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The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Directed by Andrew Adamson
Produced by Mark Johnson
Andrew Adamson
Written by Ann Peacock
Andrew Adamson
Christopher Markus
Stephen McFeely
C. S. Lewis (Novel)
Starring Georgie Henley
Skandar Keynes
William Moseley
Anna Popplewell
Tilda Swinton
James McAvoy
Jim Broadbent
Ray Winstone
Dawn French
Rupert Everett
Liam Neeson
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Editing by Sim Evan-Jones
Jim May
Studio Walden Media
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) December 8, 2005 (2005-12-08)
(United Kingdom)
02005-12-09 December 9, 2005
(United States)
Running time 135 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $180 million[1]
Gross revenue $745,011,272[2]
Followed by Prince Caspian

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 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 of what will be a 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.[3] 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.

Contents

Plot

The film begins with the 1940 bombing of Finchley, London, during the Blitz. The Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, are in direct danger from the falling bombs.

The children are evacuated to the country home of Professor Kirke. One day while they are playing hide and seek, Lucy discovers a wardrobe and enters a wintry fantasy world called Narnia. She spends a few hours in the home of the faun, Mr. Tumnus, who explains that the White Witch cursed Narnia, and it has been winter for one hundred years. In accordance with her orders, if a human is ever encountered, a Narnian must bring them to her. However, Tumnus likes Lucy and can't bring himself to kidnap her so he sends her home. When she returns, hardly any time has passed in the normal world, and when the other children check the Wardrobe, all they see is a normal wooden back - the portal is gone.

Later, Edmund follows Lucy into Narnia, and he meets the White Witch and her faithful dwarf Ginarrbrik. She offers him Turkish delight, as well as the prospect of becoming king if Edmund will bring his brother and sisters to her castle. After she departs, Edmund and Lucy meet again and return to tell the others. Edmund denies Narnia's existence to Peter and Susan, saying he was playing along with Lucy. The Professor has a private talk with Peter and Susan; he does not understand why they do not believe Lucy's story and gives them three possible explanations of Lucy's behavior — madness, dishonesty, and sincerity — the others know she is neither mad nor dishonest, so she must be telling the truth.

On another day, while hiding from the housekeeper in the wardrobe after breaking a window, the four siblings enter Narnia. Peter and Susan apologize for their disbelief and Peter threatens Edmund unless he apologizes to Lucy. They discover Mr. Tumnus has been taken by the Witch's Secret Police and meet talking beavers who tell them about Aslan. According to the beavers, Aslan is on the move to take control of Narnia from the White Witch. The four must help Aslan and his followers; it has been prophesied that when two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve sit in the four thrones, the Witch's reign will end.

Edmund sneaks off to visit the Witch alone. When he arrives at her castle, she is angry that he did not deliver his siblings. The Witch sends wolves to hunt down the other children and the beavers, who barely escape with the aid of a fox. Edmund is chained in the Witch's dungeon where he meets Mr. Tumnus. The Witch demands that Edmund tell her where his family is because her police couldn't find them; Edmund tells her some information, but hesitates when Tumnus looks at him warningly (he also tries to tell the witch that Edmund doesn't know anything). The witch tells Mr. Tumnus that it was Edmund's fault that she knew about his involvement. Mr. Tumnus is turned to stone.

While Peter, Lucy, Susan, and the beavers travel to the Stone Table, they see what they believe to be the White Witch chasing after them, so they run and hide — fortunately, it is really Father Christmas, a sign that the Witch's reign is ending. Father Christmas gives Lucy a bottle of juice of fire-flowers and a dagger, Susan a bow and arrow and a magical horn, and Peter a sword and shield.

Pursued by wolves led by Maugrim, the group manages to safely cross a thawing river, leaving the Witch no way to reach them. Arriving at Aslan's camp, they encounter Aslan, who is revealed as a huge and noble lion. Aslan promises to help Edmund in any way he can. Later, two wolves ambush Lucy and Susan while they are frolicking by the river. When Peter intervenes, Maugrim attacks him, and Peter kills him with his sword. Some of Aslan's troops follow the other wolf back to the witch's camp and rescue Edmund.

