A twelve minute animated short of The Hobbit has recently been uncovered. It was written and directed by Tom and Jerry animator Gene Deitch and designed by Czech illustrator Adolf Born. Made in 1967, this short was to be turned into a feature length film. But all parties abandoned it after J.R.R. Tolkien published The Lord of the Rings and it became an unexpected hit. To read the entire history of the short: CLICK HERE. Then check it out below.
This is what Gene Deitch has to say about the short.
"We were well into the The Hobbit screenplay when The The Lord of the Rings came out in paperback editions. Having assumed there was only The Hobbit to contend with, we had taken some liberties with the story that a few years later would be grounds for burning at the stake. For example, I had introduced a series of songs, changed some of the characters' names, played loosely with the plot, and even created a girl character, a Princess no less, to go along on the quest, and to eventually overcome Bilbo Baggins' bachelorhood! I could Hollywoodize as well as the next man...
When I did manage to get and read The Lord of the Rings, I realized I was dealing with something far more magnificent than what appeared in The Hobbit alone, and I then backspaced elements from The Lord of the Rings into my script so as to logically allow for a sequel. I worked on the script for most of a year."
To read how this project came and went: CLICK HERE