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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles I: Art & Design

(The Hobbit Chronicles #1)

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  5,128 ratings  ·  88 reviews
This sumptuous book celebrates the creative vision of Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It is packed with more than 1,000 images of concept artwork, photographs and development paintings by the artists working behind the scenes to bring Middle-earth to life, who each provide detailed and entertaining commentary that reveals ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published December 14th 2012 by Harper Design (first published November 1st 2012)
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4.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,128 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-books

(More pictures on my blog)

This is a wonderful companion art book for the movie. In some ways, I like it better than the ones from LOTR.

The cover is beautifully embossed with texture and shine. It's 272-pages and big. Behind the cover is Thorin's Map that you can tear out from the perforated edges, and at the back is a long gatefold of Bilbo's Burglar contract should you want to read the fine prints to see what Bilbo has gotten himself into.

There's a generous amount of concept art included that f
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nice look at the design that went into various central characters to the Hobbit movies. It includes quotes from the designers.
Emma Rose Ribbons
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeous book! Everything is exquisite - the art inside is incredible, the text so incredibly informative (I laughed out loud twice, some of the anecdotes are hilarious) and the crew interviewed is just amazing (I like that very few members of the cast feature here, it's all about the people who crafted the sets, costumes and makeup and the though process behind it all, terrific stuff). Excellent volume that really digs deep into An Unexpected Journey in a way that's both engaging and awe ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read2017
Okay, I purchased this book at supanova (kinda like comic con but in Australia) and Daniel Falconer was there! Not only is this book super amazing for us Hobbit/LOTR nerds but he signed it as well!! 🎉🎉
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles: Art & Design gives a detailed and fun look at how all of the visuals for the movie were done. The artwork is brilliant and sketches seem to fill every available space on the set and character pages.

Looking at this book and reading the artist quotes, you really get a sense of just how involved everything was, how invested the artists were in bringing their vision to life. It's evident (and admirable) that shortcuts were rarely taken--even the s
Amy | shoutame
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is one brilliant book for anyone who loves Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's novel 'The Hobbit'. It goes without saying that The Hobbit (movie) is beautifully filmed and the detail that has gone into making such a film is shown to us through this book.

From the concept art by John Howe and Alan Lee to how the Trolls were brought to life - this book has everything and anything you would want to know about the design and making of such a magnificent film.

Needless to say I gave it a
Racheal Milich
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So this book is amazing and I can't seem to set it down and it always takes me like less than a week to read this in between customers at work. It is such a good book. It has the quality of being an easy read. You want to know what happens next and the suspense is thrilling. I would definitely read it again and I have multiple times.
Marcelo Gonzalez
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I got the book for the concept art, which is good because with few exceptions, the blurbs are inane and not worth reading. But the concept art is fantastic to see both the evolution of certain characters from concept to finished product and the variants they had for sets, characters, etc.
Miriam Matthews
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful companion art book for the movie, The Hobbit, and I like it far more than the Lord of the Rings movie companion books, though to be honest I prefer The Hobbit over Lord of the Rings full stop.

The cover is beautifully embossed with texture and shine. It's 208-pages, it's big and it's heavy, but it is gorgeous, so this makes up for that. To me it has the perfect feel for curling up in my armchair and having a read through, or just looking at all the gorgeous illustration in it.
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-books
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles - Art & Design' is a gorgeous hardcover book that is packed cover to cover with over a thousand images of concept art, photographs, sketches and paintings from the artists working behind the scenes to help bring Peter Jackson's vision of 'The Hobbit' onto the screen.

The book is compiled by Weta senior concept designer Daniel Falconer with a foreward by Production Designer Dan Hannah and an introduction from Richard Taylor, Weta's Design & Spe
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
(Full review here.)

I love the three art books for the Lord of the Rings movie series, and I enjoy a good movie art book in general. Strangely enough though, this book fell prey to the same malady as the Hobbit movies--Overstretcheditis. No, of course I did not just make up that term. (...) Anyway, I love looking at all the designs, but I see no reason why this could not have been combined with the following book (Creatures and Characters).