The White Witch arrives at Aslan's camp and claims that Edmund is her property, based on the "deep magic" of Narnia; it says that traitors belong to her and that she must kill them at the Stone Table. Aslan privately negotiates with the White Witch, who agrees to leave Edmund alone. That night Susan and Lucy notice Aslan leaving the encampment. After walking with him for a while he tells the sisters to return to camp, for they cannot go with him. As they watch, Aslan approaches the Stone Table where he is killed by the White Witch. However, in the morning he is resurrected because "there is a magic deeper still the Witch does not know." Aslan takes Susan and Lucy to the Witch's castle where he frees the prisoners of the White Witch, including Mr. Tumnus, forming an army for battle.

Meanwhile, Edmund persuades Peter to join battle with the Witch's army. At first quite successful, Peter's army begins to lose, and Edmund is injured, though he has managed to destroy the White Witch's staff, her most effective weapon. As she fights Peter, Aslan arrives with reinforcements and kills her. Lucy revives Edmund and many others with the fire-flower juice given to her by Father Christmas, while Aslan frees more victims of the White Witch's stone-turning spell.

The Pevensies become Kings and Queens, staying in Narnia until they are adults. Fifteen years later, while chasing a white stag to receive wishes, they find the wardrobe and return to England, becoming children again. The professor enters the room and asks what they were doing. Peter replies, "You wouldn't believe us, if we told you, sir." Then the professor tosses him the ball, used to break the window, and replies, "Try me." Later Lucy attempts to go back to Narnia, but the Professor tells her he has been trying for years, and they will probably return to Narnia when they least expect to.

Cast

Left to right: Henley as Lucy, Keynes as Edmund, Popplewell as Susan, Moseley as Peter

The radio-announcer that Peter listens to on the rainy day near the beginning of the film is played by Douglas Gresham, co-producer of the movie and C. S. Lewis's stepson.[4] Keynes' voice broke during filming, so some of his voice track had to be re-looped by his sister Soumaya.[4] Mr. Pevensie is only glimpsed in a photo which Edmund tries to retrieve during the bombing, which is of Sim-Evan Jones' father.[5]

With the exception of Tilda Swinton, who was the first choice to play the White Witch,[6] casting was a long process. Beginning in 2002,[7] Adamson went through 2500 audition tapes, met 1800 children and workshopped 400 before coming down to the final four actors for the Pevensies. Moseley and Popplewell came from the very start of casting, whilst Henley and Keynes were cast relatively late.[8] Moseley was cast because casting director Pippa Hall remembered she cast him as an extra in a 1998 dramatization of Cider with Rosie. He quit school to learn all his lines and beat 3000 boys to the role of Peter.[9]

Aslan's voice was a contention point. Brian Cox was originally cast in the role on December 9, 2004,[10] but Adamson changed his mind.[11] Liam Neeson sought out the role,[7] and was announced as the voice on July 17, 2005.[12]

Production

Pre-production

During the early 1990s, producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy were planning a film version.[13] They could not find a space in Britain to shoot the film during 1996,[14] and their plans to set the film in modern times[15] made Douglas Gresham oppose the film,[16] in addition to his feeling that technology had yet to catch up.[15] Perry Moore began negotiations with the C. S. Lewis Estate in 2000.[17] On December 7, 2001, Walden Media announced that they had acquired the rights to The Chronicles of Narnia.[18]

The success of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone prompted the producers to feel they could make a faithful adaptation of the novel set in Britain. "Harry Potter came along, and all those cultural or geographical lines were broken," Mark Johnson explained. "When The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was being developed at Paramount, the imperative was to set it in the U.S., and it just doesn't hold. [...] It's not the book."[19] Guillermo del Toro turned down the offer to direct due to his commitment on Pan's Labyrinth.[20] Following his Academy Award win for Shrek, director Andrew Adamson began adapting the source material with a 20 page treatment based on his memories of the book.[6] As such the film begins with the Luftwaffe bombing and concludes with an enormous battle, although they do not take up as much time in the novel.[17]

