I never realized until I re-watched the creepy and genuinely tense riddles scene with Gollum from this version how utterly and absurdly unafraid Martin Freeman’s Bilbo seemed of Gollum in the terrible live action counterpart.
The trolls in this version are weirdly frightening as well. No slapstick or tongue in cheek comedy about them, they’re truly horrible monsters that revel in hurting others.
I also appreciate how the goblins and Orcs are portrayed as somewhat sympathetic here, basically only attacking Bilbo’s fellowship when their home is attacked. No racial coding like the Tolkien disasters either.
I somehow even liked the elves in this. They were intimidating, majestic and devoid of the unsettling Aryan superman subtext of Jackson’s elves.
...The spiders are adorable though.
Anyways, this is a surprisingly dark, ominous, nuanced and grim fairy tale in a way the Jackson Hobbit trilogy (And Rings trilogy) never were to me.