Aslan is on the move!

We went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at a very late showing on Friday night (got home around 2am). It was very nicely done. I think it will be one of those movies that kids will watch for many years in the future, even though it’s no Harry Potter.

I don’t mean that in a “omg, it sucked compared to Potter” way. Part of the problem with Narnia is that it’s a distant memory for most readers (if they read it at all), while we’re right in the thick of Harry Potter mania. [Full disclosure: I never finished Narnia. My recollections of it come from the BBC tv series years ago.]

But one thing everyone needs to remember is that it is a children’s book. It is not The Lord of the Rings. Any negative reviews I have seen of the movie seem to center on the fact that it wasn’t as deep or rich as Tolkien’s work. Well duh! It’s not supposed to be. It’s got fricking Santa Claus in it, for crying out loud!

Yes, C.S. Lewis did try to make a Christian allegory out of it (sort of… Lewis said it wasn’t allegory, because Aslan did not represent Jesus but “…he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?’ This is not allegory at all.” Picky, picky.) However, it never goes very deep into the characters. They are all pretty much black-and-white, good or evil. In fact, one of the best things about this movie version is that it gives a little more depth to Edmund, instead of just making him a greedy little so-and-so who’d rat out his siblings for Turkish Delight.

Anyway, forgetting all that hullabaloo, it’s a very good movie with some pretty powerful scenes. I especially liked the sequence where Lucy meets Mr. Tumnus, the faun, and the Stone Table scene (of which I will not speak, lest ye be spoiled). And Tilda Swinton was deliciously evil as the White Witch. The special effects were magical, as expected, and the producers kept from straying into some sort of modern version of the story (that may be due to the fact that Douglas Gresham, Lewis’ stepson, was a co-producer).

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6 Responses to Aslan is on the move!

  1. Ric the Schmuck says:

    Tilda Swinton is ALWAYS good, in any movie she’s in.

    Haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m sure my boy’s will want to see it soon.

  2. Susan says:

    I remember seeing it in a play form when I was a little kid. At a very small church with very little stage room, I was maybe 9 or 10 when I saw it. I don’t remember much of the story – but I remember the basic plot and players. When I saw Star Wars over the summer as a team outing at work, this was a preview and we all told the boss that we want this movie to be our Christmas team outing. We go next Monday!

  3. Bob says:

    Thanks for the review. I was discouraged after reading the Orlando Sentinel review. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I definitely want to. I enjoyed these books as a kid and my 6-year old son and I recently finished reading the entire set together.

  4. Karan says:

    I couldn’t make it through the chronicles either…I was all growed up when I started the first one.

    I don’t really understand all the crankiness about the “Christian” theme in the movie….it’s not as if this is the first movie to use it as a guide.

    I don’t know if we’ll wait for DVD or not, but I suspect we will see it eventually.

  5. *** Dave says:

    I thought it was a remarkably good adaptation of the first book — very minor tweaking to make it more approachable for modern audiences without in any way substantively changing or weakening the story. Well done.

  6. -d says:

    I totally agree!

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