In the novel, the battle is never seen until Aslan, Susan, Lucy and their reinforcements arrive. This was changed in the movie because Adamson said he could vividly remember a huge battle,[8] an example of how Lewis left a lot to the readers' imagination. Other small changes include the reason all four children come to Narnia, in that an accident breaks a window and forces them to hide. Tumnus also never meets Edmund until the end in the novel. Minor details were added to the Pevensies, such as their mother's name, Helen, being the actual first name of Georgie Henley's mother.[4] Finchley as the home of the Pevensies was inspired by Anna Popplewell, who actually is from Finchley.[21] Adamson also changed the circumstances in which Lucy first comes into Narnia. He felt it was more natural that she first see the wardrobe while looking for a hide and seek hiding place, rather than just chance upon it exploring the house.[8] The film also hints at Professor Kirke's role in The Magician's Nephew, such as the engravings on the wardrobe when it is a simple one in the novel and the Professor's surprise and intrigue when Peter and Susan mentions Lucy's discovery in the wardrobe. When Lewis wrote the novel, such a back-story did not exist. In the novel also, the father of the Pevensie children is in London with their mother, but in the film, their father is fighting in the war as Lucy stated to Mr. Tumnus when they first meet in Narnia.

Weta Workshop head Richard Taylor cited Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights as an inspiration on the film. He felt Narnia had to be less dark and gritty than their depiction of Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings because it is a new world.[22] Many of Weta's creature designs were designed for digital creation, so when Howard Berger and KNB FX inherited the practical effects work, they had to spend three months retooling approved designs for animatronics.[23] Berger's children would comment and advise upon his designs; they suggested the White Witch's hair be changed from black to blonde, which Berger concurred with as he realized Swinton's wig looked too gothic.[24]

Filming

Principal photography began on June 28, 2004,[25] shooting in primarily chronological order.[5] Adamson did this in order to naturally create a sense of mature development from his young actors, which mirrored their real life development.[16] Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes[7] were never shown the set before filming scenes of their characters entering Narnia, nor had Henley seen James McAvoy in his Mr. Tumnus costume before shooting their scenes together. Thus, their reactions on camera are completely real.[4]

The first scene shot was at the disused Hobsonville Air Base for the railway scene.[26] Afterwards, they shot the Blitz scene, which Adamson called their first formal day of shooting.[8]

The filmmakers asked permission to bring in twelve reindeer to New Zealand to pull the Ice Queen's sled. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry denied, citing the potentially deadly Q fever from which the North American reindeer population suffers as the reason. However, ten wolves and wolf hybrids were allowed in for filming in Auckland.[27] To replace the denied live reindeer Mark Rappaport's Creature Effects, Inc. created four animatronic reindeer that were used in shots where the deer were standing in place. The reindeer were designed with replace-able skins to get the most usage; brown for Father Christmas and white for the White Witch.

The cast and crew spent their time in New Zealand in Auckland before moving in November to the South Island. The castle scene was filmed in Purakaunui Bay, not far from the most southern point in NZ[28]

They filmed in Poland and Prague after the Christmas break,[5] before wrapping in February.[29]

Music

The soundtrack was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams. Gregson-Williams had previously worked with Adamson on Shrek (2001) and Shrek 2 (2004). In addition there are three original songs in the film; Can't Take It In by Imogen Heap, Wunderkind by Alanis Morissette and Winter Light by Tim Finn.

The soundtrack was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, England, and in Los Angeles, CA. Gregson-Williams employed the 75-piece Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra, along with a 140-member choir (mostly members of the Bach Choir) and numerous other solo musicians such as electric violinist Hugh Marsh and vocalist Lisbeth Scott (at his Wavecrest Studio).[30] He composed the original score and then spent late September through early November 2005 conducting the Hollywood Orchestra and overseeing the recording of the English choir.[30] For "color", he employed instruments used in ancient folk music, and to underscore critical dramatic moments, he added choral textures and, occasionally, a solo voice. The score includes instances of electronic music.[31]

The soundtrack received two Golden Globe award nominations: "Best Original Score" and "Best Original Song" (for "Wunderkind").

Release

On December 7, 2005 the film premiered in London, going on general release the following day. The film was released December 8, 2005 in the United Kingdom and December 9, 2005 in North America and the rest of Europe.

