The same company that publishes the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, obviously including “The Hobbit,” and “The Lord of the Rings” announced an app companion to the latest Peter Jackson Middle-earth film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” From the looks of things, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt means for this to be an immerse and interactive version of the film books. Jude Fisher provides text and many of the images are 3D and interactive. We will include a gallery of images from the app below the official press release.
The app is produced by the United Kingdom publisher of Tolkien’s work, Harper Collins UK in conjunction with Warner Bros. and developed by Ardman Digital.
Below is the full press release with images of the product:
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT ANNOUNCES THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP
December 20, 2013
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, official U.S. publisher of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, is thrilled to announce THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP, an app designed to accompany the film experience of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, directed by Peter Jackson. A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened worldwide on December 13.
The app, produced by HarperCollins UK in association with Warner Bros., was developed by Aardman Digital. The app aims to engage with book and film fans on a digital and interactive platform, and is packed with content from the The Hobbit Trilogy, including text by Jude Fisher, details and images of the characters and a beautifully rendered 3D map.
Nick Perrett, Group Director of Strategy ＆ Digital at HarperCollins said, “This is the first step toward HarperCollins’ vision for persistent storytelling worlds that will act as a hub for fans of The Hobbit worldwide. This exciting new experience brings The Hobbit universe alive and, will over time, develop as a platform for discovering the world of Middle-earth.”Sanj Kharbanda, VP of Digital Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said, “At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, our strategy is to create great experiences across many touch points including books, ebooks, apps, and the web. We are thrilled to partner with HarperCollins UK to bring this to life for The Hobbit and celebrate the magic of Middle-earth with a new generation of readers with this app.”
Created using the Unity engine – more typically used by game developers than book publishers – THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP is designed to enrich users’ experience of the films, enabling them to navigate a map of Middle-earth in its entirety, while discovering facts about the characters, locations and artifacts recognizable from the films and book. The app also features interactive trivia, allowing users to unlock additional app features.
THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP will be updated with a rolling schedule of content for the next two years, including cast interviews, content for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the official U.S. publisher of film tie-in books for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, directed by Peter Jackson.
THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP is available from Samsung’s Apps Hub (Samsung Web, Samsung Mobile) and Apple’s App Store (Premium, Lite).
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT TRADE PUBLISHING
For nearly two centuries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade division has published some of the world’s most renowned novels, non-fiction, children’s books and reference works in hardcover, trade paperback, and eBook formats. Its distinguished author list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, forty-seven Pulitzer Prize winners, thirteen National Book Award winners, and more than one hundred Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Sibert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O’Brien, and Umberto Eco, and a celebrated roster of children’s authors and illustrators including Lois Lowry, Chris Van Allsburg and David Wiesner. HMH is also home to The Best American
series®; The American Heritage® and Webster’s New World™ dictionaries; Betty Crocker®, Better Homes and Gardens®, How to Cook Everything®, The Gourmet Cookbook, and other leading culinary properties; the Peterson Field Guides®; CliffsNotes; books by J.R.R. Tolkien; and many iconic children’s books and characters including Curious George®, The Little Prince and The Polar Express. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The screenplay for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a WingNut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
Posted in Books Publications, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Other Merchandise, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.
To the Death – Eowyn and Nazgul
Rare and Unique Items from Greg and Tim Hildebrandt Available Now!
Back in the 1970’s Greg and Tim Hildebrandt created 3 Tolkien themed calendars for Ballantine Books, beginning around the time of the 25th anniversary of the publishing of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. During this resurgence of popularity for Tolkien’s collective works, those calendars provided an entire generation’s vision of Middle-earth and all the characters within. Since the release of those calendars, very few alternative versions of those images have been available outside of the calendars and a few art books. Greg and Tim were always very particular about the quality of how their art was showcased. That is all changing, much of this work is now being released in multiple formats that meet with Greg’s exacting standards. (more…)
Posted in Artwork, Books, Books Publications, Calendar, Calendars, Calendars, Characters, Collectibles, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, Miscellaneous, Other Merchandise, Posters Prints, Return of the King, Shop, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien
Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson.
