Monday, May 30, 2016

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

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

I had wanted to see The Chronicles of Narnia in the theaters, but I wasn’t sure how much of a kids’ movie it was. I didn’t really want to go by myself if there would be a theater full of kids and there weren’t any people that I thought would be willing to go with me to see what I knew would be a fantasy movie.

For those that don’t know, this movie is based on the first of seven books by C. S. Lewis. It tells the tale of four children sent away by their mother to protect them from the onslaught of WWII. (Their names are Edmund, Peter, Lucy and Susan.) They’re living with a professor that they’re told not to disturb. They’re also told not to touch anything, but it isn’t long before Lucy finds a wardrobe that leads to Narnia

At first, no one believes her. Not only does she find a wardrobe that leads to another world, but she meets a faun and when she returns, only a few seconds have elapsed. Yes, all four children do eventually go through and learn that Lucy was telling the truth. There’s also supposed to be a prophecy that four children of Adam and Eve (humans) are supposed to end the reign of an evil witch.

The White Which is that evil witch and wants to thwart the prophecy. She tries to get Edmund to betray his siblings and kidnaps him when he fails. It’s up to the remaining siblings to find a lion named Aslan to get him back and to stop the White Witch’s rule on Narnia.

It’s an interesting story and definitely has a fantasy element, so a few adults may be turned off by this. Many of the animals talk, which is definitely aided by CGI. There’s also magic and even an appearance by Santa Claus, even though there’s been no Christmas in Narnia for over 100 years. The thing I found odd was that he gave three of the children weapons to help fight, which you wouldn’t expect from someone who’s known for giving out toys.

I didn’t find the movie to be too overbearing in terms of any sort of moral. While it was fun and there is the sense that good will prevail, it wasn’t like someone was being very obvious about anything. If anything, the fantasy may be a bit much for some people. There are all sorts of creatures that you’d expect from fantasy, like fauns. It’s a little complicated. If you miss part of it or if you miss the first half, you may be lost later on in the movie.

This movie is based on the first of seven books. I’ve never read any of them, so I have no idea how closely the story follows. The biggest indication of how much people like the movie may be how well the sequels do. Granted, since the movies are based on books, there will be a built-in audience. However, if the first two movies don’t translate well, they may not do the remaining five. However, I will be waiting for all of the remaining six movies and may even see if I can pick up the books.

I do recommend this movie. The only downside for some people may be the violence that comes about due to a war. I would think it’s safe for children ten and up, but it is something to consider. The second movie is currently in production, which I may see in the theater depending on when it comes out. 

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