Box office

Narnia opened with $23 million USD in 3,616 theatres on its opening day (December 9, 2005), averaging $6,363 per location. The film took in a total of $65.5 million on its opening weekend (December 9–11, 2005), the 24th best opening weekend at the time, as well as the second biggest December opening, behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It is now fourth following the 2007 opening of I Am Legend and the 2009 release of Avatar.[2]

The worldwide total was $744.7 million as of July 30, 2006. Of that, $291.7 million came from the United States, where it was the second highest grossing film of 2005 behind Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. There it surpassed the gross of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by only $1 million, which grossed $896 million total worldwide (Source: Boxofficemojo). The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was the highest-grossing live action film and the third highest-grossing film overall in Disney company history before being passed in 2006 by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in 2007.

Awards received

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe won several awards including the Academy Award for Makeup; the BeliefNet Film Award for Best Spiritual film; the Movieguide Faith & Values Awards: Most Inspiring Movie of 2005 and Best Family Movie of 2005; and the CAMIE (Character and Morality In Entertainment) Award. Others include the British Academy Film Awards for Makeup and Hair and Orange Rising Star (James McAvoy); Outstanding Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media; the Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role (Georgie Henley, Female); the Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence in Fantasy Film (Isis Mussenden); and the Saturn Award for Costumes (Isis Mussenden) and Make-up (Howard Berger, Greg Nicotero, and Nikki Gooley).

Positive reviews

  • The film is currently 75% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and 151 of the listed 202 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.9/10.
  • Movie critic Leonard Maltin gave the film 3 out of four stars, calling it, "an impressive and worthwhile family film," though he also said, "it does go on a bit and the special effects are extremely variable."[32]
  • Stuart Klawans of The Nation said, "All ticket buyers will get their money's worth."[33]
  • Elizabeth Weitzman of New York Daily News gave it 4 out of 4 stars and said: "A generation-spanning journey that feels both comfortingly familiar and excitingly original."
  • Metacritic gives the movie a 75 out of 100, based on 39 reviews.[34]
  • Tilda Swinton's performance in the film as the White Witch has gained considerable acclaim among fans and critics alike.

Negative reviews

  • John Anderson from Newsday stated that: "…there's a deliberateness, a fastidiousness and a lack of daring and vision that marks the entire operation."[37]
  • Cynthia Fuchs from PopMatters wrote: "…the children's indoctrination seems less charming. They are warriors, drawn into killing and a general faith in militarism, into the sense that wars might solve problems, or at the least, beat them into submission."[38]

DVD and Blu-ray release

The DVD for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was released on April 4, 2006. It is available in a standard one-disc set (with separate fullscreen and widescreen editions), and a deluxe widescreen two-disc boxed set with additional artwork and other materials from Disney and Walden Media. The DVD sold four million copies on its first day of release[39] and overtook Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to become the top selling DVD in North America for 2006.[40] As of December 2008 it has grossed $353.5 million in DVD sales.[41]

Disney made a four-disc DVD release of an extended cut of the film. It was released on December 12, 2006 and was available commercially until January 31, 2007, after which Disney put the DVD on moratorium.[42] The extended cut of the film runs approximately 150 minutes, including an extended version of the climactic battle scene. The set also has all the features previously released on the two-disc special edition. The two further discs include a segment called "The Dreamer of Narnia," a previously unreleased feature length film about C. S. Lewis, and additional production featurettes.[43] Most of the extended footage, besides the extended battle sequence, are just longer shots of Narnia and footage of the Pevensies walking in Narnia.[44]

The high-definition Blu-ray Disc version was released on May 13, 2008 in the United States, and was released on June 16, 2008 in the United Kingdom[45], delayed from the original planned release date in late 2007.

