I'm not sure why, but I had always assumed that the sets and costumes and such in this movie would all be designed to a different visual standard than what was in LotR; sort of like how they redesigned Hogwarts for every single Harry Potter movie. But this is going out of its way to show how precisely, down to the last fallen leaf and draped fold of cloth, everything is recreated out of the movies twelve years ago. (My God, has it been that long?)
Of course, if apparently the movie will look just like LotR, will that mean it'll feel like it too? Dark, gritty, and realistic? Or will they somehow manage to cram in all the whimsical little elements that make it more of a kids' story—talking satchels, soccer jokes, insane gesticulating Gandalf, trolls that turn to stone in the sun? I'm not sure what I'm hoping for. But I'm sure PJ knows what he's doing. It sure looks that way.
It's great to see him bouncing around all full of energy, and thin to boot.