The Hobbit, Soviet Made-for-TV Edition

Chris Higgins
YouTube / Bilbo Baggins
YouTube / Bilbo Baggins / YouTube / Bilbo Baggins

In 1985, an adaptation of The Hobbit hit TV screens in the Soviet Union. It didn't have high-tech cameras or much of a special effects budget—the spiders appear to be rubber children's toys, Smaug is a puppet, and the Battle of the Five Armies is represented by a painting. But it was an earnest attempt to bring The Hobbit (Хоббита in Russian) to a new audience. If you can handle an hour of kitsch, YouTube is here for you:

So, what's the best version? Nine hours of high-frame-rate 3D, the animated version, or this? It's actually tough for me to pick. I'm just gonna stick with the book.

(Via Open Culture.)