The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

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The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - Do You Believe In Magic?

Dec 12, 2005 (Updated Dec 12, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:story, the children acting, special effects, epical scale, timing was perfect

Cons:actors stiff during some scenes

The Bottom Line: This is one of those movies people of all ages can enjoy.


C.S. Lewis is the critically acclaimed Christian author of the seven book Chronicles of Narnia series, a fantasy world that deals with values of good and evil. I remember reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was 11 years old and that I liked it enough to read all the way through, but I don’t remember much about the content of the book or anything. There are six other books in the series, zero of which I have read, and chronologically, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe comes second in the series. Since I can’t comment on the things that changed and didn’t change during the translation process from the book, my overall rating and opinion of the movie is based on the movie’s own merits. On a side note, with movies that are based on books of this caliber, they shouldn’t just be criticized for the fact that some things may or may not be translated exactly from the book. These kinds of movies really need to be viewed and rated on their own merits as well. So, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

The movie starts out in the middle of a war, where Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund Pevensie are being hurried on to a train by their mother to wait out the war with Professor Kirke (Jim Broadbent) at his mansion. When the children arrive at the train station, they’re picked up by the Professor’s house assistant Mrs. MacReady (Elizabeth Hawthorne), who lays down the rules of the mansion pretty quickly. 1) Don’t touch anything, 2) Don’t bother the Professor. One day when the children are playing hide and (go)seek, the cute little Lucy hides inside a wardrobe, where she eventually steps back into the snowy woods of another world. Lucy meets the interesting creature Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy), a faun that was passing through to his home. After Mr. Tumnus invites Lucy to have tea with him, he reveals to Lucy his intentions to kidnap her and turn her into the Queen of Narnia. With a change of heart, he lets Lucy return back to her world, and she tries to explain to Peter, Susan, and Edmund about her little adventure, but none of them would believe her.

Then Edmund saw Lucy up late at night after he was coming out of the restroom, and followed her into the wardrobe. He didn’t find Lucy, but he crossed paths with the White Witch (self-appointed Queen of Narnia), who quickly brings out the greed in him as she asks him to bring the rest of his brothers and sisters to her. Soon after Lucy and Edmund return, all four of the children make their way into Narnia, where they very quickly learn about the evil that resides in Narnia. They learn of the prophecy that the two flesh of Adam and the two flesh of Eve would save Narnia from the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton). As things progress, Edmund’s greed stirs up problems and conflicts, and the great Aslan (Liam Neeson) the Lion is building an army to defeat the White Witch. Accompanied by two talking beavers, Mr and Mrs. Beaver (Ray Winstone and Dawn French, respectively), the children were sent away from home to escape a war, only to enter one that prophesizes them as the saviors of an entirely different world.

Narnia is truly a very magical place, and the vast New Zealand landscapes (as used in the Lord of the Rings movies) truly portrayed a magical world. The same team that worked on the special effects in Lord of the Rings worked on this movie as well, and they did a really great job on creating the fantasy Narnia and everything that lives in it. From the Centaur’s and various animals like polar bears, tigers, and cheetahs, to Aslan and his booming roar. People may use epic lightly, but as the two sides good and evil lined up for the final battle, the tension leading up to and during the battle was on an epic scale. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is full of symbolism that can be interpreted in all sorts of different ways. As scenes passed on-screen, I just thought to myself of the different meanings, and how many ways that they can be interpreted. Being a Christian, there were so many different kind of symbolisms like sacrifice, betrayal, and resurrection.

The children that played the role of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy did a fantastic job. From too cute Georgie Henley as Lucy, to William Moseley as Peter, and his dominant role in the fate of Narnia. Liam Neeson’s soothing and knowledgeable, yet booming, voice couldn’t have been done any better by anyone else to fit the dominating nature of Aslan the Lion. Liam Neeson was also Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and his calm, knowledgeable character is similar to Aslan’s, at least to me. The White Witch is an interesting character, with an evil and menacing, yet somewhat aurora of mysterious beauty that surrounds her. Tilda Swinton did pretty well of portraying the White Witch as she switches roles from the role she played in Constantine as the Angel Gabrielle.

Whether you’re a grumpy book lover and will nitpick the movie to pieces (instead of enjoying it), or you are into these type of movies that give you emotions on an epical scale, the majority of the people that go to see this are going to enjoy it. Peter Jackson set the standard of book-to-movie translations with The Lord of the Rings, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe followed in his footsteps with smooth strides. Now, to go back and re-read the book, and to read the rest of them. With two of the big CGI movies of the year making positive strides, it’s time to see if Peter Jackson strikes gold with King Kong


Recommend this product? Yes


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