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

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Released:  Friday, December 9, 2005  
Length:  135 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Rating: Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may not be suitable for children.


Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe © Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE is the spectacular liveaction/ CGI motion picture adaptation of C.S. Lewis's beloved literary classic. In World War II England the four Pevensie siblings -- Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter -- enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of ‘hide-and-seek’ in the rural country home of an elderly professor. Once there, the children discover a charming, peaceful land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs and giants that has become a world cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. Aided by the wise and magnificent ruler, the lion Aslan, the children fight to overcome the White Witch’s powerful hold over Narnia in a spectacular, climactic battle that will free Narnia from Jadis’ glacial powers forever.

This epic film stars Tilda Swinton (“Constantine,” “Vanilla Sky”) as the White Witch, Rupert Everett (“Shrek 2,” “Inspector Gadget”) as the voice of Mr. Fox, Jim Broadbent (Academy Award® winner Best Supporting Actor “Iris” 2001) as Professor Kirke, James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, and Ray Winstone (“King Arthur”) as the voice of Mr. Beaver. The children are Georgie Henley as Lucy, Skandar Keynes as Edmund, William Moseley as Peter and Anna Popplewell as Susan.

The film marks the first live-action directorial effort for New Zealander Andrew Adamson (“Shrek,” “Shrek 2”), who also co-wrote the screenplay adaptation with Emmy Award-winner Ann Peacock (HBO’s “A Lesson Before Dying”) and scribes Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Based on the book by C.S. Lewis. Produced by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Mark Johnson (Best Picture “Rain Man” 1988) and Philip Steuer.

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

After twenty-five years one of the favorite books from my childhood is finally on the big screen. Thanks to Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the first in the Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis arrived to movie theaters December 2005.

The, Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe tells the story of four displaced London children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy who are sent to the country to avoid the devastation in London from World War II.

They are taken to the countryside home of an eclectic professor, whose house holds many mysteries. One afternoon during a game of hide and seek, the children stumble upon a wardrobe which leads to a mythical land called Narnia.

When this project was first announced I was ecstatic, being a long time fan of the series I could not wait to see this on the big screen. The movie was extremely entertaining and just the perfect for the Holiday season, however, my hopes were not all fully realized.

In many ways The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a great movie. Tilda Swinton steals the show with her over the top portrayal of the White Witch. She is exactly what I have imagined for all these years. The actors and actress picked to portray the four children are also wonderfully cast, and the script is very faithful to the original novel.

Narnia was also not without its flaws. In part some of these flaws would not have been easy to spot if movies such as Lord of The Rings never made it to the big screen. The director Adam Adamson should honestly stick to animated features such that he was known for, Shrek. It shows that this is the first time this director has directed real actors versus just their voices for an animated movie.

However, the main problem that I had with this film was the special effects. Yes, you did read that last sentence right. The special effects were extremely sub par. Computerized special effects have advanced exponentially since there early days of Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park, but this film fails to live up to today's standards. Every scene that had a computer animated character or an actor/actress on a green or blue background was easily spotted. I was a little shocked when I saw this since part of the special effects done for Narnia went to WETA, the special effects house created by Peter Jackson who created the Lord of The Rings series. It isn't the fact that the technology doesn't exist, it just seems that the creators really didn't fully utilize the technology.

All in all I will chalk up The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as an experiment for Disney in the fantasy genre after they passed over on Harry Potter, and Lord of The Rings. Kids will definitely look past the special effects problems and enjoy this movie, and if you can do that you definitely will as well. For me...there are always six more books to go, and maybe the special effects will improve on the next few.


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