Peter: [The Song of the Entwives] Now this scene, in the theatrical version was sort of a slightly different
form. It was – it had some of the same content, but it was much shorter, and this is the full-length version of the
scene, which we made a lot funnier, and it was… The one thing that I wish we could have hung on to, actually, is Treebeard’s
poetry, because it kind of gives the character an unexpected, humorous slant, which I think the theatrical would have probably
benefited from a bit; but it was slow, and it was something that, you know, when we were dealing with a film that we had to
get down to three hours was just something we decided that we could do without.
Philippa: I think it’s lovely, and it’s a real nod towards Professor Tolkien’s own love of poetry.
Peter: Yeah. Bad poetry or good poetry?
Philippa: [laughing] Well…
Peter: [laughing] A lot of people have criticised –.
Philippa: We’re Merry and Pippin, so that’s not to say it’s –.
Peter: A lot of people have criticised Treebeard for being a bit slow – you know how a lot of reviews [Philippa
agrees] said that Treebeard was kind of slow and boring; and what this scene does is it sort of celebrates the fact he’s
slow and boring [laughs] and it makes a [Philippa: Yeah.] humorous point of it, which I think, actually… The
film would have benefited from that, because then you would have got it: you’d have thought, “Oh, okay. Oh, right.
This guy’s slow and boring” and accepted it more…
Peter: Rather than it being, sort of, an irritant.
Philippa: Who said he was slow and boring?
Peter: Oh, there’s all sorts of reviews have said that… some of them. I mean, the bad reviews have said
that. The good reviews like him.
Philippa: Yeah. (beat) I love that shot. [screen cap] It’s so [?great].
Peter: So, in a shot like this, you see, you’ve got… Dominic and Billy are actually riding on a big
prosthetic creature that Richard Taylor’s guys made, and we replaced just the head with a computer-generated head: everything
else is rubber – is a big rubber rig. [Treebeard lays Merry and Pippin down to sleep] They were lowered down on wires
and then the wires were painted out and Treebeard’s arms were added in by the computer. [Treebeard: “I have business
in the Forest.”] And this stuff’s all about Treebeard and the Forest; because, I think if you don’t know
the ‘law’ of the Forest that Tolkien wrote, you know, you get confused with what Treebeard actually is: people
obviously think he’s a tree, but Ents are not trees. They’re sort of like humanoid creatures who obviously look
like trees, but they are Shepherds of the Forest; and the Forest is a whole other form of life – the natural trees –
which are actually very dangerous.