Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Friday, April 07, 2006

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

The classic series by C.S. Lewis has long held a place among my favorite books. I've enjoyed reading the books, and more recently, listening to the excellent audio adaptations by Focus on the Family Theatre. Naturally, when the new movie was released, we snatched it right up.

We haven't been disappointed.

The movie has stayed remarkably true to the book, which always pleases me in an adaptation (I'm generally biased toward books). There were changes, most of which were minor, and most of which I thought benefited the story (included the changed opening -- in the movie, you get a sense of what the children were fleeing, while in the books there is no grasp on this.) An exception to my pleasure in the small changes would be in the placement of the statement that although Aslan is not tame, he is good -- I liked the placement and delivery of this information better in the book. The characterization of the children is possibly stronger in the movie, and the beavers are practically show stealers.

In remaining true to the book, the movie is completely clean -- no nudity, extramarital relations, foul language (which Disney often seems to feel obligated to insert), or objectionable content whatsoever. Of course, there is violence, but it is tastefully done. The battle scenes and special effects borrow quite a lot from The Lord of the Rings, but that's to be expected (and in my case, appreciated, since those are among my favorite movies). The animals and mythological creatures are phenominally well done; they appear intermingled with the humans and interacting with them and each other so realistically that you can't tell they're not brought in by some animal training group that specializes in minotaurs, cheetahs, and griffins.

When you come down to it, this is truly a movie for the entire family. My four-year-old daughter enjoys it (though she does grow restive in the first hour, until the children are firmly entrenced in their adventure in Narnia), always looking for "the lion of Narnia." And myself and other adults can see and enjoy both the drama of the story and its deeper meanings, metaphors and symbologies.


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