When I was very young, I was visiting Washington D.C. with my parents and found the Hobbit Read-Along book in a gift shop and recognized the artwork from a cartoon I half-remembered from when I was even younger. I decided then and there that I wanted it. I had to have it. No force in the universe could stop me. My father, believing that the proper way to encounter The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings was through literature and not a glorified comic book, resisted my pleas. But I cried. I wailed. I tantrumed! I made a scene. Until, finally, he relented. (The lesson: never stand in the way of a child and The Hobbit.)
Such is the power of Don Bluth’s 1977 Hobbit film. Fast forward to 2020, and you’ll find me discussing the film along with five other animated movies with guests Andrea Kail, Thomas Gerencer, and host David Barr Kirtley on the latest Geeks Guide to the Galaxy. We discuss: Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, The Secret of NIMH, Titan A.E., The Lord of the Rings (1978), and The Return of the King (1980).
Here’s what I had to say about Titan A.E.:
“I love the animation style of it, and I thought there were parts of it that were really cool, but it kept doing really stupid things with the plot that bothered me to the point that I got frustrated. I found [Cale] to be just insufferable. He was whiny, complaining, arrogant, self-righteous, and self-centered. He’s not anybody that I want to follow for two hours. I think a lot of this comes from Star Wars: A New Hope, where Luke, at the beginning, he’s kind of whiny. But then he matures and grows up pretty quick. I feel like a lot of people who don’t quite get story think, ‘Oh, we’ve got to make him really whiny, like Luke.’ But that doesn’t work long-term. There needs to be a character arc there.”