The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
by Andrew Adamson (dir)
Review by Gayle Surrette
Disney Walden Film
Date: December 2005 / Show Official Info /
Cast: Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie / William Moseley as Peter Pevensie / Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie / Anna Popplewell as Susan Pevensie / Tilda Swinton as Jadis, the White Witch / Rupert Everett as Fox (voice) / Liam Neeson as Aslan (voice) / Sophie Winkleman as Adult Susan / Ray Winstone as Mr. Beaver (voice) / Dawn French as Mrs. Beaver (voice) / James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, the Fawn / Shane Rangi as Sentry Centaur and General Otmin / Patrick Kake as Oreius / Elizabeth Hawthorne as Mrs. Macready / Kiran Shah as Ginarrbrik
In C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, you have to believe that Aslan is as real as a literary lion can be in order to suspend belief. I think that is why he waits until so late in the book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to let you know that Aslan is 'the' Lion of the title. When the TV version of the book was released in 1988, the Lion just didn't make the grade and the believability of the story suffered for it. Of course it also didn't help that the child playing Lucy had a voice that just seemed, well whiney.
So, when I first heard of this remake I had mixed feelings. I knew that special effects were now up to doing wonderfully real creatures. Then I saw the previews and knew I had to see this film. Well, it was all I hoped for. The children are natural and a good fit for the characters in the books. Aslan was a regal and larger than life lion. And best of all the story was told with an honest effort to stick to the book.
My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough. I certainly wanted more of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and the other creatures of the land. More of the nice little details I remember from the book. However, the movie was already nearly 2 1/2 hours long. From the blitz in London to the return of the adult rulers of Narnia through the Wardrobe and back to our world it's a magical adventure that can be enjoyed by young and old whether you've read the book or not.
I only have one caveat. If you have very young children be prepared to talk to them because there are some tense moments that can cause stress in young children (especially the scene where they torture Aslan).