library book, although I'd like to get my own copy. It offers a meaty behind-the-scenes look at the characters and the background work on costumes/makeup/dialect & movement/animation/etc. in the first Hobbit film. The balance between visuals and written content is excellent here, and while some of the commentary is vapid, the book overall is worth buying if you love film production, character development, and/or Peter Jackson and Co.'s take on Tolkien. A sample of what I learned: * Only four or five dwarves have clearly defined characters in the book, so the writers, artists, and actors worked together to create complex back stories and unique personalities & looks for each dwarf (all detailed in this book). *"We did a lot of research into the facial hair on our women." - Peter King, make-up and hair designer; this accompanied a photo of a female dwarf with lovely downy mutton chops. * High-tech cameras have made special effects trickery much harder; for example, eyebrows now must be hand-punched to look realistic; before they were glued. * Wargs look like dogs, but their movements and musculature were modeled on lions for added menace. * The three voice/motion capture artists behind the trolls also played dwarves. The dwarf/troll match-ups are: Bifur/Tom, Dori/Bert, and Gloin/William. * The end of the book has a comparative scale chart of all the main races and characters. Radagast is 5'4".

  8. 3 out of 5

    Julie

    (Full review here.) I am always happy to read about movie making stuff, especially when it's Tolkien related. But. Do I want to read approximately 500 pages about the dwarves? Do I want to read any amount of pages about goblins? Do I want to see huge close-ups of the Goblin King? The answer to all of these questions is no. No, I do not. I mean, it's a well made, good looking book. The creature and character scale at the back was very cool, and I always like movie making tidbits. But there was so (Full review here.) I am always happy to read about movie making stuff, especially when it's Tolkien related. But. Do I want to read approximately 500 pages about the dwarves? Do I want to read any amount of pages about goblins? Do I want to see huge close-ups of the Goblin King? The answer to all of these questions is no. No, I do not. I mean, it's a well made, good looking book. The creature and character scale at the back was very cool, and I always like movie making tidbits. But there was so much information that, really, is just not very relevant. All the actors talked about these details and back stories they created for their dwarf characters, but none of that came across in the movie. So why does it matter? It just seemed kind of silly to me, and basically drove home all my issues with the movie dwarves. Also Andy Serkis, my goodness. How he does go on. And, like, the first book, this one went on and on about how brilliant Peter Jackson is. I object to this. Anyway. It's a nice book and I enjoyed pulling little factoids from it, but overall it deepened my criticisms of the movie instead of enhancing my appreciation for it. It was interesting to realize that there were a number of crew changes from the LOTR days (which makes sense, as that was a good long while ago), and I have to wonder how the Hobbit movies would be different if it had all the same minds behind it. Perhaps it would just be a Hobbit movie...?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lanter

    This is another really beautiful book from WETA. While the first volume focused on concept art and production, this was more about the characters and a little more behind the scenes/making of. The images they've selected are large and very beautiful. Many are from the actual movie, but the behind the scenes ones are generally interesting as well. There is a surprisingly large amount of text in this book, including interviews with the actors and key animators, producers, etc. Some of the actors h This is another really beautiful book from WETA. While the first volume focused on concept art and production, this was more about the characters and a little more behind the scenes/making of. The images they've selected are large and very beautiful. Many are from the actual movie, but the behind the scenes ones are generally interesting as well. There is a surprisingly large amount of text in this book, including interviews with the actors and key animators, producers, etc. Some of the actors have really well-written and smart observations on their character. Other details are slightly repetitive after reading the first volume or almost excessive, like what a dwarf's backstory is which does not show up in the movie. This brings up my only criticism which is that the dwarves take up a little too much space in the book and their section starts to drag. Fortunately, the rest of this book is very good and I really enjoyed reading it. I would recommend reading these books in order so you get to read the most interesting book first. This book fills in the cracks left by the first book nicely and is a great read for a Hobbit fan.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Alexander Henke

