"Hobbits really are amazing creatures."
I'm gleeful to admit at 24 years old that The Lord of the Rings is still an adventure I love to take. It's wonder hasn't ceased to amaze me. I've yet to read the books but it's high on my bucket list, but don't expect any criticism of Peter Jackson's vision. This is the Middle Earth I'm familiar with and it's no place for hobbits, which makes Fellowship the special entry it is. The next two films don't have time for the lush greens of the shire or for pranks from Merry and Pippin (though they still find ways to cause trouble). When the darkness of this story first reveals it's haunting energy, heavily contrasting the joyful moments in the shire, I always get goosebumps. As a late 90's baby my action figures were of Aragon and Legolas. I remember keeping Gandalf the white separate because he was too powerful for the toy bin. This is the fantasy epic of my childhood and I will always love it for that. When I take my nostalgia glasses off and try my best to only respect it for it's performances, soundtrack, set design, and practical effects - well, that's when I really understand how special these films are and how finely crafted every bit of it is. Yes, I watch them annually. Do I ever regret it? Not once yet.