Friday, December 09, 2005

Movie Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is possibly the best movie adaptation of a novel I have ever seen. I was worried that like the Lord of the Rings they would have to sacrifice some of the secondary stories to fit within it's 2 hour 20 minute running time but that does not appear to be the case. Somehow everything is there, and it all works.

Anyone familiar with the BBC Narnia series may be happy (or possibly sad) to know that gone are the 4 foot tall beavers and odd wolves that always seem to stand on their hind legs, not to mention the complete and utter lack of badly hand draw Griffons, Phoenix' and other flying creatures. Instead all the talking characters are replaced with CGI that is second to none. It's so well done that it's almost impossible to tell where the CGI animal begins and the real one ends. That goes double for the human hybrids such as the centaurs and fawns.

The acting, both voice and the traditional kind, is just perfectly done. It's always a bit of a gamble when the leads are all children but they all seem to fit into their characters seamlessly. And Tilda Swinton does just an amazing job as the White Witch no matter if she is just riding around on her sleigh or in the midst of a sword fight.

While there are a few scenes which are very dark and could be scary for younger viewers, the theatre I was in was filled with kids of all ages and none of them seemed to have too much of a problem with it. This was probably aided by the fact that most seemed familiar with the story and knew how everything would turn out.

I have no doubt that this will be just the first of the Narnia books made into a major motion picture and while they may not make all seven, I wouldn't be surprised to see 'Prince Caspian' some time in early 2007. There will be a lot of people anxiously waiting. I wonder if Warwick Davis will be available.

5 out of 5
(although I know for a fact MacDaddy disagrees)


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December 28, 2005 10:49 p.m.  

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