Chronicles Of Narnia, The: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe: 2 Disc Collector’s Edition

DVD Reviews | Mar 31st, 2006

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Starring Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Liam Neeson
Written By: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson
Directed By: Andrew Adamson
Studio: Disney/ Walden Media
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Well now that Lord of the Rings is all done with (well except the Hobbit), I guess the next thing to be obsessed over is Narnia. I haven’t read the books just yet but judging from this movie, I’m going to run out and get all the books to read. Even though this story is very religious, it’s interesting nonetheless. Even though I haven’t reading the books, this movie does a great job of condensing a story into a 2 hour movie and makes the viewer craving for more.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe opens up with London Blitz and the Pevensie children running to the shelter. Their widowed Mother sends them away to the country where the War isn’t being taken place. Lucy, Peter, Susan and Edmund are sent to a professor’s mansion and are told not to touch any of his things and not to disturb him. Of course the children are bored as hell and start trying to find new ways of entertaining themselves. While playing a hide & seek game, the youngest Pevensie child, Lucy, hides in the wardrobe. She keeps walking backwards and backwards and ends up in another world. It’s the land of Narnia and she meets up with a faun (half man, half deer) named Mr Tumnus. Lucy returns to tell everyone where she was but no one believes her since time she no one knew she was gone for hours. She returns to Narnia in the night and the brat Edmund soon follows her, but he ends up seeing the evil bitch, I mean white witch who tempts him with desserts. She wants him to betray his family and lead them to her. After that, the rest of the kids enter Narnia and are tossed into all the drama that is going on with the another world. Peter takes charge of the group and leads them to find Aslan along with their new found friends, the Beavers. The real king of Narnia and the Beavers tell the Pevensie children that there was a prophecy about them and they save Narnia. So yadda yadda yadda, the kids save Narnia and all that fun stuff.

The first time I saw Narnia, I was really impressed with the story, the movie and just loved the world that was Narnia. I still have yet to read the novels but I will after seeing this movie again. Just hard finding time to read these days with the age of DVDs, and computers. I was looking for a Lord of the Rings replacement and this is pretty much that, just filled with religious stuff. I think I like the story of Narnia so much is because I kind of dreamt of being in this sort of situation when I was a little kid. Discovering a secret realm and then fighting for something that was worth fighting for…but with all that fantasy crap thrown into the mix. I think every young kid thinks that at some point. I don’t really have a problem with the religious overtones even though I’m not a fan of religion. I think they are excellent “stories” and that’s it. I can see why people have written similar fantasy stories because the concept of good & evil is an entertaining story that people want to see. From what I hear, the religious stuff is toned down a bit in the movie and I think that might have been better for the film. Though no one can deny that the Aslan scene at the stone table was the same thing that Jesus went through. That part of the movie was an upsetting scene but it was an important one. Another weird part of the movie was when Santa came to visit the children. It was weird but I actually like that scene a lot. It sort of feels out of place but not really, if that makes any sense. It was cool seeing the kids get their weapons and other important tools that they needed further into the story.

Sometimes while watching this movie, it felt like Lord of the Rings but different at the same time. Obviously the characters are different but the fantasy creatures are somewhat similar. The battle at the end is very similar to Return of the King too. I guess one reason that might be is because WETA did all the SFX for it. I think if WETA didn’t do the special effects for this movie, I’m not sure how well it would have turned out. They really did a great job with the digital characters like Aslan and the Beavers. The battle scenes were excellent and felt real to me. Just the simple things like Mr Tumnus’ legs were done perfectly as well. So perfect I didn’t even realize it was CGI for awhile. Just everything that went into the making of this movie turned out really good and it shows on film. Plus the SFX won some Oscars too so you know other people agree with me!

Another positive thing about the movie was the acting of the children. Sometimes child actors come off wooden and don’t act well. But the children acted really well, especially Georgie Henley, who I thought reminded me of a young Drew Barrymore when I was watching the film. She was just so adorable and you really liked her character because of that. The kid who played Edmund really did the part justice and it made the whole audience want to throw rocks at him. He was such a brat in the beginning of the movie. The voiceover acting was good as well, and Liam Neeson was a great choice for Aslan. He has that smooth & calming voice that fitted Aslan’s character. The guy who did the voice for the lead wolf sounded EXACTLY like Michael Madsen but it wasn’t. I had to look up IMDB a few times to just reassure myself that it wasn’t him. The actor & actress who did the Beavers really put some fun into it and added some comic relief that the film needed. They were one of my favorite characters of the movie because I loved the banter between the two. The CGI for them was sometimes spotty but overall WETA did a great job with them. I forgot that I was watching CGI characters after awhile and just sat back & enjoyed the movie.

The extras for the 2 disc collector’s edition were excellent. They went into the filmmaking process thoroughly and I loved watching all the behind the scenes footage. They showed all the actors having a good time, talking about the beautiful country of New Zealand, and all that fun stuff. The things that I loved on the Lord of the Rings DVDs were the extras about WETA workshop/digital. The same goes with this DVD. There’s something about hearing Richard Taylor talk that makes me more interested in his bonus features. He explains things so well and in- depth too. I loved seeing how the swords, the armor and the creatures were all made. Other bonus materials on here include Bloopers, features on C.S. Lewis, a great featurette on the director Andrew Adamson, and lots more! There are a lot of extras on here that I didn’t get to see but I plan on watching them asap. You can definitely see the hard work that went into making this DVD and i’m happy for it. If you liked the movie, than check out the bonus materials because they were awesome.

The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe surprised me in a lot of ways. I thought it would be turned into some kiddie flick since Disney was making it, and didn’t think it would have been as good as other fantasy movies. I’m happy to say that it lived up to my expectations and can’t wait to see the next movie (which is already being planned). This film will also make my lazy ass get up and actually read a book other than Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. If you are fan of this book, or fantasy & adventure films, I’d highly recommend watching this movie when it comes out on DVD!

Creating Creatures
Anatomy Of A Scene: The Melting River
Creatures Of The World
Explore Narnia
Legends In Time
Discover Narnia Facts
Kids & Director Commentary
Filmmakers’ Commentary
Chronicles Of A Director
The Children’s Magical Journey
Evolution Of An Epic
From One Man’s Mind
Cinematic Storytellers


Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: The scenes with the beavers were funny, the battle at the end was great, the ice scene was exciting as well.
Rating: PG
Running Time: 135 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: