The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

lion_witch_wMany have read C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and now even more people have seen it. There has been a BBC production in the 80s but they did not have the CGI power of WETA at their disposal to make this tale come alive. Aslan (spoken by Liam Neeson) is simply amazing and so are any and all fairy creatures in this movie.

The costumes are stunningly beautiful, too and everything is just … shiny; too shiny in fact. So shiny that the scenes emit sterility and suffocate any real emotion. Emotion wise the movie also suffers slightly under the crux of child actors such as Lucy who only have one expression on their face even when crying. It is understandable that Georgie Henley was swept away by all this and the work on set must have been overwhelming for her and it shows throughout the movie, esp. when she leans her head on the dead Aslan and cries.

These are but minor setbacks to an otherwise well cast group of actors with the exception of Peter (William Moseley) maybe who just cannot hold a sword, let alone wield it. Suspension of disbelief for this sort of “magic realism” is getting increasingly harder when noticing all these tiny details, which kids won’t hence it is indeed a perfect kids movie.

There is no blood in Narnia. At least it is not shown. It might have been even better if they left out Aslan’s request to Peter to wipe the blood from his sword before he gave him his name Peter Wolfbane. The shining blade looked as if it never tasted blood before. It is absolutely not necessary to show gore and blood but in refering to it directly right after a battle scene is downright immersion breaking; again, just a minor detail.

What would a fairy tale be without an evil witch and Tilda Swinton is one of a kind. She is the White Witch and every inch a queen, evil to the bone and chillier as the harshest winter. She holds Narnia firmly in her icy grip only to be overthrown by some random sons of Adam and Eve, with the help of some friends.

All in all the movie is a very good adaption of the book and all the key elements are there. A few things have been changed (e.g. the reason for all four of the kids hiding in the closet) but this is of no consequence. This first installment of the “Chronicles of Narnia” is a feast for the eyes and fun to watch for all ages, even more so for the younger ones.
7/10

4 thoughts on “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

  1. Great review. I agree with pretty much everything. I’d just score it a little higher. I’m reading the books right now, which I’d never read before. I hope the do the prequel because it shows how the White Witch comes to Narnia.

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  2. There are plans to make all books into movies and I have no doubt after the success of this one that it will happen. More news should be available over at narniaweb.com. Keep in mind that the “Magician’s nephew” was not the first book Lewis wrote in the series and TLTWW simply is the best known of the 7, hence it was only natural to start with that one.

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  3. I do realize that TLTWW is the first book Lewis wrote and it took him nearly 9 years I believe, and thus far I’m finding it a very enjoyable book. I would really like to see the first one made because the story is very interesting.

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  4. I think the books are brilliant, however i was very disappointed with the first film ‘The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe’. I am also worried the latest film due to be released will also be a let down. I just dont think the films will ever do the books justice.

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