In the official trailer for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the Shire is a welcome sight indeed. And from what it would appear, the Middle-earth that director Peter Jackson envisioned remains in all its glory.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Warner Bros.


Yet this time around, Middle-earth is going to be in 3-D. Now, some might think (and justifiably so): whoop-de-do. They forget, however, the sweeping images Jackson created in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Jackson is a formidable storyteller. Who’s to say he can’t use 3-D correctly as an integral part of the storytelling?

Unfortunately, there’s a minor emotional letdown: This is “The Hobbit,” not the epic struggle of good versus evil “The Lord of the Rings” was. But that’s expected. What the trailer does, and does exceptionally well, is give snappy introductions and evoke some unexpected nostalgia with promises of a new adventure — all of it ending with a shot of the One Ring.

Are audiences willing to take on another adventure in Middle-earth? At a speculated budget of $500 million, Peter Jackson and his crew better hope they are.

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