The audience at the 12:01 showing were completely enraptured in the breath taking scenery and action - again New Zealand shines! Unlike previous live action versions the creatures are photo-realistic,not cartoons or "stuffed" animals. The special effects houses that worked on this including WETA and ILM out did themselves. This is the world I imagined it when I read the book.
The scene at the Stone Table is moving, you weep with the girls over Aslan and the battle scene is spectacular, you really fear for Peter and Edmund as they go one-on-one with the White Witch.
There are a few changes in the plot, as with any movie. The telling of a tale in a book is much different than telling a tale in a movie. The changes are minor and add to the story and distract little from the plot for those familiar with the story.
Highly recommended for everyone!
The only performers credited I recognized were John Rhys-Davies, David Hasselhoff, Corbin Bernsen and Cheech Marin. But it has several surprise performances in small parts. Keep an eye-out for Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Edie McClurg, Lynne Marie Stewart (Pee Wee's Playhouse's Miss Yvonne), and Suzanne Kent (Pee Wee's Playhouse's Mrs. Rene).
I work for a school district and was excited to find a VHS copy of the film at the media center. I immediately checked it out to share with my students. Watching it again after all these years was like going back in time it filled my with awe and wonder. With the added bonus of seeing these third graders respond to it the same way I did all those years ago.
I would recommend this film to elementary classroom teachers as a stepping-off to teach story-telling and to mid-school and high-school teachers teaching film. It is a wonderful classic that shows that the simplest story can have great impact when told with care and love.