The Short Version: Not Good, Good, Great, or Awesome? It’s great. This book is not only beautiful and bursting with Tolkien art, but it also gives a chronological, detailed overview of the state of Tolkien interpretive art to date. Lovely and informative, with only a few things that I wish could have been improved.
Cut to the Chase: Do You Want This Book for Christmas? Absolutely, you do! (more…)
Posted in Books Publications, Green Books, Merchandise
Its always nice to hear from Weta Workshop, but its especially nice when they drop something beautiful in our mailbox. This time it is concept art work from “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design,” book. Written by Daniel Falconer, this is likely to be an amazing book. TORn got its first look at a similar book by Falconer for the previous movie and it turned out to be as stunning as we imagined it might be. Those who have had occasion to meet the author, who does extensive design work for Weta, know that he is gracious and smart and passionate about the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Click for larger version
While the masses in the U.S. are out shopping, you can order one of these now and during the pre-order phase, your book gets signed by the concept artists and comes with a “Dragon’s Gold” for Weta discounts and prizes. As you can see above, the image we received is of Lake-Town, from the desks of Alan Lee (who writes the book’s introduction) and John Howe. And please click for the larger version, it is definitely worth
They also included some previously released Elf concept art which you can see below. You can order the book RIGHT HERE. Expect this art to pop up in other places soon and more will be released as Weta and HarperCollins see fit, but for Hobbit fans, this may be among the very best of seasonal gifts.
Posted in Alan Lee, Books, Books Publications, Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Howe, Merchandise, Ra Vincent, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Weta Collectibles
“In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.”
One of the great joys of these words is that they are available in so many different languages, as are the countless sentences that follow. They are accessible to so many different cultures and nationalities. Now, for the very first time, Professor Tolkien’s brilliant classic “The Hobbit” is available in the official Yiddish translation, approved by the Tolkien Estate – through Harvard Book Store. (more…)
Posted in Books Publications, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Merchandise, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate
Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson.
Over the decades, lots and lots of people have tried their hand at envisioning Middle-earth — in artwork, stage plays, musicals, television adaptations, comics, games, fan-art and, of course, animated and live action film.
Middle-earth Envisioned is a new, illustrated book From New York Times bestselling author Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson, TV guide writer/reporter and the former editor of the Star Trek magazine, that comprehensively documents these portrayals of Middle-earth.
Among the highlights is previously unprinted artwork from English schoolteacher Mary Fairbairn. It has been noted that Tolkien himself wrote to Fairburn in 1968, praising her illustrations as “splendid. They are better pictures in themselves and also show far more attention to the text than any that have yet been submitted to me”. (more…)
Posted in Alan Lee, Books Publications, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, John Howe, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Silmarillion, The Hobbit
As excitement for the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug builds, there are all kinds of goodies coming out to go along with the movie, including some fabulous movie tie in books, as well as some new editions of The Hobbit itself. Our good friends at Harper Collins, publishers for all things Tolkien in Europe, have given us some amazing sets of NINE (well, actually 12, as one is a box set of four!) books to give away to four lucky readers! The winners will receive:
The 2014 Hobbit Annual
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Storybook
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Official Movie Guide
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Ultimate Sticker Book
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Visual Companion
A box set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings paperback editions with movie tie in covers
Pocket Hobbit – a mini, hardback edition of the book!
A new paperback edition of The Hobbit with Desolation of Smaug movie tie in cover
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles – Art and Design from WETA
All of these books could be yours! And because we love our readers everywhere, this competition is open worldwide. All you have to do to win, wherever you are in the world, is answer one simple question and complete the form below. The competition runs until the opening of the movie, on December 13th; after which we’ll pick four winners at random, from all the correct entries.
Posted in Books, Books Publications, Contests, Events, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien
The Desolation of Smaug Annual 2014
If you’ve been thinking about grabbing yourself a copy of The Desolation of Smaug 2014 Annual, the folks at German website Premium Format
have posted up a bunch of great images (instead of the terrible ones you usually see that use way too much flash) that showcase just how good this hardcover book looks.
There are a few movie spoiler images. In particular, if you’re avoiding Bear Beorn, you’ll want to look away now. We’ve previously covered the spoiler contents of the book. If you’re interested in those, check out this post from last month. (more…)
Posted in Books Publications, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug