Costumers in the SF Bay Area who are also fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit showed up in costume at several movie theaters to have fun and to entertain other patrons during the premiere of the movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, on Dec. 14. The much-anticipated first of three movies based on The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey was also produced and directed by Peter Jackson, the mastermind behind the critically acclaimed, multiple Oscar-winning and box office-successful trilogy of movies based on The Lord of the Rings.
The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King all featured a huge variety of costumes, from the beautiful and ethereal elves, to the down-to-earth villagers of Hobbiton, to the rugged and practical clothing of the men and women, to the dark and evil Ringwraiths, and to the barbaric clothing of the Orcs. These costumes were designed by Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor.
An Unexpected Journey, had a different team of costume designers, which again included Richard Taylor, but had Bob Buck and Ann Maskrey instead of Dickson. The movie as well as the costumes had the same general aesthetic as The Lord of the Rings movies. However, the hobbits’ (particularly Bilbo’s) and elves’ (particularly Galadriel’s and Elrond’s) costumes seemed simpler, but no less beautiful. The dwarves’ costumes, not surprisingly, were excellent. It was amazing to see all 13 of them in different styles that reflected their ages, statuses and personalities. For a detailed description of each dwarf, TIME’s “Guide to The Hobbit’s 13 Dwarves” is a great reference.
While Jackson and his team at Weta Workshop can rely on their movie magic to make their wizards, elves and men look taller than their hobbits and dwarves, costumers in the real world just have to suspend their disbelief and costume in whatever they want to regardless of their height. Thus, at the premiere of An Unexpected Journey at the Century at Tanforan in San Bruno, Calif., there were hobbits and elves who were about the same height. There were no dwarves, unfortunately, as costuming as dwarves is quite a daunting task.
The costumers received lots of positive comments from other patrons as well as from the movie theater’s staff. Surprisingly, though, there weren’t that many people in costume. There were only two groups that costumed in specific characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit or were wearing general hobbit, elf and ranger attire. The movie itself received rave reviews from the costumers who enjoyed not only watching it but had the added pleasure of viewing it in their costumes.
Copyright 2012, Jean Martin.
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