In elf ears and wizard hats, 'Hobbit' fans rejoice

Associated Press Modified: November 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm •  Published: November 28, 2012
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"It spins your head a little bit," he said.

Aidan Turner, who plays the dwarf Kili in the movie, said his character is reckless and thinks he's charming.

"I don't get to play real people it seems, I only get to play supernatural ones," he said. "So playing a dwarf didn't seem that weird, actually.

Perhaps the most well-known celebrities to walk the carpet were Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood, who reprise their roles in the LOTR in the "Hobbit."

"Mostly I came here to see everyone. I like them all," said fan Aysu Shahin, 16, adding that Wood was her favorite. She said she wanted to see the movie "as soon as possible. I'm excited for it."

At a news conference earlier in the day, Jackson said many younger people are happy to watch movies on their iPads.

"We just have to make the cinema-going experience more magical and more spectacular to get people coming back to the movies again," he said.

Jackson said only about 1,000 of the 25,000 theaters that will show the film worldwide are equipped to show 48 frames, so most people will see it in the more traditional format. The movie has also been shot in 3D.

A handful of animal rights protesters held signs at the premiere.

The protest by the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals comes after several animal wranglers said three horses and up to two dozen other animals had died during the making of the movies because they were housed at an unsafe farm.

Jackson's spokesman earlier acknowledged two horses had died preventable deaths at the farms but said the production company worked quickly to improve stables and other facilities and that claims of mistreatment were unfounded.

"No mistreatment, no abuse. Absolutely none," Jackson said at the news conference.