The New Rankin-Bass Hobbit DVD Is a Fraud

Famously, when the DVD version of the 1977 Rankin-Bass Hobbit was released, the soundtrack was missing lots of sound effects that had been included in both the original broadcast version and the VHS release. You can probably still find a correct version (with video from the DVD and audio from the VHS) downloadable online under the title “Hi-Fi Hobbit.” The sounds make a surprisingly large amount of difference to the ambience of the film; it’s especially noticeable in the Erebor flashback.

When a “remastered deluxe” edition of the DVD was announced this year, I naturally assumed that the soundtrack screw-up that fans have been complaining about for years would be fixed. I mean, isn’t that what “remastered deluxe edition” suggests?

Guess what? Not so much. The new edition has not restored the missing sounds. Remastering, my ass. They’ve just given us the same old crappy screwed-up soundtrack as on the previous DVD release. Just with uglier cover art.


2 Responses to The New Rankin-Bass Hobbit DVD Is a Fraud

  1. Gabriel August 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Very strange… does that mean the pirated version I watched before was the VHS or the dvd? How to identify the difference?

    • Brandon August 25, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      The release group or encoder should have specified that in the file name. If they didn’t, it’s either been renamed or an inexperienced person unfamiliar with the basic rules is behind it, which in the latter case means it was probably not encoded properly. It should be called “DVDRip” or “VHSRip” or whatever.

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