... it was a missed opportunity to give the "best children's book ever written" a proper adaptation.
It wouldn't work. And I'm not saying that to be cruel, but a major part of the viewing audience would have seen LotR first and quite frankly hate the Hobbit done according to the book.
This. Tolkein's story "grew with the telling"; he'd done all this imaginary mythology background stuff, epic poetry, and tales. He wrote some of it up as a childrens' book, "The Hobbit".
"The Lord of the Rings" came later. At the time he wrote "The Hobbit", he didn't realize that the ring Bilbo found was The One Ring. I'm not sure the whole "three for the elves, seven for the dwarf lords, nine for mortal men, and one ring to rule them" thing was developed in his mind at the time.
Jackson chose to adapt "The Hobbit" as a prequel to "Lord of the Rings". That decision is ... controversial. But it was probably necessary, given that the "Lord of the Rings" movies existed.
Yeah, it should have been one movie, maybe two. Sauron showing up Just Does Not Work in the continuity; in LOTR, they didn't know Sauron had returned at the beginning of the story. There are a lot of things I wish Jackson had done better, or differently.
And too much Coyote Physics, way, way, *WAY* too much Coyote Physics, especially in the second movie. I enjoy Roadrunner cartoons as much as anyone, maybe more, but I don't want Coyote Physics in something more serious.
Still, my biggest beef of all with Jackson was from the original "Lord of the Rings" movies; wrecking Faramir's character was a huge blunder.
Oh, well, I still found them mostly enjoyable,