The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) Poster

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Narnia thaws out frozen New Yorkers
bertsaraco4 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The audience at this afternoon's preview screening of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, at New York's AMC 25 theater in Times Square, broke out in spontaneous applause at least three or four times. It seems that director Andrew Adamson has brought a thaw to normally-jaded New Yorkers as well as to the 100-year winter of Narnia. The movie pulls the viewer into the story right from the opening scenes of war-ravaged England, where siblings Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edmund (wonderful performances by all) are sent from their homes to the relative safety of 'the professor's' country estate where, during a game of hide-and-go-seek, young Lucy hides in the wardrobe only to discover the passage to the land of Narnia. From this point, the multi-layered story of betrayal, courage, sacrifice, redemption and hope unfolds into a briskly paced 2 hour and ten minute adventure that leaves the viewer emotionally charged and thoroughly entertained.

The musical score is appropriately stirring and moody. The computer generated creatures are sophisticated to the point where the technology disappears and you begin to accept the performance, and not the special effect! This brings us to Aslan - if the talking lion didn't work, the movie would fold in on itself and go away. Aslan works,however, and works very well. Voiced by Liam Neeson, Alsan is both believable as a 'literal' lion and as Aslan, talking lion, King of Narnia. Aslan's face is expressive and noble, and Neeson's voice acting has strength and dignity.

This film succeeds on so many levels, it would be possible to discuss it in many different veins: the direction, the story's surface-level themes, the theological possibilities, the drama, the fantasy, the adventure.... Yes - it's an action film, a dramatic film, a fantasy, a somewhat-dark (yet hopeful) fairy-tale. It has humorous moments and frightening moments, like most truly great 'family' films always seem to have.

The bottom line is, this is a film that will leave you the better for having seen it. There's much to reflect on and much to simply enjoy - there's certainly enough to keep you thinking for a while, and that's always a good thing. Aslan, indeed, is on the move!
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The perfect Christmas movie
evawatches29 November 2005
To sum things up: I loved this movie.

I had been waiting for it ever since it was announced, so of course I couldn't pass up the chance to see a press preview this morning. And, while there were some definite weaknesses (mostly in the quality of the animations), overall I was completely convinced. Naturally it did not coincide 100% with my own vision of Narnia visually, but emotionally it rang absolutely true, choking me up several times and really touching me. I walked out of the theatre with a warm, contented feeling - just like I feel every time I read C.S. Lewis' book!

The stand-out performance was definitely Tilda Swinton's as the White Witch, but I liked all actors/voices, from cute little Lucy (newcomer Georgie Henley) to majestic Aslan (Liam Neeson). I thought the children did a great job, considering their relative inexperience and the amount of blue screen work involved.

Tip: Stay seated through the actor credits - afterwards there's another small scene.
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lavatch29 December 2005
With an appeal to both adults and children, the British author C. S. Lewis wrote seven books in his Chronicles of Narnia series. The stories are rich in mythology and religious symbolism, drawing upon archetypes from the Norse, Greco-Roman, Persian, medieval chivalric, and Judeo-Christian traditions.

Now comes this wonderful film of the first chronicle, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." The beautiful cinematography and the terrific performances of the children make this film outstanding for family viewing. As integrated with the live actors, the colorful animal characters, especially the Lion (Jesus), reveal brilliant technical film-making as well.

Lewis's books are not overtly allegorical. Rather, the symbols and the messages are subtle. The four children in the story (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) were inspired by the actual children evacuated from London during World War II, who spent time in Lewis's home. Lewis wanted his books to be enjoyed by young people who would later in their lives draw the spiritual meanings from the stories. In this area, the film is enormously faithful to the original book and would have made the author extremely proud.
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Jadis, Aslan, Four Humans, and Winter Hell
nycritic10 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After the massive success of LORD OF THE RINGS it would be only fitting to continue the exploration of other dimensions as created by equally talented authors, so when it was announced that C. S. Lewis' THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDBROBE would be given the film treatment I was more than anxious to see what would come of it. Early screenings gave it great reviews, and when I viewed I wasn't disappointed despite the Christ references.

Four children are sent away from their London home to a professor's estate in the countryside in order to escape the bombings from the Nazi invaders. What they find there, aside from a severe place not unlike what V. C. Andrews would depict in FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, is a wardrobe that opens the doors to another world -- a parallel one if you may -- in which winter is ever present, but Christmas never takes place. This is Narnia, and it is under control of the White Witch Jadis who is aware of a prophecy that four humans will put an end to her wintry empire, and sets out her minions against the children who have entered her world while bribing one of them -- the rebellious Edmund -- to join her as she holds him prisoner much like the witch in Hansel and Gretel did. Her plans are to overthrow the Lion King, Aslan, and rule forever. Parallels to her world and the world as threatened by the Nazis are striking, and Tilda Swinton's transformation into the very Aryan looking Jadis is chilling, more so in her seductiveness. At times I was reminded of Cate Blanchett (they have very similar features), but I think Blanchett is to Galadriel as Swinton is to Jadis. Marvelous actresses both, but Swinton can claim her breakthrough with her role here.

With much less gravitas than the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA arrives much faster to its goal than the former does and the reason is that the books C. S. Lewis wrote are fairly slim volumes while J. R. R. Tolkien's book is a massive tome. Also, there is always the sense that the NARNIA books are more geared towards children and for much of the movie's duration there is little doubt that this is what it is: its four leads are children, many of the talking animals they meet are drawn in a way to appeal to children, and even the White Witch's castle has a storybook quality to it. Only in the appearance of Aslan does the story take a much more adult form, and its Messianic theme will not be lost on the older audience. Even so, the implications surrounding Aslan's self immolation can be interpreted in non-religious forms: if anything, it's also very similar to Gandalf's fall into the pit with the Balrog in tow in THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Both character's 'death' symbolize their own necessary transmogrification, only to arise more powerful than before and take their troops to victory.

NARNIA is a visually stunning film even in its quiet moments when the children, one by one, are entering its world through the wardrobe. I was reminded of Stephen King's DARK TOWER series: unless the characters believed in the world behind the wardrobe, it didn't exist, and this is true here. Narnia only exists if you believe hard enough in it, and time, of course, stops... or let's say, it marches at a totally different beat, also visible in Stephen King's DARK TOWER series.

Performances are quite remarkable, especially for a fantasy film. All of the actors doing the voice overs bring their characters to bubbling life, and Liam Neeson as Aslan is wise and all-knowing. The child actors are definitely comfortable in their roles and while I saw glimpses of the children of the aforementioned V. C. Andrews Gothic novel, they are real people: The younger ones fare better than the older ones, but then again they are on screen more and their stories are more crucial than the older ones although all four eventually converge into the climactic battle sequence.

All in all a great film, equally meant to be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and one which should spawn a very interesting following.
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A Very Satisfying Realization of C.S. Lewis' Creation
Nan1729 November 2005
What a fabulous movie! I just saw a screening of it (with a bunch of other actors and writers) and the whole place burst into applause at the end.

Tilda Swinton is amazing as the White Witch. Her cold, evil gaze could freeze anyone.

I loved the kids - especially the little Georgie Henley, who played Lucy. Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan was suitably majestic and comforting and grand.

It was beautifully filmed, and I felt Narnia was perfectly realized.

Looking forward to the movies that will follow.
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A Truly Moving Picture
tollini5 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film on November 30th in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival that screens films for their Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.

Four young children enter the timeless world of Narnia through the door of a wardrobe piece of furniture while playing hide-and-seek. And what a world it is. There are talking animals, dwarfs, giants, beasts, centaurs, and indescribable half-human combinations. And, in this world of Narnia there is a titanic struggle between the White Witch and her evil army and the good lion Aslan and his noble army.

Although it doesn't seem possible, you can suspend disbelief and become engaged in the story because the artistry and technology are so outstanding. The art direction, special effects, cinematography, editing and sound will most likely and should be nominated for Academy Awards. The lion Aslan dominates your attention in every scene he appears in, and as the story unfolds, he becomes as human-like as any of the four children.

The four children seem normal enough with their constant teasing and fighting among themselves, but when events truly matter, they come together and exemplify the highest standards of sacrifice, courage, fidelity and heroism. Both children and adults will find inspiration and role models in these four children.

The lion Aslan is a mystical and almost biblical hero. There are many parallels between Aslan and Christianity, and you can watch this film anywhere in the religious-secular spectrum you care to. I suspect that over many years the other six books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia will be made into movies and they will have the same type of financial and artistic success as The Lord of the Rings film trilogy had. That is high praise indeed.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
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becksy_85 December 2005
The visuals for this film are absolutely stunning. Just breathtaking. The acting is done well, the voice-overs included. the CG animation on the creatures are marvelous.

I read this series over and over as a child and just re-read them recently in anticipation of the movie. Although as a purist-at-heart I was slightly disappointed to see even a second of the precious work edited, overall I am amazed at how well they adapted the tale to fit into a neat little 2 hour time frame. I feel that nothing important was omitted and the parts that were adjusted in the script were done so well that it still could have passed for C.S. Lewis' own hand.

