Disney's 2005 adaptation of C.S. Lewis' children's fantasy novel.< read all 11 reviews
I was never really into the Chronicles of Narnia books as a kid, but when this came out back in 2005, I was genuinely excited to see it. Boy, was I not disappointed. Not only do the special effects work, but the performances work, the action works, everything just works, and it makes this franchise the only fantasy franchise that has even been able to stand its ground against Harry Potter. I have yet to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but you can expect a review of Prince Caspian coming soon.
First of all, the acting is pretty good, especially from our four young leads. Namely, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley as each of the Pevensie children. Not only do they manage to hold up against some of the older, more seasoned actors (like Liam Neeson and Tilda Swinton), they still have managed to keep their careers intact and keep themselves out of the tabloids. I really hope that they continue the franchise and have careers after it. The villain and the supporting cast do great also, like Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan, Tilda Swinton as the White Witch, and James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus.
Their characters are incredibly well written and thought out, and they make the movie more character-based than special-effects based, like a lot of mediocre fantasy franchises that ran out of steam after their first or second film. Another thing, they could not have gotten a better actress to play the White Witch. I mean, the only other actress I could even consider would be Cate Blanchett (who was Galadriel in the LOTR films, a role that Swinton was in talks for). That's quite an accomplishment, when a casting choice is so perfect that there's only one (if any) other actor that you would consider in the role.
Secondly, the special effects are top-notch. Not only do they all look incredibly realistic (like Aslan), but they all look stylized and fantasy-like. When I was watching the movie, I truly felt that I was in Narnia, and that's what fantasy films should do, make you feel immersed in the world that they are showing to you. That being said, the action scenes were pretty good too. Needless to say, these are some pretty good effects for a good movie.
Even though I never read the books as a kid, I knew that they existed and had a basic knowledge of what they were about. With a popular, beloved book series , you'd think Hollywood would put some major effort in the first film adaptation of these books, and they definitely did. I got Prince Caspian from blockbuster, and I intend to watch it over the holidays, so you can expect a review of that in the next couple of days, and I haven't decided whether or not to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
If you haven't seen this movie, it's definitely worth a look, even if you're not a fan of the books. Definitely one of the great fantasy films of the 2000's that wasn't Lord of the Rings. I don't know how the sequels fare against this, but a high standard is definitely set by this for the future installments, and one can only hope that they live up to that standard.
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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 epic fantasy film directed by Andrew Adamson based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published and second chronological novel in C. S. Lewis's children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. It was produced by Walden Media and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes play Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund, four British children evacuated during the Blitz to the countryside, who find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia. There they ally with the Lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) against the forces of the White Witch (Tilda Swinton).
It was released on December 9, 2005 in both Europe and North America to positive reviews and was highly successful at the box office. It won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Make Up and various other awards, and is the first film in the series of films based on the books. An Extended Edition was released on December 12, 2006 and was only made available on DVD until January 31, 2007 when it was discontinued. It was the best selling DVD in North America in 2006 taking in $332.7 million that year. It aired on Disney Channel, uninterrupted by commercials, on June 19, 2009. On ABC Family the film is presented in its extended version whereas other channels present it in its theatrical version. In 2008 it was followed by a sequel Prince