Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

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

Directed by Andrew Adamson

Starring Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell


A magical cross between The Wizard of Oz, Lion King, and Dungeons and Dragons. I don’t normally enjoy fantasy movies, but this might be one of the best fantasies I have ever seen. Not sure exactly what made this one different, but perhaps Ebert might have been able to pin it down: “These events, fantastical as they sound, take place on a more human, or at least more earthly, scale than those in Lord of the Rings. The personalities and character traits of the children have something to do with the outcome, which is not being decided by wizards on another level of reality but will be duked out right here in Narnia.”

Anther thing that made it more “real” was the acting. The kids were truly fantastic, especially the little Lucy. And that they were more average-looking kids than you might expect to find in a similar Hollywood movie made it that much more realistic.

Adamson knows what he’s doing. Well-shot, well-timed. Great adaptation of a story, although I must confess that I haven’t read the book. One dramatic plot point that bothered me: Aslan killed the witch, not the boy. It makes the boy’s rise to the throne less meaningful and Aslan’s departure more unsettling.

The action is refreshingly violent, and the effects are amazing.

Ebert makes another observation: “It’s remarkable, isn’t it, that the Brits have produced Narnia, the Ring, Hogwarts, Gormenghast, James Bond, Alice and Pooh, and what have we produced for them in return?”

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