I was lucky enough to preview this film (and to see it free, to boot), but I am certain that I will be trekking to the theatre to see it a few more times on the big screen. BRAVO!
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A Classic for all Time
arabianardour23 December 2005
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe should go down in the history books right up there with the likes of Lord of the Rings. I went to see it expecting a very good movie. I came out stunned by the magnitude of the picture. Everything about it is so well done, the casting, the scenery, the score. Lord of the Rings is the only thing I can think of to compare it to. I experienced the same overwhelming sense of awe watching both of these phenomenal pictures. The CG images are very good, though not quite as startlingly realistic as those in LOTR. I cannot find fault with the casting in any way.

Though the voice of Liam Neeson is not as I would have imagined a lion's at first, it is smooth, confident, and effective. Aslan is given the presence so essential to the heart of the story. I must comment on the performance of James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, which I believe was the best in the film. Lucy was adorable, and surprisingly convincing, and Peter was given a very firm performance. I was a little nervous about how Edmund would turn out, but I needn't have worried; those large, startlingly dark eyes are perfect for the change from traitor to hero.

I commend the directors of the movie on their strict adherence to the book. Narnia isn't just "based" on the book. It IS the book. The scope, depth, and wonder of Lewis's world have been captured in a timeless manner that should be cherished for all ages. This is a movie for everyone, at a level for children to understand, yet with a fast plot and exciting battle sequences that will keep anyone interested. The last battle scene especially is as touching as any I have ever seen, including those in LOTR, putting tears in my eyes even while my heart soared. Go see Narnia for an exciting, well-done film, and a timeless message that our world so desperately needs.

Ten stars!!
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a must see for all ages
Grant4 December 2005
I was fortunate enough to attend an advanced screening and was magnificently surprised. The film was beautifully made. The acting/voices were all wonderful, including the young talent. I think all ages will be entertained. The story contains important lessons for children, but also relevant reminders for adults. I also think attempts to compare the film to Lord of the Rings and/or Harry Potter would be unfortunate for all parties. They are each uniquely wonderful. Make sure you see this!

By the way, make sure you stay through the end credits to hear a beautiful song Alanis Morisette wrote especially for the film.
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I tried really hard to love this movie but it left me lukewarm
annegirl816 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start by saying this, I am in no way attacking the story itself. I love these books and I think C.S. Lewis was an amazing writer.

I hate to say this because I really wanted to like this movie but I was somewhat disappointed. I have to very much agree with zach-74's review of the movie. I don't expect books to translate directly into movies. They are different mediums. But I thought this was a mediocre attempt. Without re-hashing zach-74's review which I think is right on, there were a couple missing elements that I wished they had put in. Where is the playfulness of Aslan? His playing with the children and also with the animals that he brings back to life gives him a wonderful quality that we don't get in the movie. Another element was the suffering that takes place on the walk to the Stone Table when Aslan is to be killed. Maybe this was getting to close to the underlying Christian element in the book (It is NOT an allegory; those who say it is need to look up the definition of allegory. It has strong Christian overtones but Aslan is not an allegory for Christ...Christ practiced nonviolence, something Aslan does not). At the end, I didn't feel that Aslan was really the amazing, wise, compassionate character that he is in the book. I also missed the humorous asides and narration that are present in the book. I don't know how that could be accomplished in a movie but I think it could have been attempted. There are other movies that have narrators.

As for the characters, I though the children were reasonably good but I was most disappointed in Liam Neeson as Aslan and Tilda Swinton as Jadis. I tried to be impressed by their performances but I was left lukewarm. Neeson didn't have quite the inflection that I would imagine for Aslan. I wanted to feel that I was hearing Aslan and instead I just felt like I was hearing Liam Neeson. Swinton looked good in the previews but in the movie she seemed...small...that's the best word I can think of. Jadis is supposed to be this extraordinarily tall, originally dark haired, magnetic figure. Instead she is just creepy and cruel...there's nothing that makes me understand why Edmund is so entranced with her. Those who have read the Magician's nephew know that there is a fascination with her...she exudes some quality that leads you to be enchanted with her until you discover the cruelty and hardness underneath the surface.

One more thing...for those who have not read the book, that whole bit at the end with them grown up is probably a bit confusing. I feel like movies should be able to stand alone...meaning a person doesn't have to read the book to understand what's going on in the movie. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to say this movie was perfect, I found myself often having to turn to my memories of the book to fill in the blanks in the movie that didn't quite fulfill it's potential.
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Breathtaking (after a weak first act)
David A Dein3 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
There is one scene in Andrew Adamson's new film THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, that for me walking into the theater that needed to be perfect. If not the whole movie and (the continued franchise of sequels) would fall flat on its face. If the film did not capture this scene I believe the heart and soul of C.S. Lewis and his magical world would have been completely destroyed.

But I digress! Walking into Narnia is an interesting experience for me. In all honesty I find C.S. Lewis to be a great writer that I can hardly read. His books are hailed left and right and I just can't read them. It's not Lewis's fault. I realize it's my own media saturated thick head that blocks me up. So a few weeks ago after a screening of a 10 minute super trailer for NARNIA I decided to dust off my old copy of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and decided to give it a chance. I read the first two books in about a week and I wondered to myself. What was my problem? What took me so long to become enchanted by this mystical world? I've come to realize I cannot appreciate the classics. I really think that's my loss and something I intend to work on in the new year.

So anyway, sitting down in the movie theater I psyched myself up I intended to be wowed. I wanted Narnia to come alive on screen like it did in my mind and I think it fell a little short of my expectations but in the end made me smile.

NARNIA tells the story of four children. When the youngest named Lucy (Georgie Henley) finds a magic wardrobe that transports her into the magical land of Narnia. Narnia is a land of talking animals, magical fauns, and the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton) whose enslaved the land causing it to be forever winter and never Christmas. Her sister Susan (Anna Popplewell), and brothers Peter (William Moseley), and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) don't believe her story. Until the day all the children enter the Land of Narnia. A land and get caught up in a war that may fulfill a prophecy that will bring peace to Narnia.

NARNIA is a fascinating example of a film that doesn't exactly add up but in the end is satisfying. The screenplay is riddled with the problems from the very beginning. It tries so hard to stick to the book that the early moments of the film feel flat. Even when the children get to Narnia you feel the same way. Narnia feels just like the British Country side the children have come from. Narnia should feel different and it doesn't. Why is their a light post growing in the middle of the forest? Why are the animals talking? Why is it always winter and yet never Christmas? These questions should inspire awe. NARNIA should glow and jump off the screen, but the first act is to busy getting from point a to point b than to allow us to immerse ourselves in the NARNIAN landscape. If your like me you'll find yourself thinking "why does this feel like a third rate LORD OF THE RINGS?" I think what's missing is the thing that made the novel so enchanting. It's Lewis's self aware narration. Even when at the greatest peril it was Lewis's kind words and silly aside comments that lightened the situation. Admittedly that would be difficult in a film but It would have been nice if they'd tried. Instead they stuck humor in places that seemed out of place.

But fear not, all is not lost. Because if you can get through the first hour (which really isn't that bad). You'll come out on the other side and into a much better and powerful movie. Once Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) the Mighty Lion comes on the screen you're in for the ride of your life.

I mentioned earlier there is one scene that needed to be perfect or the film would be destroyed. That scene involves Aslan and the stone table. They got it right, and oh boy was I impressed. If Aslan is not strong, if Aslan is not seen as a threat even as he is being tormented this scene falls apart. But Adamson and his team make Aslan a character to be reckoned with. If you don't gasp as Aslan climbs those stairs and the beasts and the White Witch part the way for him, if you don't feel the pain and anguish of Aslan's torment, and if your tear ducts don't well up when the scene is over, I would doubt your humanity ( just a little.) After that the film only gets better, there is an awesome battle sequence, and even Narnia begins to take a life of its own. It gives each character their moment to shine and it wraps itself up neatly enough. After the film was over I can't wait for PRINCE CASPIAN (or THE HORSE AND HIS BOY) to hit the big screen.

I would also like to single out little Georgie Henley (watch out Dakota Fanning) the little girl who plays Lucy. She gives the early part of the film a lot more life and fills the screen like very few child actors can. This little girl (in her debut role) has an innocence and yet a maturity that belies her age. This little girl gives a performance that should really net her an Oscar nod. It probably won't but if I didn't bring it up who would? While this film has a few rough spots and a first act that needed some work THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, and THE WARDROBE is an enchanting journey that is worth the price of admission. Seek it out.
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Centaurs, Fauns, and Gryphons all come to life in this great body of work.
Movieguy_blogs_com6 December 2005
C.S. Lewis' classic is reborn in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', when four children from war-torn England find themselves transported to a land of myth and fantasy. It has been foretold that they will bring peace to Narnia. But can they survive the evil treachery of the mysterious White Witch who claims to be Queen?

In this rendition, C.S. Lewis' imagination is brought to life with amazing special effects. Centaurs, Fauns, and Gryphons all come to life in this great body of work. The whole family will enjoy this film. Liam Neeson is wonderful as Aslan the Lion.

I can not say that was all that impressed with Tilda Swinton as the White Witch. She looked the part, but did not seem as treacherous as I had hoped.

Overall this is a really good film. If you are familiar with the story, then there are no real surprises, but makes up for it with incredible CGI animation.
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10 out of 10 stars.
amanda0120024 December 2005
The Chrinicles of Narnia, the lion the witch and the wardrobe, is now my favorite movie! this movie was FANTASTIC! the actors are amazing and the movie is just so exactly like the book. If you read the book and are going to see the movie, you will not be disappointed. The movie was better than i expected actually. It's such an amazing and imaginative movie it's just enchanting. I wouldn't normally give any movie 10 stars, but i gave this one 10 stars out of 10. When i was watching the movie, and seeing all the sets and the props, i felt like i had already seen them before. Like they had taken them right out of my imagination when i was reading the book. I know not everyone will have this feeling, but i did, and it was magical. Even if you don't want to see this movie, go because it really is a spectacular and magical movie.
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John Pulliam30 November 2005
I saw this movie with very high hopes and they were met. The acting was excellent and the special effects set a new standard for Hollywood. This, in my mind is the best movie of the year and a best picture nominee for sure. I do not think that it will win the best picture Oscar though because it is only the first movie in a series of seven. Each book though, unlike the LOTR series, is a completely different story with many different characters. Overall, this movie is a must see and the next six will likely be the same. C.S. Lewis is an amazing story teller in the people behind this production are amazing film producers.
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joelseph20089 December 2005
I went to see the new Narnia movie tonight, and I have to say, I was extremely impressed. The story was touching and powerful, the acting was exceptional, and the special effects were amazing! I was never been into fantasy movies until Lord of the Rings came out, which I thought was great. This movie was also very very good. From the beginning of the movie, I felt swept away into the story. I am rarely excited about new movies, but I was about this one, and it totally exceeded my expectations.

I highly recommend this film. It is based on a kid's book, but it appeals to people from every background and age.

I think we are witnessing the beginning of an awesome epic series! 10 Stars!
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Too little magic, too much epic
susannah-168 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this with 6 eight year old boys, which may have influenced my opinions somewhat, but they were not gripped by this. Firstly though, there is a lot right with this movie. The special effects are stunning. How they got Susan and Lucy to walk through the forest with Aslan I will never know - the problem was I found myself trying to work that out, rather than gripped by the narrative. The kids are great. Georgie as Lucy is particularly good I think - very Lucyish and Skander manages to make Edmund less of a prig and more angry and at odds with the world. THere are epic scenes (the boys all said they liked the battle scene yet, and acted some of it out in the pizza restaurant afterwards), and swooping vistas and vast tracking shots and rousing music. Its just that I had never really thought of Narnia like that. In becoming epic, they have lost two things - the magic and the playfulness. Lets take the magic first. A tiny point, but the snow didn't sparkle. You know how snow glistens and glints ? Well not in this Narnia it didn't. It wasn't a magical place to wander into - it was all too big for a start - massive walls of rock and huge mountains. Not strange enough a landscape (and it looked VERY like some of the landscapes in Lord of the Rings) - not intimate enough.

And the playfulness ? This Narnia isn't a fun place to be. We lose some of the fun of the Beavers and their house. THey cut some of the scenes which would have lightened up the narrative (like when Aslan comes to life, in the book he runs around and plays tag, and they all end up in a heap laughing and excited and HAVING FUN. In the film, he gives a roar and they are off to the next scene. In the book when they rescue Mr Tumnus they dance around for joy - in the film there are tears and hugs). Now, I can see how a country under the spell of a white witch for 100 years may not be a lot of fun, but its a long movie to sit through without some lightness. Even the crowning scene at the end is too uninvolved and not fun enough - where was the personal, the relationships ? It looked like a really dull party to me. There is also a very curious new scene, which doesn't seem to add much - involving them getting stuck on an ice floe as the snow melts. This takes up quite a bit of time for no apparent reason - I couldn't see how it added to the narrative, and again - the ice in the waterfall is grey, not sparkly and glittering.

SO to sum up - good acting, interesting story - which took itself all a bit too seriously, and missed the point. Its a kids movie which has forgotten what its like to be a kid.
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Beats Harry Potter any day
umatomus24 December 2005
Beautiful story with great acting.A very touching story about God's immeasurable love for us and how He comes to earth to lose his life so we may gain it.This story is a fantastic adaptation of CS Lewis' book and has been much awaited and surpasses all expectations.I hope all the six sequels of the Narnia series are brought out.The wonderful thing about this movie is it's realism and keen sense of honor,love and forgiveness all blended together beautifully to bring out the true nature of God and the ultimate sacrifice of his son Jesus.Kudos to all the crew and actors for bringing out this classic.The world needs to get the message of peace and love for fellow human beings very badly and thats exactly what this masterpiece shows us.
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Mrs. Gould's 5/6 Class at Kameyosek school in Edmonton!
onno-1722 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
-Exciting, breathtaking, magical. Not even words can describe this movie. Narnia will make you want to jump! These years best movie is surly the most wanted. Narnia is so fantastic it will make you want to see it again and again.

-I thought that the movie was marvelous. There were a few surprising moments in the movie. For some people the movie was sad for some it was happy. For me it was in-between. I thought that when Lucy first found the wardrobe and they didn't believe her it was sad. But when Aslan came and made Peter a knight of Narnia it was very happy moment.

-It's joyful, heart warming and completely brilliant. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, The witch, and The Wardrobe was a hit. The movie everyone wants to see and I am sure you do too. Why? Because this movie is worth it. It was unbelievable to watch. I even read the book and you can find out that the book was just as good as watching the movie because they are both great. However, the book may be more educational. So the movie and the book were a success and we are lucky to have C.S.Lewis that wrote the book. In the movie there were many fantasy and reality things. There ere fauns and beavers that could speak, but I am not going to tell you everything so now it is up to you to read the book and watch the movie, to see and imagine the Chronicles of Narnia.

-Have you been looking for a phenomenal movie to watch lately? Well, you're just going to have to watch the chronicles of Narnia the lion the witch and the wardrobe. This is an eye catching movie with varieties of different outstanding events. If you're a person that likes fantasy this is your type of movie. Don t hesitate just go and have a merriment time. Enjoy!!!

-140 minutes of passion, excitement, and sadness. It made me grieve in some parts of the movie. It also thrilled me in parts, my heart pumped with light making me want to weep of happiness. It was just like a machine, the machine's purpose was to emotion change. Tears of sorrow swept down my face while watching the death of a whole slew! A ferocious lion goes at it with a witch. No ordinary spell casting witch, a fierce, selfish, hideous, wicked, and a hex witch. So you can sit back watch the movie and try not to soak your face with tears. Also you might be surprised where the tricky cliff can take you.

-The door was opened through the two worlds Narnia and our world, but at what consequence to the pevency family. Four children enter Narnia while hiding in the wardrobe from the house keeper that gives tours of the Professor's house. They enter Narnia as a family and leave as legendary HEROES! While in Narnia they defeat the evil witch that rules Narnia and get dubbed King and Queens! This adventure has so many thrilling parts it be impossible to put them all on one page. Out of ten I give this movie nine! NO movie will top this one for months and months.

-On Friday December9 2005 Kameyosek school grade 5/6 class went to go see the movie, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, at Cineplex Odeon theatres in South Edmonton Common. My grade 5/6 class went to see the movie because we read the book and studied a lot about The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I thought the movie and the book were both excellent. The movie really pulled me in and wanted me to watch more and more. My favorite part of the movie was the big battle when everybody fought and the scariest part was when Edmund found the Witch and he stepped over Maugrim. I stood up and made a loud noise and every body in the theatres screamed. The saddest part was probably when Aslan died. I did not know what was going to happen. I was felling very depressed when Aslan was killed. I was thrilled at the end of the movie. When Edmund did not go with the witch. Instead Edmund stayed with his family. When Edmund snapped the witches wand that was probably the most heroic thing Edmund ever did in the movie and the novel. The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe movie and novel were very entertaining. I would give it a 9 out of 10 rating. And I would recommend it to everybody who likes action and adventurous movies. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe was very exciting so go see it or go read it.
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Heartless Adaptation
Rathko12 December 2005
A strangely disappointing experience given the quality credentials of just about all involved.

The relative inexperience of the writers is clearly evident. Whether seen as a metaphor for a world without God (hell), or the Nazi regime, the cultural and social landscape of Narnia is ripe with potential, none of which is realized here. The White Witch's regime is not explored, we are not told who she is, where she came from, how or why she took over the world. She lacks any motivation or real emotional drive. Similarly, the children seem happy to throw themselves into a war without a second thought of home. Nothing in this story is ever explained, we are simply expected to accept it without question, which is a far more dictatorial representation of Christianity than Lewis ever intended. The plotting lacks energy and momentum, with no real sense of suspense. The characterization is weak and one-dimensional. But even more surprisingly from the creators of Shrek, is the complete lack of humor.

The acting is sound from all but the leads. The two older children struggle to bring the necessary range of emotion to their roles, with Moseley in particular presenting a decidedly weak interpretation of heroic kingliness. The two younger children luckily make up for their on screen siblings' shortcomings, with Henley bringing the wide-eyed innocence to Lucy that the role requires, and Keynes displaying a surprising amount of subtlety as the eternally wronged and resentful Edmund. McAvoy and Swinton are both excellent and at times are required to carry the movie alone.

The CGI is competent, but little more. It's always good to see Fauns and Centaurs running around, but it doesn't break any boundaries in terms of design or execution. There's none of the thrill of the vast armies of Middle Earth, or the attention to the minutiae of Narnia that is really necessary in realizing a new world from scratch.

Disney clearly hopes that this will bring them the rewards that 'Lord of the Rings' brought New Line Cinema and 'Harry Potter' is bringing to Warner Brothers. But 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' lacks the emotional depth, epic range, creative inventiveness and dramatic urgency of the 'Rings' trilogy. Similarly, it has none of the humor, camaraderie, charisma or charm of 'Harry Potter'. Judging from the audience that I saw it with, it will be very popular, and a sequel is very probable, but unless Narnia finds some heart and soul, the complete cycle seems unlikely.
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Terrible. Just terrible.
jdre11 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The latest installment of children's lit - turned movie is the weakest. The green-screen use is laughable: for example, when standing on a hilltop, next to an animal whose fur is blowing in the wind, we see a too-close shot of the children, whose improperly-lit hair is standing PERFECTLY still... on a hilltop. The CG backgrounds are not detailed and very plain (hill, trees, no movement).

Also, these children could not act, I hate to say it. Emotions, no. Excitement, no. Holding a sword like a human being, no.

The pacing was somehow both too slow AND too fast. There were plenty of dead-air moments that failed to create suspense (people in my theater were snoring, getting up a lot, getting restless), and slow-mo of poorly CG'd battle, but the storyline development (or total lack thereof) was skipped over, pushed ahead, and seemed to take a back seat to the action (as is the formula for modern CD-heavy kids movies).

The gore in the animal cruelty of sacrificing the Lion in a strangely pagan-esquire midnight ritual (I somehow didn't picture it like that as a kid reading the book) was beyond a PG depiction, (despite the cut away for the stab, and lack of blood anywhere) and gratuitous, smacking of The Passion of the Christ... but I guess that's exactly what they were going for.

I guess as long as a movie doesn't show blood, body parts, or swear words, it doesn't go over PG, despite graphic depictions of pagan sacrifice, animal abuse, creepy cyclops and other humanoids, large-scale warfare, stabbings, beatings, and such.

I'm no prude, it is a children's book -- but reading topics is less intense than seeing them graphically depicted on a big-screen, enough for maybe a 13?

The storyline is so very simple - find wonderland, set off human alarm, Savior sacrifices himself for you and resurrects, win war against evil Christmas-hating witch. 4 steps. 3 hours to tell? It just isn't as complex as LOTR or even the better Harry Potters. That's why the pacing felt so slow.

Had the characters been rounded out (one can interpret a book when making it into a movie, but nobody told Disney this) - it might have been better. If Judas, I mean Edmund, had been explored -- why was he so impudent? Did he really have fantasies of being King? Did he learn a lesson, or just go on/off from traitor to Witch-fighter? Any of these could've been explored instead of the dead-air treatment I watched.
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ps_wife_ktdibi429 December 2005
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Worth seeing again and again. This is one of those movies that is worth investing in so that the movie industry will continue to make movies like it. It contains exceptional moral values, faith, love and hope. It has action and great special effects. It explores the imagination and beautiful fantasy lands. Kids and adults alike that have an appetite for worthwhile entertainment will definitely enjoy it.

The movie, based on the book by brilliant author C.S. Lewis, follows the details in the novel exactly. It is such a moving book and now film. The four children, facing such a hard time in their lives, are summoned upon to fulfill an intriguing prophecy and the movie depicts their journey, both physical, spiritual, and moral.

The child actors all display outstanding young talent. The voices of the characters are captivating. Everything about this movie was just done in an exceptional manner. A+ and bravo on this one.
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Had so much potential, failed so dismally
Martyn Humphreys12 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'm afraid I was quite disappointed. Both of the younger kids annoyed me, and it had some of the most appalling blue-screen style special effects last seen in the early sixties. Not to mention the battle scenes where they opted for computer-game quality graphics... and the dead aslan - could they have made it look more like a stuffed toy?

Combine that with a truly awful score, and a shear lack of creative imagination from the director. It just wasn't a patch on the BBC adaptation I watched as a kid (maybe its just better over ten episodes on a Sunday afternoon?). Or maybe I'm just fifteen years older?

It was all made better, however, by the lines: "Whoa, Horsey" "My name's Philip."

Which frankly, is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.
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Narnia Fails To Uphold Responsibility To Book Fans
zach-7412 December 2005
Adapting a book that so many audience members have read and cherish is surely a daunting task, but I believe it is also a great responsibility. Recently, Peter Jackson set the bar pretty high in this regard with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Unfortunately, Adamson's "Narnia" wasn't quite up to snuff.

I count myself among those who cherish "The Chronicles of Narnia," having read them as a child and having re-read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in eager anticipation of the film. In my opinion, this film adaptation not only falls short, but does a disservice to the audience by cheating us of much of the impact and wonder of the original books.

