"Tell me, thief, how do you choose to die?"
Those words are just as chilling when they're coming from a Lego version of Smaug the Tyrannical, as featured in our exclusive cutscene from "Lego The Hobbit," the latest Lego-themed video game.
"My teeth are swords, my claws are spears, my wings are a hurricane," boasts the mighty dragon in the dulcet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch, an impressively rendered creature whose sinister magnificence transcends even the usually cutesy limitations of Lego character design.
The cutscene from the video game makes for a considerably truncated version of the rather lengthy exchange between Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Smaug as the burgling hobbit searches for the precious Arkenstone amongst the dragon's sprawling booty. Bilbo and his pals are just as outmatched in the game as they were on screen (and in the book, to be fair), but he does notice the one weak spot in the dragon's thick armor.
Bilbo's quick disappearance via the One Ring prompts a frustrated Smaug to demonstrate his fire-breathing abilities, which causes Bilbo and a singed Balin to regroup with Thorin and company.
Thorin taunts the "slow and fat" dragon, and a bonus mocking gesture from one of his fellow dwarves (a Lego addition to the scene) inspires another burst of flame from Smaug, which inadvertently lights the previously stone-cold furnaces. The player is then tasked by Thorin: "Get those bellows working!"
Even though it's considerably stylized in keeping with the Lego visual palette, this scene from "Lego The Hobbit" is astonishingly detailed. You almost forget it's a Lego version of "The Hobbit," as for the most part it's in keeping with the tone and scope of Peter Jackson's film. The sense of danger is a stark contrast to the game's official trailer, which had a tongue-in-cheek, "Ocean's Eleven" kind of vibe.