Total Film recently spoke with filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro about his highly anticipated film The Hobbit, which he's working on new down in New Zealand with Peter Jackson. The interview is rather extensive, but here's an excerpt from the interview where he talks about the creatures of the film.
The way I phrased it to Weta, I said we would keep the DNA in the same gene pool as the Rings trilogy, but that we would generate a different type of character. For example, in the trilogy most of the creatures are brutish or inarticulate.
In The Hobbit, the creatures speak: Smaug has beautiful lines of dialogue; the Great Goblin has beautiful lines of dialogue; many creatures do. So we had to design them with a different approach because you are not just designing things that are scary.
I also wanted some of the monsters in The Hobbit to be majestic.
I wanted the Wargs to have a certain beauty so that you don't have a massively clear definition: what is beautiful is good and what is ugly is not. Some of the monsters are absolutely gorgeous.