Review of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is good. Really good.

narnia_poster_md

At the end of the movie the entire theater erupted into applause. Did I say it was good?

narnia_lantern_md

The film is emotionally very moving. I haven’t had tears in my eyes from a movie since , or from fiction since trilogy.

narnia_knights_md

Stylistically, Narnia is a kids version of . Like Rings, Narnia was shot in New Zealand, and that vast Mythic England is on gorgeous display.

narnia_ruins_md

Narnia also had wonderful comic relief. The Beavers drew a reaction from everyone. As someone who hasn’t read the books, the identity of he-who-gives-the-royals-weapons was hilarious. You didn’t see that one coming!

narnia_oreilly_md

There’s a good deal of anti-Naria hate in the media, and along with it frantic denials by Disney’s stooges that the movie has anything whatsoever to do with a certain Christian apologist. Anyone who watches the movie and can write, like ‘s Stefan Lovgren did…

However, Lewis himself said he didn’t set out to write a Christian story, but simply a great children’s tale. His creative influences, at least at the outset, were not Christian, but various mythologies from early cultures.

… is either crazy or culturally illiterate. (Or playing with language — like another writer criticized on tdaxp)

But such peevishness is besides the point. is a great movie. If is this good, I will be thrilled.

See now!

6 thoughts on “Review of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"”

  1. I was hoping to see Narnia tonight too, but ended up watching Syriana.

    I was fearful that Narnia would be a crap version of LOTR. I will be rounding up people to see Narnia this week for sure.

  2. The main reason why people are associating this story/movie with a Christian fable is because other than these books, that's pretty much all C.S. Lewis wrote.
    Unlike Tolkien, Lewis is a respected author without including his main series of books. If Tolkien had gone on to write a bunch of anti-war and anti-industry books, the campaign to portray The Lord of the Rings as allegorical would have more ground to stand on.
    I'll admit that the first book does seem a bit Christ-y but they lose that more as the series goes on. I challenge anyone to make A Horse and his Boy into anything resembling Christian allegory.

  3. “I'll admit that the first book does seem a bit Christ-y but they lose that more as the series goes on.”
    Hmm, I'm not sure I agree. The Last Battle was the most overtly religious of all the books. The Horse and His Boy was rather like the story of Moses.

    Lewis said that his books weren't allegories- they were his idea of what other worlds might look like and how Christ might appear to them. Sort of the same as his adult sci-fi series.

  4. I read “The Lion, the Witch, and the Warddrobe” yesterday, so I am now able to compare the movie to the book.

    The movie is better.

    The book does have several good scenes that were glaringly omitted, including

    1. Mr. Beaver drinking a jug of beer (doubtless because of religious and secular puritans)
    2. Aslan emphasizing that the girls should not fight (the theme of which is also in the movie, but definitely not the movie poster)
    3. The Kings and Queens of Narnia passing laws against busy-bodies and telling people to mind their own business — again, probably because of left/right puritans

    The biggest change is the relationship between the Witch and the Lion. The Witch acts more confidently in the movie, while the Lion is more approachable. I think this tracks Christianity better than Lewis's characterizations. Satan calls out God in the middle of an assembly in Job, while Jesus is not dangerous for little children in the New Testament.

    While the book and movie are both primarily for children, the movie is more approachable for adults. At no point can one forget that the book version is a children's story, but the movie has pathos.

    After reading the book, I am even more annoyed by the chatter of reviewers. The Lovgrens of the world continue hoping-against-hope that Narnia isn't a Christian allegory, shilling for Disney by denying the obvious. Meanwhile, some ill-tempered critics can think of nothing more than hating a movie which benefits a corporation and Christians, while some Christian critics attack the movie small things (not mentioning the Emperor-Across-the-Sea) or for being a genre fantasy/adventure film (Peter growing into manhood instead of being brave from the beginning, the final battle scenel, etc). I even saw one review criticizing the movie for have “Magic,” even though “Deep-Magic-From-The-Dawn-of-Time” and “Deeper-Magic-From-Before-The-Dawn-of-Time” are in the book itself!

    In conclusion:

    The story is a Christian allegory that tells the story of what the Messiah would have been like if he redeemed a magical land with talking animals. The children's book was written in England fifty years ago, and reads like a good children's that was written in another country half a century ago. The movie, a Hollywood fantasy/adventure, is much better than expected.

  5. Bad news, Slashdot [1] links to an IGN [2] story saying the Ender's Game movie has been delayed again

    ” “The option with Warner Bros. was due to expire on December 7th. There was no filmable script – though in fairness to the writers so far, they may well have been following faithfully all that they were actually asked to do – EG is simply a very hard story to put in script form.

    “At the last minute, a committed Warner exec met with me and we worked out some key decisions. Warner is still strongly committed to making Ender's Game into a great movie, and we agreed to another year or so of option, starting with a new script written by me (a page-one rewrite not based on any previous script, including mine). Guess how I'll be spending my Christmas vacation.”

    Card emphasized that whatever script he ends up with, it will be faithful to the story of his book. Squeezing a novel into a feature film intact is always a difficult prospect, but Card thinks the final movie will be somewhere between two and two-and-a-half hours in length. “

    [1] http://slashdot.org/articles/05/12/21/0551219.shtml?tid=97&tid=99
    [2] http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/675/675874p1.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *