The Chronicles of Narnia: TLTW&TW [based on book] by dir. by

13 December 2005

Genre: ,
Script: ,
Cast: , , , , , , , ,
Rated :

That is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for those of you trying to figure out the abbreviation.


  • Georgie Henley,Skandar Keynes,William Moseley,Anna Popplewell,Tilda Swinton,Liam Neeson,Ray Winstone,Dawn French,Rupert Everett – Fox (voice)

I really wanted to love this film. I can remember reading the books, and I really enjoyed the BBC version from ages ago. Trouble is that this never seemed to get the balance right. It didn’t feel slow at the start, with the build-up as the film established the children’s characters and relationships, but considering how much goes on maybe this time could’ve been put to better use later on in the film. The children’s relationship with Aslan felt rushed, imo, and lacking in emotion.

Also there were too many special effects. Obviously there had to be a lot given the characters and storyline, but while the majority looked great every now and then something seemed to jar and knock me out of the film. A few of those backgrounds looked very fake.

I also had a problem with Aslan himself. In a way I think they made him too expressive. He is supposed to be a wild lion, full of danger, but I think he came across as slightly too cuddly here. And he just didn’t look like a real lion.

Okay, that is the bad parts over and done with. For the most part I enjoyed this film. The children were all great, Lucy especially. And given that they were in almost every single scene they really did carry the film. If they had not been as good in their roles then none of the film would have worked. The beaver pair were great too, as was the fox. But it was Tilda Swainton’s White Witch that was really great. She was perfect as the witch, whether bribing Edmund with Turkish Delight or confronting Aslan, she was everything the role called for.

Special mention to the music, which I loved. And the way it stopped completely before the battle, letting the silence be heard before the storm of the fight. Which reminds me, the little scene with Mr. Tumnus and Lucy as he played the pipes and sent her dreaming, I loved those little dancing fire-creatures.

So overall I’d say I was a little disapointed. A fun evening at the cinema, but I’m not too sure if I would rewatch it. And as for the whole allegory business, I’d just ignore that and enjoy the story.

IMDb | Disney site | The books | Stainless Steel Droppings | Discussion on the SFX forum |

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2 Responses

  1. Carl V. says:

    Given a few days reflection on the movie and memories of the books I have to say that I agree with the majority of your opinions on this. I think the only area I slightly disagree on is concerning Aslan but I see your point.

    I would've really liked to see Aslan's conversations with the various members of the Pevensie family. Those are very emotionally powerful moments in the book and they are completely lost here. I don't feel like enough was done to establish how majestic Alsan really is and so the sacrifice scene just didn't have the emotional impact it needed to have.

    I think that in trying to film a movie in which they showed just enough of the allegory to satifsy religious groups and kept out just enough to satifsfy the non-religious they ended up watering down the spirit of the movie greatly. Although the majority of the story can stand on its own as a children's fantasy tale there is no denying Lewis's allegorical ties and I don't quite understand (other than Disney wanting to cash in after it passed up LOTR) why anyone would want to make a cinematic version of the movie and only half heartedly address the themes the book promotes. The best negative review I've read is on (click on the movies tab). While enjoying the movie I agree with alot of his (and like I said your) points.

    Serenity was one of the few movies I saw this year that I wanted to turn around and go right back into the theatre. I miss having movie experiences like that. I can't imagine seeing this again in the theatre and I won't buy it but I will probably check it out when it comes out on DVD.

  2. Fence says:

    That is a pretty good review (and I like the rest of the site too), but perhaps a tad too negative. Although I do agree with the point about Aslan growling at Lucy to "do her job" because in the book it was a great moment.

    And yes, Serenity was the only film that I came out of and instantly wanted to go back and see. Although, maybe King Kong will be the same way.