The LOTR Movie Site
June 24, 2000
Response to 'Tolkien Wasn't
Opposed to a Movie'
First of all, the evidence that Tolkien did
care about his literature is much more overwhelming than the quick blurb from Carpenter's
biography. Take, for example, his insistence that Disney not take any part in making a
cartoon of either "The Hobbit" or "The Lord of the Rings". That was
one of his worries when the books were coming across the Atlantic, and appearing for the
first time in America. Tolkien's American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Co., wanting some
color illustrations for the new American edition of "The Hobbit" published in
1938. Tolkien ultimately ended up doing them, with the comment that he certainly didn't
want any "Disney like" illustrations in the book.
Another point is how much he was
distressed when the first paperback volumes came out of "The Hobbit" for the
American public in 1965. The illustrator added a small lion to the drawing of Hobbiton on
the front, and Tolkien was very upset at this. When the second printing came out, the lion
was excluded because of Tolkien's insistence.
There are many more
examples of how Tolkien did try and protect his works while he was alive. The before
mentioned comment about "a good deal of money" was, when mixed with the previous
part "either a respectable 'treatment' of the book", a simple joke. No, Tolkien
was very protective of his books. His son, however, is another story.