Here are the general categories (including some specific examples) where I felt the film didn't deliver:

Screen Adaptation - Some important scenes that illustrated character dynamic were cut short making later behavior and motivation seem exaggerated or cliché. Example: The scene where Edmund meets Jadis was rushed and awkward. (It wasn't even demonstrated that the Turkish Delight was enchanted in order to manipulate Edmund - we were left to assume that his allegiance to Jadis was due solely to avarice!) Also, in the book, the mere mention of the name "Aslan" for the first time was an event that had an important impact on the children. In the movie this impact was all but lost, as these subtler points were sacrificed to save screen time for the type of gruesome battle scenes that you would expect from a "fantasy" movie but in this case didn't serve to advance the story. Another pulled punch: in the book, the scene with Father Christmas was a brilliant omen of the turning of the tides but here the scene seemed out of place and just downright weird. (They might as well have run into the Easter Bunny.)

A couple of outright inventions served only to distract us from the magic and mystery of the real story: The waterfall scene - who came up with that idea? The cricket ball through the window - not as effective as the original story.

Casting - The elder siblings were mediocre, and I can't tell if Tilda Swinton was just awfully directed or totally miscast. (In the book Jadis was a noble and grand enchantress, albeit with dastardly aims; in the movie she was shallow, petty and despicable.) Oh, and Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan the Lion was not nearly powerful enough--this is one of the most important roles in the film. Was James Earl Jones not available?

Direction of Actors' Performances - This ties in with my comments about casting, above. Performances in individual scenes seemed disjointed from overall character motivations and some character interpretations (such as Jadis and Edmund) were shallow and unsympathetic. Where was the charisma that would have made Jadis's character believable, let alone have enabled her to amass an army of supporters?

Hair/Make-up - Jadis sports blonde distractingly annoying dreadlocks despite her otherwise un-Irie nature. The professor's hair and beard looked about as realistic as a department store Santa, and the main Centaur's make-up also stood out as distractingly awful.

Wardrobe - Jadis has one outfit in particular that looks like it came right off the runway of a bad 80's fashion show. Another includes an atrocious hat shaped like a giant icicle--Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin would have had hearts in his eyes.

Special Effects - Overall special effects were not nearly as cleanly integrated as WETA's work on LOTR, and cohesion was lacking. For example, the cuts between live action and CGI wolves were painful at best. Also, the teeming masses of bad-guys all looked as though they could have been extras in the Orc armies of LOTR. Mr. Tumnus was an example of the fact that Jadis's supporters were comprised of otherwise beneficent creatures that she'd charmed, threatened and bullied into joining her. Here they were unimaginatively portrayed as one-dimensional twisted, evil fiends.

Cinematography - Boring; All the visual texture and lighting of a made-for-TV movie.

Due to my disappointment in Adamson's interpretation of this work, and in the execution of the movie that resulted, I rate this film a 5 out of 10. It is not completely devoid of entertainment value but fails to uphold the responsibility that a filmmaker shoulders when adapting so well-known and well-loved a story.
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At last, a childhood classic translated perfectly onto the big screen.
Charles Hogge13 December 2005
I am, by nature, wary of any film that relies upon children to play the lead roles. I have avoided the Harry Potter films like the plague, working on the (frequently reinforced) principal that no film ever manages to get close to as good as my imagination. At long last I have had that theory disproved. I have just spent the last 2 hours sitting in the cinema with a massive smile in my face (with occasional grimaces as the idiot sitting next to me insisted on talking to his girlfriend. I think there should be some kind of panic button that gets the ushers running in with night-sticks to sort these muppets out).

Having spent the last 2 months trying to get a job it was the most amazing experience to rewind the clock by 15 years and feel the rush of wonder and awe as the magical world of Narnia sprung to life on the big screen. The casting crew did a fantastic job, with practically every character looking and acting exactly as I had imagined them since I was a child. Once again New Zealand came up trumps, and the splendour of the scenery perfectly complimented the fantasy of the story.

I've never felt compelled to write a commentary on this site before, but I was so relieved and enchanted by this film that I couldn't help but try to spread the word.

Sit back, relax and let yourself be taken back to the magic and and excitement of your childhood.
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My Experience
Ann Manley28 December 2005
I read all 7 books when I was younger and was so excited when I saw the previews for this one on t.v. My 5 yr old son saw it too and wanted to see the movie so on Christmas Day I took him. This movie was SO GOOD my 5 yr old sat through the whole 2 and a half hrs!!!! To me if a movie can make a 5 yr old sit still that long it is better then expected!!! I loved this movie and now my son wants me to buy the series and read them all to him lol. He also wants to go see it again. It is a great move for children, maybe not all that young but in general. I highly recommend this movie i enjoyed it a great deal. So if u haven't seen it go see it!!! It was worth the total $20 i spent on tickets and refreshments!!!
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