Title: Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005; PG)
Director: Andrew Adamson
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, #1
Major Themes: Christian Allegories, Fantasy
Synopsis: When four children discover a mysterious new land—and then find out that there are great troubles in the land, are they able to rectify the problems before the White Witch destroys everything forever?
After reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe several months ago, I’ve been wanting to watch the movie adaptation as well, and I recently got the chance to do so. Although it wasn’t my favorite as far as movies go—I don’t tend to enjoy a lot of violence in my stories, and although I know this isn’t bad, it was still more than I prefer—it was still a good movie, and seemed to follow the storyline of the book pretty well.
When Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are sent away from London to protect them from the air raids, they end up in an old mansion of a house, where a professor lives. While playing hide and seek, Lucy discovers that she can access a wood by walking to the back of the wardrobe—and later, Edmund follows her there, but then fiercely denies anything of the sort. Strictly warned to leave the professor alone, the children end up having to escape the housekeeper’s wrath one day, and happen across the wardrobe. When they duck inside to hide for a bit, they suddenly find themselves in the land of Narnia—and thus commences the well-loved story that has enthralled children (and perhaps a few adults, too?) for decades now.
As with the book, I struggled with all the different half-men half-animals that are present in this story. The magic is something I don’t tend to mind as much—even though I don’t really like that God’s power is relegated to the magical realm here—but I do understand why that was done, because of the confines of the story world. Several times, trees send messages to children, and that is something else I’m not 100% comfortable with. And, of course, there are things like the battle and the Witch’s powers being exercised frequently that I didn’t particularly enjoy.
In saying all that, though, where I feel The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe shines is in showing the stark contrast between good and evil—how evil drives everything to utter disaster and destruction, and how God’s goodness is much greater than and breaks the power of evil. Though Aslan isn’t a perfect portrayal of Jesus (in my opinion), what he did do was beautiful and, I felt, even more striking in the movie than in the book.
Overall, I’m glad I got to see this movie, and I could see myself watching it again sometime. It isn’t the greatest movie ever—I think there could easily be more uplifting things to watch. But as far as its historical significance since it was based on a classic story, and its Christian significance in how these stories have shaped many people’s faith and beliefs, I think it’s worthwhile watching.
WARNING: I wouldn’t show this movie to young children. From the beginning through 00:02:52, airplanes are doing a bombing raid, and some boys are almost hit in the explosions. From 00:28:35–00:29:21, a boy is almost run over by a sleigh, then threatened with a knife to his throat. At 00:46:46, Mr. Beaver says, “blooming”. From 00:51:03–00:56:30, a boy is startled by a wolf when he visits the White Witch, and his life is threatened, then wolves are sent after some children. Soon after that, children are threatened by wolves, and forced into the river when the ice breaks up under them. At 01:15:08–01:15:19, a fox is turned to stone, and the witch slaps a boy’s face; not much later, the boy is bound and gagged. From 01:21:15–01:22:15, a wolf surprises girls and threatens to kill them, and then he is killed. From 01:34:00–01:38:45, there is a pretty hideous scene as Aslan is killed (lots of evil-looking animals and animal-humans gathered around). From 01:45:00–01:58:31, there is a terrible battle, with many people killed.
Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above