THE tale of Bilbo Baggins' quest to win a share of a dragon-guarded treasure is one much loved by many, but no more so than for fans Anita Baills and Lorilee Briggs.
The two friends both vividly remember the first time they read JRR Tolkien's children's fantasy novel The Hobbit and are excited to see their favourite story come to life on the big screen.
And they both have faith the movie will be just as good as the book.
"I think Martin Freeman will be a much better hobbit than Elijah Wood's Frodo," Mrs Briggs said.
"He's got the right sense of humour and I think he can pull it off."
Mrs Baills, whose father first read the story to her when she was eight, loves the story because it provides an escape from reality.
"It's a memorable book, there's not a lot out there like it," she said.