1. Tolkien first imagined "The Hobbit, or There and Back Again" while telling bedtime stories to his kids. In fact, when the story was originally published in 1937, it was done so as a children's book. Obviously, some of the 100 million odd copies sold in over 50 languages around the world have been purchased and devoured by grownups (or at least by people who have successfully aged), but it wasn't actually written for them. The story takes place 60 years prior to the Rings trilogy, and revolves around a genial Hobbit, Bilbo (Martin Freeman), a mischievous wizard, Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), and a rambunctious company of 13 Dwarves looking to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug. Like the book, the tone of the film is noticeably lighter than that of "The Lord of the Rings," and the stakes are significantly lower. Of course, knowing what we know about the "one ring to rule them all," the darkness lingers. You can get a good feel for the tone in the trailer above.