I rate the art and the behind the scenes stuff an A, but
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book. Even serves as a good companion to WETA: The Collector's Guide 2011 with a small listing at the end of available to order WETA Collectibles for the film. The book also features reproductions of Thorin's map and Bilbo's contract. The only two caveats I have is the size and landscape style of the book does not match up with Art of Lord of the Rings books published a few years ago and the fact that this is actually only one half of a two book set for the first film. The volume covering ...more
Michael Alexander Henke
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, art
The Hobbit feels almost feels like an exercise in how to maximize the exposure of a single property. The one book was turned into 3 movies, those 3 movies then spawned not 1 art book each, but 2 each. Three movies and six art books for the one original novel.
This is the first book of the first film and focuses on the art and design of the environments and the major characters. Of particular interest was the design process behind the dwarves and their props. The original novel didn't go into exha
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
WOW. STUNNING!! This book is a feast for your eyeballs! It is a beautiful companion to the movie. Even if you have only read the book and haven't seen the movie you will love it - It is purely magical. It showcases how all the characters and the major locations of middle earth were brought to life for the movie. It even includes a large fold out map as well as the burglar's contract. I am thoroughly impressed at all the details that went into making the movie. It is a must read for any fan of th ...more
Jeff Lanter
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This might be the best movie art book I've ever purchased. Not only is the book beautiful inside and out, but it has everything you would want in an art of the movie book. All the main characters and their designs are here. Some of the most interesting sets/environments in the movie also made it in. The writing and the perspective of the artists is interesting to read throughout. Art & Design also has two of my favorite parts of any movie art book. Both the rejected (but still very interesti ...more
Gabriella timelordsandwizards
This was beautiful and interesting and well I just love everything hobbit related really. If you're a fan of the movie, and learning about how it was adapted and the characters and about the book as well, then definitely try to get your hands on this. It is a bit pricey, mine was 50 AUS dollars, but completely worth it. It also comes with a replica of Thorin's map and a replica of the Burglar contract. It's just so in depth, and the pictures are so so beautiful and the detail and information is ...more
Michael Stewart
A very easy read. Moves quickly. It helped with my understanding of the first of the HOBBIT movie trilogy, which I will likely now re-watch. It should be more engaging on repeat viewing.

Still, I can't say that I'm a hobbit aficionado. THE HOBBIT is really a children's book, and I prefer books geared to adults. BUT... I will now give LORD OF THE RINGS a go to see if it captures my interest. The evil in LOTR is more nuanced, I expect.

I have friends who re-read the Tolkien books as frequently as Ja
Clinton Sheppard
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked seeing the artist's various conceptions of the characters and sets and reading about what inspired the final piece, like the shape of Glamdring. I thought it was interesting that they said they had to re-create the Green Dragon Inn from scratch because there we no construction documents of the original set. The Tolkien fan can also learn a lot about the characters that isn't stated in the film by reading the design notes. You also learn how much input the director has in everything, at l ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, 2014
This is insanely beautiful, astounding, incredible. The sheer volume of concept art that goes into an epic film like The Hobbit trilogy or The Lord of the Rings trilogy is impossible to imagine. Even in reading this book, one cannot fathom the amount of miniscule detail that goes into every character, every prop, every setting, every scene. This is why the movies feel so real - because even if all of the original details don't make it to the screen, the backstories were all in the minds of the a ...more
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, fantasy
How can it be fantasy and nonfiction at the same time? (I don't know, ask Lance Armstrong's 2001 biography. ZING! ha ha.) But I digress. This beautiful book displays the original concept art - sketches, painting, models, computer-generated portraits, etc - used in the creation and conception of the Hobbit movie. It is absolutely astounding how much thought and consideration goes into each moment of a film. I didn't even remember (I am embarrassed to admit) all the scenes that were referenced by ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you like books about the behind-the-scenes work of the art department on a film, this book (from Weta) is a great one! Full of photos and illustrations, it tells the story of what went into the making of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" from the art department's perspective.

Of special note are the full-size replica of Thorin's map and the almost-full-size replica of the contract Bilbo signed. As a wanna-be artist myself, I've been enjoying trying to sketch the artwork in the book (with var
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What can I say, this is a well-constructed book of pure, conceptual imagery. I loved reading about the character thoughts and back stories (like learning about the dwarves). I can't wait to watch the DVD now to see the extras that the movie didn't include like Belladonna Took's appearance; and how Gandalf traveled under the hill to meet up with the questing band. Seeing the drawn costumes and locations for those scenes has me anxious to see more of this world both in the cinematic and literary v ...more
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great look into the concept art and design of The Hobbit, including things that "didn't make it in" to the theatrical release, though DID in the Extended Edition.

Includes designs for Belladonna and the Sackville-Baggins, little Bilbo, and possibly Smaug's claw (although that's all we'll see of him other than a few spare shots until the next film). Consider it an appendix to the first film, a great companion piece, worth the greater expense for anyone that likes the pre-production/creative proce
Rosamund Hodge
Mar 06, 2013 added it
Shelves: 2013
I am counting this as "read" even though I skipped the five pages about the Great Goblin, because who wants to look at him for any longer than necessary? Anyway, when it comes to this book, I suspect there are two kinds of people: those who don't care, and those who wish there were about 80 more pages of pictures. I wanted full back and side views of all the costumes, dangit.

(Also, while I appreciated the little section on Dwarf women, their beards were much two wispy. You will never convince me
Jennifer Kuo
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-of
Like any concept art book, this is filled with different artwork, some that made it onto the screen and some that didn't. I love seeing the various renditions of the characters, especially the dwarves, and how each character was finalized. Any fan of the Hobbit should pick this up, and actually, anyone interested in concept art or seeing how a production/art/the whole team puts together a film should also look into checking this out.
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing!!! Fantastic!! Words cannot describe! The Hobbit is by far my Favourite book and film so when I recieved this for a birthday present I was over the moon!!! It goes through all the Art and Design processes of creating the Hobbit an unexpected journey... for exsample:
How they created the hair.
How the chose the costumes.
How they drew large places like Goblin Town, or Rivendell...
and much much much much much more..... :)
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A fascinating book for those who enjoy "behind the scenes," The Hobbit Chronicles is well-written & contain lots of pictures. A fair percentage of what's written is similar to what's in the DVD extras but there are tidbits of other information as well. I also liked that it seemed to include more people's perspectives, people who weren't necessarily included in the DVDs. Not just John Howe & Alan Lee, head Concept Designers, but Gus Hunter, for example.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a big, beautifully designed and illustrated book of the concept art for the film The Hobbit. I think fans of the movie will totally geek out over this, but also students who are into drawing or computer illustrating could learn a lot. It’s amazing how much time and attention goes into each little detail of costume and weaponry (items that may only be on screen for a few seconds). You can tell too that the artists involved in this project really love their work!
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Bought this book for all the details, both visual & written. But I wind up appreciating the visual details more than the written. Not that there weren't some great little bits & pieces about what went into the making of this movie, but the pictures & drawings were the best part of this book for me.
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent coffee table art book for any fan of J.R.R.Tolkien. This wide book is filled with sketches of set design, costumes and props from the movie including the massive amounts of facial hair! Although images is the major attraction, there is just enough text to explain the concept and look achieved as well as some back story to its creation.
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Daniel Falconer joined Weta Workshop in 1996, shortly before The Lord of the Rings. With a degree in graphic design, majoring in illustration, Daniel has an enthusiasm for world design and the development of imaginary cultures and creatures as a means to tell stories. He also has a deep knowledge of Tolkien's Middle-earth, thanks to an avid interest in the books and associated materials, which fre ...more

Other books in the series

The Hobbit Chronicles (7 books)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles II: Creatures & Characters
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Chronicles III: Art & Design
  • Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Chronicles IV: Cloaks & Daggers
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies  - Chronicles V: Art & Design
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Chronicles VI: The Art of War
“I have a secret feeling that we're all Hobbits. Deep down we all want to stay home and feel safe, but we all dream about someone knocking on the door and saying "Come on an adventure and let's have a fun ride.” 7 likes
More quotes…