This movie is scorned by many big time Tolkien fans, but not by me, I feel it serves its purpose very nicely. When first viewing this film, one must realize that it is not made for the die-hard Tolkien fan. Rather, that it is made for children, to introduce them to Tolkien's magic, and make yet another generation of die-hard Tolkien fans to come! This animated masterpiece is filled with wonderful artwork, beautiful music, (both vocal and instrumental are equally appealing) and marvelous voice talent.
John Huston, famed director and actor, provides the voice for Gandalf, and in my mind, when I read Gandalf text, it is him speaking the lines. He is perfect.
Orson Bean, another somewhat famous actor, provides the voice of Bilbo, and also does a thoroughly excellent job.
Theodore, a dark comedian and horror actor, provides the voice of Gollum, and I must say, it is the best voice job in the entire movie.
Richard Boone, who played in hundreds of old westerns, gives a commanding performance as Smaug.
Hans Conried, probably most remembered for providing the voice of Snidely Whiplash in the Dudley Doright cartoon, also does a magnificent job as Thorin.
Glen Yarborough does a great job of taking Tolkien's songs and putting them to music. His unusual singing style fits the movie perfectly.
Add all this to the wonderful animation provided by Rankin Bass studios, and you have a magical treasure that I am certain will be cherished by children and Tolkien fans for years to come!