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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical adaptation of an even more magical story
If you're going to bring a beloved classic to life, you had better do it right - and director Andrew Adamson did just that, largely because of his own special memories of reading the book as a child. The timing for this film was also right - not only because it follows in the wake of the masterful Lord of the Rings series (and there will always be comparisons between...
Published on Sept. 12 2006 by Daniel Jolley

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hearing Impaired
I couldn't believe it! A film of this calibre and in this era of technology and NO CLOSED CAPTIONING or ENGLISH SUBTITLES!!! My wife is hearing impaired, but can't read the lips of animated characters. She was so looking forward to the DVD as she missed much of the dialogue at the theatre where we first saw the movie.
Otherwise - buy it, watch it, meditate on it...
Published on April 6 2006 by Dan


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical adaptation of an even more magical story, Sept. 12 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
If you're going to bring a beloved classic to life, you had better do it right - and director Andrew Adamson did just that, largely because of his own special memories of reading the book as a child. The timing for this film was also right - not only because it follows in the wake of the masterful Lord of the Rings series (and there will always be comparisons between Narnia and LOTR, despite their vast differences) but, more importantly, because this film really could not have been made any earlier. I wasn't a big fan of CGI when the technology emerged; I thought it took away from the purity of the medium and, of course, it was oftentimes obviously not real in those early days. When you watch The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, though, you see the undeniable magic that CGI has now opened up. This film is heavy with computer animation, and its integration with real actors and sets is virtually seamless. Aslan, by way of example, may well be CGI's highest achievement to date. For one thing, he looks bloody real in every scene, but what is truly amazing is the depth of feeling and emotion that comes through in his face and gestures, particularly during the scene at the Stone Slab.

There's really far more to praise about this film than I have time or room for. I'll just say the cinematography and music are masterful, and the creation of the different creatures (be they computer-generated or wonders of costuming) are incredibly detailed and realistic. I just want to hurry up and talk about the children playing the Pevensie siblings. Do they give awards for best casting? If they don't, they certainly should, and this film would take that prize hands-down. They boys (William Moseley as Peter and Skandar Keynes as Edmund) are excellent, but the girls are nothing short of perfect. There's just something about Anna Popplewell (Susan) that I find blissfully charming. Her character is basically the smart and careful one of the bunch, and Popplewell just radiates nobility and a maturity beyond her years. Young Georgie Henley, though, takes the proverbial cake as little Lucy. I tend to think of this story as Lucy's for the most part. It is she who first takes us into Narnia, and we see that enchanted land primarily through her eyes. Aslan is the central character, but Lucy is really the audience's link to everything that happens. I think you can experience Narnia just by watching Lucy - the childish wonder, the joy of the land's magic, and the heart-breaking sadness of the White Witch's most evil deeds. If you listen to the children's commentary on the DVD, though, you'll be even more impressed with these kids. Georgie is the quintessential child, a fountain of unbridled energy and unabashed honesty, but she also asks the director some incredibly insightful questions about some of his directorial decisions. All of these kids are smart as a whip, but that Georgie truly is something special.

I'm assuming you already know the story here, so I won't go into plot details. What makes the story resonate so deeply is the myriad of interpretations you can take away from it. Clearly, there's a strong Christian allegory at work here, primarily in terms of Aslan, the rightful king of Narnia, but you don't have to view the story in that way at all - although the moral implications of this classic contest between good and evil are obvious and beneficial to all. Your interpretation, in fact, may very well change with each viewing. Children can just enjoy it as an adventure with talking animals, but as they come back to the film over time they will begin to pick up on the deeper meanings of the story. This is one of those rare films that gets better and better with each viewing.

You have to love the bonus features on the two-disc collector's edition. We're talking hours and hours of behind-the-scenes footage and insights into the whole Narnia experience (and a few bloopers). I really love the Kids and Director Commentary, and I would heartily encourage you to watch that. Filmmaker commentary (and there's one of those here, as well) tend to be rather boring. I got more out of the Kids Commentary than I would normally get out of ten filmmaker commentaries. You also have the option of watching the film with interesting facts about Narnia popping up from time to time. If you really want to know how in the world this incredible movie was brought to life, you'll relish Disc 2 and its hours of interviews and film prep featurettes on the casting, design, costuming, creature-making, etc. You can also find really nice information on the different creatures you'll meet in Narnia - and you can even explore Narnia's most important locations and hear a little more about what happens in Narnia after the story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe ends. The Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition of this movie is truly the complete package - and a must for Narnia fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but Minor Changes May Irritate Avid Fans of the Novel, Dec 5 2006
I saw this movie 10 times in the theatre! I really feel that it is really breathtaking and superbly done. The most important thing that was achieved is that the producers of this film captured the essence of Narnia. You really feel like you've been to Narnia and to me that makes the film tremendously powerful. The death and resurrection of Aslan were really fantastic, and I also especially liked the Lucy/Tumnus meeting and also when the children grew up in Narnia and were looking for the White Stag. How did they get adult actors who looked SO much like the children, I'd like to know?! Well done! Georgie Henley was terrific in this movie and really stole the show. She was the perfect Lucy. The casting for this film was really well done. The only character I did not care for was The White Witch. In other movie versions, perhaps the role is "over-played" and so because of that the role seemed to be "under-played" in this case. I don't know if a happy medium exists to be truthful. The producers did maintain the Christian symbolism, that C.S. Lewis called "a supposal" not an allegory, but this was not overly obvious. The film certainly can be appreciated in different ways.

Some of the minor changes to the storyline and dialogue did irritate me, just because I know the novel SO well. I would have liked more of Lewis' humour to be maintained instead of the humour that was added by the screenwriters. Most noticeably is the absence of the development of Mrs. Beaver with her cute statements about the bread knife & sewing machine. They also removed the scene in which the animals were having a party with food & drink given to them by Father Christmas - you know the part where the witch turns them into stone. Instead they developed the fox character and used him alone in this altered scenerio. I felt some of the dialogue & scene changes were a little unnecessary from a purist's perspective. Some of the scenes also seemed rushed to me and I would have liked to see the hideout "for beavers in bad times". I know, they had a time limit and actually the movie is over 2 hours which is longer than most movies. What they did with the time they had was really really well done. Hopefully we'll get some of these "deleted scenes" on the dvd.

As someone else mentioned, there is a surprise 30 seconds into the credits that you will not want to miss.

Some parents have expressed concern about the violence quotient, but I went into the movie with a 7-year old in mind and I think it will be okay for MOST younger children. There are the battle scenes and they show one person being killed with an arrow. However, they never dwell long on the battle and no blood is shown. The other part that is disturbing is the part with Tumnus in the dungeon and the implication is that he was tortured. That was rather upsetting and of course Aslan being killed was also very scary. But, they have presented these tastefully & sensitively. Actually the previews for other Disney films were more scary than the main attraction! :-)

My overall impression - EXCELLENT and I hope they make all 7 books into movies.

Note: As a teacher of the deaf I always check to make sure dvd's are closed captioned and this one is both cc and subtitled. Occasionally captions get left off a dvd and I think that's probably what happened with the the other reviewer's purchase. Anyway, if you're reading this, I hope you will get another copy and see if it works for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful fantasy for all ages, June 15 2006
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
World War II is raging, bombs are falling on London, and children are being evacuated to the safety of the country. The four Pevensie children, Peter, Edmond, Susan, and Lucy, are sent to live in a big house owned by an old professor. One day they discover an old wardrobe in the attic that just happens to be the portal to the magical kingdom of Narnia. There, it is always winter, but never Christmas, thanks to the evil White Witch. Opposing her is King Aslan, mighty lion and defender of all that is good. The children must gather all their courage as they prepare for the final battle between the two sides.

