The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Produced by Walt Disney
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Well, it’s finally here. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe, beloved classic by C.S. Lewis, has finally been made into a feature length movie, and I for one, could not be more ecstatic. Brought to you by Disney, this big-budget adaptation of the old children’s book promises excitement, adventure and a fun-filled, two hour trip through our imaginations.
The premise and plot of the movie is exactly like the book, so you diehard fans will not be disappointed—Disney stays true to Lewis’ vision. The abridged summary goes as followed: Four young children find a wardrobe that leads to a magical land where a war between good and evil is being waged. For a more detailed summary of check out my review of the book.
As for the theatrical version, let me start by stating that since I was a young child, flipping through the pages of Narnia, I’ve longed for exactly what Disney brought to the table. The movie was packed with stunning imagery, beautiful locales, emotion, and action, wrapped up in a nearly seamlessly woven cinematic masterpiece. Everything from the choice of cast to the look of the lamppost was exactly as I’ve always imagined it would be, and the acting was honest and engaging.
What I truly loved about the movie was that Disney did not add or change anything important from the story; they only expanded or elaborated on what was written. Small details were cut or altered, but only so far—from what I can tell—as to make the story more visually pleasing. Example: In the book when the Beavers lead the children into the burrow to hide from what they thought was the Witch, they had to crawl into a small hole and make their way through a dark, muddy tunnel. In the movie, when the same scenario occurred, they merely ducked into a sort of alcove behind some boulders. The beginning was expanded to show the Pevensie’s home being bombed in the air raid, thus stressing the necessity to have the children move to the house of Professor Kirke for the duration of the war.
Also the battle in the end between Aslan’s forces and the White Witch’s minions was spectacular, garnering several gasps and as well as applauses from the audience. Here was another part where the movie expanded Lewis’ creation, for in the book, the battle was glossed over a bit and left much to the imagination of the reader. Disney took that leeway and ran with it all the way to a beautiful and wonderfully charged climax.
Tilda Swinton (the White Witch), did a particularly amazing job bringing this larger than life—literally—character from the pages of an old book to the big screen. She was imposing, forceful, dominating, and cold as ice, just as the White Witch should be. Skandar Keynes, also did a commendable job as Edmund, the sly, self-absorbed younger brother of the quartet. He brought more depth and dimension to the character than was previously shown in the book, and made it a little easier to forgive his mistake when the time came.
Now for those naysayers who think that this movie is a Harry Potter rip off or a light version of Lord of The Rings, I remind you all that the movie—as was the book—was made for younger children. The themes expressed are more rudimentary and the flow of the story more fast paced for a reason.
All in all, The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe, is a perfect recreation of a timeless tale. See it with the child in your home or the child in your heart. It’s more than worth it.
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Related links: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe