The fact that this movie is as enjoyable as it is despite the numerous behind the scenes setbacks is a testament to how talented everyone working on it was. While the trilogy started accumulating more and more baggage as it went on, I still think the first movie is almost as strong as the LOTR trilogy with tons of memorable moments and great acting.

Is this trilogy overly long? Yes.
Are the story additions mostly padding? Sure.
Is it as charming as the originals? Absolutely.
Is this review format tiresome? A bit, yeah.