    Whereas the first volume this series was a rather broad look at the making the film, this second volume is much more focused. Creatures & Characters covers its subject in exhaustive depth. Reading through the book we are treated to a tour of the creation of the various Dwarves, Hobbits, Elves, Orcs, Wizards, Trolls and other creatures that appear in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The book gives tons of details on things like the wigs that were used and how they were made, the prosthetic Whereas the first volume this series was a rather broad look at the making the film, this second volume is much more focused. Creatures & Characters covers its subject in exhaustive depth. Reading through the book we are treated to a tour of the creation of the various Dwarves, Hobbits, Elves, Orcs, Wizards, Trolls and other creatures that appear in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The book gives tons of details on things like the wigs that were used and how they were made, the prosthetic ears, noses, feet, and hands that were created. You get background on the language directors and the different accents that each character has, as well as info from the movement coach who trained the actors to move like elves, dwarves, or orcs. There is also a lot of commentary from the actors, so you get thoughts from Hugo Weaving concerning Elrond, or from Cate Blanchett discussing what it was like to return to the character of Galadriel. Great stuff for either a Hobbit fan, or someone interested in how movies are made.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    I'm giving the book 4 stars based upon the photos and art work-5 stars, but I was a bit disappointed by the text-3 stars. The concept and layout were great, and the idea to have different actors, designers, artists, and computer effects wizards give their takes on the creative aspects of the movie was fine. The problem I had was that many of them ended up saying the same thing: "We used some CGI here, we used all digital here, etc, etc." I did enjoy the book, and will also buy Chronicles I, and I'm giving the book 4 stars based upon the photos and art work-5 stars, but I was a bit disappointed by the text-3 stars. The concept and layout were great, and the idea to have different actors, designers, artists, and computer effects wizards give their takes on the creative aspects of the movie was fine. The problem I had was that many of them ended up saying the same thing: "We used some CGI here, we used all digital here, etc, etc." I did enjoy the book, and will also buy Chronicles I, and probably any further editions. I did learn some new things. Perhaps I was a bit jaded in that I watched all of the movie's behind the scenes footage and listened to every Commentary-multiple times. Yeah, I'm that geek. So, I guess it was the repetition that got to me a bit. The book is a beautiful book. I would have wanted more of the voices of the characters. I really enjoyed those parts where they described their journey in developing the characters.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Rose

    Filled with interesting quotes from the cast and supporting staff, this book has tons of behind-the-scenes knowledge of how the creatures and characters were created for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This book had less photos and more quotes than the first chronicles book. As much as I enjoyed reading this one, the first book had a better layout and more interesting information. My favorite part was the Comparative Size Chart in the back of the book that shows everything from wargs, orcs, g Filled with interesting quotes from the cast and supporting staff, this book has tons of behind-the-scenes knowledge of how the creatures and characters were created for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This book had less photos and more quotes than the first chronicles book. As much as I enjoyed reading this one, the first book had a better layout and more interesting information. My favorite part was the Comparative Size Chart in the back of the book that shows everything from wargs, orcs, goblins and trolls, to wizards, elves, dwarves, and hobbits! So much fun! I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoyed the movie and likes to learn about how stunt doubles, size doubles, actors, and computer graphics all play a part in creating the various ensemble of characters in the first Hobbit movie.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Shaxar

    SO AWESOME. I love these behind-the-scenes kinds of books; getting to see all the hard work and creativity that goes into a film like this is amazing, not to mention all the inside views from the various artists, engineers, and actors. I especially liked reading Richard Armitage's comments. He was very insightful and clearly knows a lot about Tolkien's world, and as a serious Tolkien fan, I really loved that. I love this film anyway, and learning all these things about it just makes me love it mo SO AWESOME. I love these behind-the-scenes kinds of books; getting to see all the hard work and creativity that goes into a film like this is amazing, not to mention all the inside views from the various artists, engineers, and actors. I especially liked reading Richard Armitage's comments. He was very insightful and clearly knows a lot about Tolkien's world, and as a serious Tolkien fan, I really loved that. I love this film anyway, and learning all these things about it just makes me love it more. This was both informative and entertaining, and definitely awesometacular. Solid 5 stars. September 2014 Update: Got it autographed! Thanks so much to Gus Hunter and Daniel Falconer for coming out to SL Comic Con with Weta this year!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    As everyone knows, I love all things Middle Earth, and get every book with behind the scenes info on Peter Jackson's take in the movies. Thus, I have the first 3 of these very nice books to add to my collection, and this was the 2nd of two based on the Unexpected Journey (for the Hobbit). As before, there is not much to say. Lots and lots of interesting info on how they developed the characters, wigs, makeup, digital effects, etc. with a hint at the end of Smaug the Dragon (nothing in this book As everyone knows, I love all things Middle Earth, and get every book with behind the scenes info on Peter Jackson's take in the movies. Thus, I have the first 3 of these very nice books to add to my collection, and this was the 2nd of two based on the Unexpected Journey (for the Hobbit). As before, there is not much to say. Lots and lots of interesting info on how they developed the characters, wigs, makeup, digital effects, etc. with a hint at the end of Smaug the Dragon (nothing in this book since they had to save that for books 3 and 4). If you are like me, go get copies of these for your collection (of course if you are like me, you probably already have them)...Enjoy!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeni Enjaian

