Ladies and gentleman, November 4th - which just so happens to be today - sees the extended edition release of Warner Bros.' [The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug](movie:512310). Let me be one of the first people to tell you to go right out and get it! As with all other EEs, extra content is a given and these extras do not disappoint at all! Whether you're familiar with the story or not, you will be excited to see what adds up to 25 minutes of both extended and extra scenes. The following are just 5 of the many reasons I enjoyed this edition of the film and why I hope you will too.
1. More Beorn
In the original version of DOS we got just a glimpse of the skinwalker, Beorn. He is in bear form when we first meet him and then human form when speaking with the Company over a meal. Not only do you see more Beorn in this EE version, you get a better sense of his personality as well as a glimpse at more of his beautiful surroundings. There is quite the comical exchange between Beorn and Gandalf concerning Bilbo and the dwarves. The conversation helps paint a much clearer picture of his role in the story.
As we learned in the original version, Mirkwood has a cursed stream running through it that has poisoned the forest and allowed darkness to enter. The additional footage added in this EE goes deeper into how sick the forest is and how much that illness disorients the Company. You begin to feel as lost as they do. This really adds contrast to the next scene (from the original version) when Bilbo climbs to the top of one of the trees and is greeted by sunshine, butterflies and the clear path...for a moment they are found.
*This barrel riding scene is a favorite of mine
There are several extra nuggets throughout this segment that I found really added to the overall story. You begin to see who the town people are (which I don’t think even mattered to me in the original version), The Master and Alfrid’s true motivations come to the surface, and more of the prophecy (along with the town’s awareness of it) is revealed. All of it made me pay more attention to Laketown than I ever have, and I was glad that I did.
4. The Desolation of Smaug
There is a bit more context added as the Company approaches the overlook to Dale that really puts what happened there into perspective. I found it to be both a beautiful and heartbreaking scene.
5. Bilbo, Bilbo, Bilbo
I adore him! I always have, but the extra Bilbo bits throughout this EE really made me stand up and pay attention to exactly WHY I adore him. He rises up to the challenge each and every time he is presented with one. While it is done with some questioning, it still gets done with determination. Bilbo has saved the Company so many times by now that it is obvious that he was needed beyond his "expert burglary" skills. I, admittedly, am usually paying more attention to Smaug than Bilbo in the treasure room, but during this viewing I had to marvel at how, even in the face of Smaug the Stupendous, Bilbo continues looking for the Arkenstone the entire exchange…amazing.
I could go on and on (this doesn’t even include the two discs of 9 additional hours of content), but I believe what I have shared gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug - Extended Edition.
This article is based on the movies alone (though I know the book well). Fellow movie fanatics should definitely consider adding this to their collections and enjoying all of the extended goodness!
Until Battle of the Five Armies,