Almost everyone and everything we see is CGI, which is stunning. The four children are natural and convincing. The first half of the story is a bit slow but the huge finale is worth the wait. CGI Aslan is such a sympathetic creature that there were few dry eyes in the theatre during his big scene, and the Christian allegory is quite touching. This is a very satisfying film for Narnia fans of all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was so impressed., April 18 2006
By A Customer
I remember the first time that I ever read the chronicles of Narnia. I was so enthralled by them that I had to see the movies that my parents owned. (They were good to.) And as I grew older I still loved them. I was so excited when I heard that the Chronicles of Narnia were finally being remade that I couldn't seem to wait. I must say I wasn't disapointed when it did. The people who made it didn't add anything that didn't really need to be there, (Like what happened in the Lord of the Rings). The acting was great. There were a few things that got to me though. One was the White Whitch. In the book C. S. Lewis described her as a white lady with RED lips. In the movie I think they should have added that little detail instead of going for the frostbite look. And her clothes were supposed to stay WHITE during the whole story. Not change from white to grey. Another thing that kind of bothered me was that she was to soft in her ways. I always saw her as being rather sharp in speaking: not this soft motherly voice. The last thing that really got to me was when Peter was fighting the wolf. I thought tht it could have been a little more longer in killing him. Other than that I thought that it was great! I really recomend it to anyone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving adaptation from Andrew Adamson: a true Son of Adam, Feb. 13 2006
By 
little stevie (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
Andrew Adamson has successfully created a believable other-worldly experience in this big-screen adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He has accomplished this with the stunning clarity of Super35mm film along with state-of-the-art CGI's ( and I'm not a fan of CGI's ). We have arrived at a point in the digital revolution where we do not need to suspend our disbelief any longer. Rarely - if ever - do you stop to wonder which creatures are digital and which aren't.
And with the excellent art direction and cinematography, you can't help but be swept away by the verisimilitude of the whole picture.
The performances are superb, with the possible exceptions of Peter and Edmund: they are easily overshadowed by Susan and Lucy. The marked difference between them draws attention to the boy's performances and how they could have been better.
Thematically, the film adheres to the original C.S.Lewis book and uses many of the same passages and dialogue. For filmic purposes, however, fresh scenes with scintillating dialogue were scripted into the storyline.
At once awe-inspiring, thoughtful, action-packed, frightening and moving, this first installment of The Chronicles of Narnia is an ambitious work of art that is pure magic: I know that C.S. Lewis would have approved!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hearing Impaired, April 6 2006
By 
I couldn't believe it! A film of this calibre and in this era of technology and NO CLOSED CAPTIONING or ENGLISH SUBTITLES!!! My wife is hearing impaired, but can't read the lips of animated characters. She was so looking forward to the DVD as she missed much of the dialogue at the theatre where we first saw the movie.
Otherwise - buy it, watch it, meditate on it. A timeless treasure for all ages.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, and amazing movie, Feb. 19 2006
By 
Nikki (ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
At first when I heard that Disney was taking charge of the new Chronicles of Narnia movie, I was a little sceptical. However, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the best version, and is an excellent adaption from Lewis's loved novel.
Firstly, the plot remains close to the book, with only a few changes, which do not take away from the overall story. The actors do an amazing job of portraying the four children, Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund. Also, the White Witch is a beautiful, yet frightning character, portraying pure evil perfectly. The voices for the characters of the beavers and Aslan, etc. fit well. And while the animals are digitalized (and you can tell), the effect actually works, and it's not cheesy. It is a smoothly edited movie, with no noticeable continuity errors.
The music was excellently composed for the movie. It all fits, and each piece suits each scene (when Lucy meets Mr. Tumnus for the first time, the battle, etc.). The soundtrack can stand alone or with the movie.
If you are a huge fan of the books, this is a must-see. For those who haven't read the books, and are not familiar with the story, you can still see the movie and understand everything. It is so much better than BBC's adaptations of a few chosen books. The whole movie just works. Warning though, they beefed up the drama in the movie, which leads to some parts that will make you jump!
I highly recommend the movie (and soundtrack for that matter), happy viewing!
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4.0 out of 5 stars "You are giving me your life and saving no one. So much for love.", June 29 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
The Pevensie family must split-up due to the war and the children go to the country for safety. There Lucy while playing a game of "Hide-and-seek" discovers an old wardrobe in a spare room. There upon entering stumble into the country of Narnia. The story begins.

If you come at this film with no preconceptions or knowledge of the writer or writing. And of course did not see the BBC production, than you could almost perceive this film tale as a mild "Lord of the rings." We have the cultural classic coming of age journey that requires sacrifice and a new understanding of life.

The original BBC production truer to the story was of course lower budget and would appeal to a different audience. I think Disney adjusted this film to match their perceived audience.

The book which is a classic also has a following. However I must say that I think that C.S. Lewis's fictional works are a pail reflection of his other works.

I did find the film fun to watch especially after viewing the voiceover commentaries that told what they were trying to accomplish including the "Potty Mouth Bucket". And this was a good selection of character actors. The sets had great depth and care taken. Yet this is an interpretation of a book that is bay an author that is not the best at fiction and should in no way be compared with other works either book or movie. Dismay is trying to portray the essence of the story, not make a block buster action CGI film. In those contents this movie was well done.

Watch for "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (2007)

As a side note I own wardrobe similar although not as large as the one displayed in the movie. So foe the only being that have been lost in it are my cats.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardro, April 12 2006
By 
David (Oakville Ontario) - See all my reviews
I thought the movie was very well done. After seeing it at the theater, my daughter insisted we purchase the DVD on release. Now I understand a longer, uncut version may be coming out later this year, something the studio seems to want to keep secret. I know the bottom line is very important, but who wants to purchase the movie twice. Why can't both versions be released at the same time. Give me, and everyone else who wants to buy the movie a chance to choose which version we want. The extended version will cost more but at least we don't have to wait another 8 to 10 months to buy it. Now my daughter wants the longer version so we have to wait and put up with more hype from the studio. The Lord of the Rings started this type of marketing and unfortunately made alot of money by doing it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully done!, April 19 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The essence of C.S. Lewis' novel is perfectly captured in this adaptation. Amazing scenery and the special effects are flawless.
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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD]
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