In teh 1930s, JRR Tolkien – a university teacher of English – was checking some tests. He stopped and wrote: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit”. This was the first sentence of “The Hobbit”.
It was very successful, and “The Lord of the Rings” came next. It had more than a thousand pages, with strange creatures, magic, fivedifferent languages and hundreds of characters. The book came out in 1954.
The book is a story about Frodo and a ring. Frodo was a hobbit and he saved the world. He had to take the ring and throw it into a mountain of fire. The baddies tried to stop Frodo and his friends. But they were heroes and always killed the baddies. The best part of the book was at the end. Gollum wanted the ring. He tried to take it from Froddo. But he fell into the mountain of fire – with the ring. The wourld was saved.
Fifty years later, the director Peter Jackson from New Zealand decided to make the film. It took seven years. They built a special village – Hobbiton. 150 people worked on the special effects, and used computer programmes for the huge armies.
They also used computers to create creatures like Gollum, Treebeard and Balgog. The most exciting creature was Gollum in The Two Towers. He was a computer animation but he was very “real”. The computer artists looked at real skin, muscle and bone on humans. Each day the actor John Rhys-Davis, who played Gimli, arrived at four o’clock in the morning, because his make-up took six hours.
They released the film in three parts, in 2001, 2002 and 2003.