Can't wait a year for the Hobbit? Watch Russia's 1984 version NOW

There's still a year to go before the first part of Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit hits theaters, but in the meantime you can enjoy the ... Russian version?

WTF? That's right, long before The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit were even a gleam in Jackson's eye, but seven years after the Rankin/Bass animated version aired on U.S. television in 1977, a Russian adaptation was produced.

Slashfilm says that this version of the tale aired on Soviet television, but there's little else we can tell you about it. We don't know how faithful it is, because it's in Russian for one thing, and it's just over an hour long (by contrast, Jackson's complete epic should end up being around five hours or so when both parts are finished). It's pretty safe to say, however, that the budget on this wouldn't cover the morning coffee on Jackson's behemoth.

Now, there have been other versions of The Hobbit as well, including stage musicals, radio plays and even a miniseries produced and aired in Finland in 1993 (which we have yet to see). But there's almost no doubt that this Cold War curio is probably the oddest of all.

So if you've watched the trailer for next December's The Hobbit way too many times already and need a different take on the story, you might want to check this out!

(via Slashfilm)

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