Tag Archives: Peter Jackson

Discover the world of The Hobbit

Like many other people around the world I’m incredibly excited about the release of the first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey.  What better way to get ready for the movie than delve into books about it.  Like me, you could read the original book that inspired the movie, or you could read the wonderful new books that Harper Collins New Zealand have just released that take you inside the world of the movie.  Here are four of these wonderful books, aimed at a variety of different audiences.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – The Movie Storybook tells a simplified version of the story for children (or adults who want to know what the story is about).  The story is accompanied by lots of stunning, full-colour photos of the characters and places from the movie, as well as maps of Middle Earth.  The story is easy to follow and perfect for sharing with younger children who might not be ready to read the original story themselves.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – The World of Hobbits introduces children to the creatures who are the heroes of both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and tells you everything you always wanted to know about Hobbits.  You can learn not only what a Hobbit actually is, but also what they look like, what their nature is, what they wear, why they have such big, hairy feet, where they live, what their home looks like, what they eat, and who their friends and enemies are.  The writing is aimed at children so it’s basic and easy to understand, but incredibly interesting.  I really like the layout, as there is a good balance of images and text on each page.  There are plenty of full-colour photos of the characters and places, as well as maps, decorative borders, and even a Hobbit’s menu.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion is aimed at an older audience and incorporates information and images from the younger titles.  It includes information about Hobbits (and Bilbo Baggins in particular), profiles of the other characters including Gandalf, each of the Dwarves and the Elves, a summary of their quest and information about the places they pass through, the enemies that they clash with, and a stunning map of Middle Earth that folds out.  The thing that I like most about this particular book is that you learn more about each of the characters, like their personalities and why they look the way they do.  Once again, this book is filled with full-colour photos of the characters and places from the movie, but you also get a more close-up look at the characters costumes and weapons.  This hardback book is one to treasure and is the perfect gift for Hobbit fans young and old.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide is the perfect book for older Hobbit fans and movie buffs.  This book gives a behind-the-scenes look at making this incredible movie.  It includes exclusive interviews with director Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, as well as the rest of the main cast and filmmakers, who share film-making secrets and tales of what it was actually like making movie magic in Middle Earth.  Not only do you get photos from the movie, but also behind-the-scenes photos of the actors, locations, sets, creatures, and costumes.  You learn about Peter Jackson’s journey to bring the story to life, how they got the right look for the characters and their costumes, how they decided which locations to shoot in, how they transform an actor into a Dwarf, and how they filmed in high definition and 3D.  I could sit for hours reading this book and poring over all the stunning photos.  Anything you would want to know about making a film is in this book and it’s incredibly detailed.  With Gandalf gazing out at you on the front cover you can’t help but pick this book up from the shelf, and you won’t be disappointed if you do.

There is a Hobbit book for everyone this Christmas, whether you are young or old.  Grab one of these wonderful books to put under your tree this Christmas.

Thanks to Harper Collins New Zealand I have 2 Hobbit prize packs to give away.  You can enter the draw here.

 

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Filed under books, children, Movies, non-fiction

The Art of The Adventures of Tintin

If you’re as excited about The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn as I am you’ll be watching all the different movie trailers, looking at images from the movie, and maybe even wishing you were Tintin.  I loved the cartoon series of Tintin as well as the books and the movie looks amazing.  While you wait for the movie, there is an amazing book that you should check out called The Art of The Adventures of Tintin.

I find it really interesting finding out how movies are made, how they choose the actors to play the characters, what costumes they choose, and how they decide where to shoot the movie.  The Art of the Adventures of Tintin is overflowing with all this information about The Secret of the Unicorn.  There are introductions by the brilliant Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson who are directing and producing the movie.  They talk about why they decided to make this movie and how important it was to get the details correct.  The author of the book (and Lead Conceptual Designer for the movie), Chris Guise takes you on a kind of tour of the movie, showing you some of the amazing art work and design from the team at Weta Workshop that has gone into the movie.

The book is split into four sections: The Film Makers, The Beginning, The Characters, and The Environments.  The Beginning gives some background on Tintin’s creator, Herge, and shows you how the designers came up with the look of the movie.  My favourite section of the book is The Characters.  You get to see what Tintin could have looked like in the movie, and I really think they picked the right image for the movie, because some the early images look pretty strange.  You see how they created all the main characters and find out how they made them look so realistic.  The Environments shows you how the designers made the sets, props and vehicles look exactly like Herge imagined them.

If you’re a Tintin fan or even just like seeing how movies are made, The Art of the Adventures of Tintin is the perfect book for you.  There is so much detail and so many images in this book that it will keep you entertained for hours.  I can’t wait to see how all these aspects of the film have come together when The Secret of the Unicorn is released in New Zealand on 26th December.

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Filed under books, children, Movies