    This book is my favorite out of the three published so far. As the title suggests, this book details what went into creating all of the characters. (I can't wait for the fourth book to see what went into creating Smaug!) While I may disagree with Peter Jackson's interpretation of the book at times, I can only marvel at the depth and complexity of the creative process to produce the amazing cinematography of the Hobbit. Any Hobbit lover should definitely do whatever it takes to own this book, the This book is my favorite out of the three published so far. As the title suggests, this book details what went into creating all of the characters. (I can't wait for the fourth book to see what went into creating Smaug!) While I may disagree with Peter Jackson's interpretation of the book at times, I can only marvel at the depth and complexity of the creative process to produce the amazing cinematography of the Hobbit. Any Hobbit lover should definitely do whatever it takes to own this book, the entire series actually.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maja Kron

    This had everything I wanted, and the photographs were beautiful. The whole layout of the book was amazing, and I got to know a lot of details and small things other characters did (epescially some of the "minor" dwarves), which I've never noticed while watching the movie. I'm definitely gonna rewatch it soon and look for all that was mentioned! I'm looking forward to buy another book by the same author and in the same "series", this was so much better than I expected and I loved it so much!

  17. 3 out of 5

    Narariel

    I really enjoyed this book & the closer look at the various characters & creatures of the first Hobbit movie. I feel the book is able to go into more detail than some of the DVD documentaries as well as giving a voice to some of the non-department leaders. There are some somewhat technical details, but they are put into layman's terms & don't overshadow the book overall. I particularly enjoyed the section on the animals of movie, like Radagast's birds or Sebastian.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This is so comprehensive on the these various characters that it is truly incredible. I felt it dragged a little when it came to the talk on the dwarves, as some of that had been detailed in the first chronicles book. But mostly I liked returning and reading other aspects, motivations, and even history of the races of Middle Earth seen in the movie so far.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Nicki Markus

    Another gorgeous book, The Hobbit Chronicles - An Unexpected Journey Creatures and Characters focuses, as you might expect, on the work done by the Weta team bringing the various characters of Middle Earth to life. From Hobbit feet to goblins, not a thing is missed out in this wonderful companion book to the film.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Hawkings

    Having always loved behind-the-scenes special features, I was excited when I discovered this book. A behind-the-scenes look at how Middle Earth was bought to life by Peter Jackson, the cast and crew of The Hobbit Trilogy is an exciting thrill ride for all who love anything and everything film. Loved the foreword by Andy Serkis. 5 stars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is more of a props book than art and design like the other two chronicles books, and has movie stills/promos rather than art, so I don't care about it as much.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Jam-packed with beautiful photos and interesting stories, tidbits, and anecdotes from the cast and crew. A fine addition to the Tolkien shelf.

  24. 3 out of 5

    Jocelin

    This was a great book. The art work shows the masterful craftsmanship it took to create the characters in "The Hobbit".

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carina

    I love all of the behind the scenes stuff we got to see in this book. Especially all of the commentary from the actors.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    Another excellent addition the the movie.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Sherrie

    A beautiful book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashwise

    A fantasitc look at the art concept at the hobbit....not as good as the first one though.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

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