Notes

  1. ^ (Source)
  2. ^ a b "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=narnia.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-05.  
  3. ^ "Narnia dvd sales". the-numbers.com. 2008-12-20. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2005/LWWRB-DVD.php.  
  4. ^ a b c d Andrew Adamson, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley. (2006). The Chronicles of Narnia:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Cast Commentary. [DVD].  
  5. ^ a b c Richard Taylor, Howard Berger, Isis Mussendun, Roger Ford, Donald McAlpine, Sim-Evan Jones, Harry Gregson-Williams, Mark Johnson. (2006). Cinematic Storytellers. [DVD]. Buena Vista.  
  6. ^ a b Chronicles of a Director. [DVD]. Buena Vista. 2006.  
  7. ^ a b c Visualizing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Complete Production Experience. [DVD]. Buena Vista. 2006.  
  8. ^ a b c d Andrew Adamson, Mark Johnson, Roger Ford. (2006). Commentary. [DVD]. Buena Vista.  
  9. ^ Roya Nikkhah (2008-07-03). "William Moseley on Prince Caspian". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/03/bfnarnia103.xml&page=1. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  
  10. ^ "Brian Cox Cast as the Voice of Aslan". NarniaWeb. 2004-12-09. http://www.narniaweb.com/news.asp?id=154&dl=1645490. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  
  11. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (2005-05-02). "The wonderful world of 'Narnia' SIDEBAR: 'Narnia' nearly ready". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2005-05-02-narnia_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  
  12. ^ "Liam Neeson Will Voice Aslan". NarniaWeb. 2005-07-15. http://www.narniaweb.com/news.asp?id=326&dl=3483310. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  
  13. ^ Soren Anderson (1995-07-16). "Wholesome fare film proves Hollywood's moral 'cupboard' isn't bare". The News Tribune.  
  14. ^ Marilyn Beck; Stacy Jenel Smith (1996-10-18). "Soundstage space crunch alters filmmaker Marshall's plans". Los Angeles Daily News.  
  15. ^ a b Potts, Kimberly. "20 Secrets about Narnia (Page 2)". Movies.com. http://movies.go.com/narnia/feature?featureid=745671. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  
  16. ^ a b Fisher, Paul (2005-11-21). "Interview: Andrew Adamson "Chronicles of Narnia - Lion, Witch & Wardrobe"". Dark Horizons. http://www.darkhorizons.com/news05/narnia2.php. Retrieved 2007-01-07.  
  17. ^ a b Faraci, Devin (2005-08-11). "The Coverage of Narnia - Part 1". CHUD. http://www.chud.com/index.php?type=news&id=3957. Retrieved 2007-01-07.  
  18. ^ Davidson, Paul (2001-12-07). "Move Over, Harry - A Real Fantasy Classic Is Coming to Town". IGN. http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/316/316765p1.html. Retrieved 2007-01-07.  
  19. ^ Sam Adams (2007-12-10). "Fantasy films? There's truth in there too". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la-et-fantasy10dec10,1,7918686.story?coll=la-entnews-movies&ctrack=7&cset=true. Retrieved 2007-12-10.  
  20. ^ "Del Toro crafts a harrowing fairy tale". Star Beacon. 2006-12-29. http://www.starbeacon.com/heat/local_story_363121523. Retrieved 2007-03-28.  
  21. ^ Simon Thompson (2006-07-06). "Popplewell Gives Narnia Sequel Update". Comingsoon.net. http://comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=15280. Retrieved 2007-02-24.  
  22. ^ Joanna Cohen (2008-12-02). "Richard Taylor on the Weta Workshop and Prince Caspian". Rotten Tomatoes. http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/chronicles_of_narnia_prince_caspian/news/1783975/rt_interview_richard_taylor_on_the_weta_workshop_and_prince_caspian. Retrieved 2008-12-02.  
  23. ^ George Rousch (2008-12-02). "Prince Caspian DVD Interview: Creature Effects Wizard Howard Berger". Latino Review. http://www.latinoreview.com/news/prince-caspian-dvd-interview-creature-effects-wizard-howard-berger-5780. Retrieved 2008-12-02.  
  24. ^ Mike Szymanski (2008-12-03). "More Caspian Clips, Creatures". SCI FI Wire. http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=3&id=62501&type=0. Retrieved 2008-12-03.  
  25. ^ Perry Moore; Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley, Andrew Adamson, Roger Ford, Ben Wooten, Richard Taylor, Howard Berger, Dean Wright, Douglas Gresham (2005). The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - The Official Illustrated Movie Companion. Harpercollins. pp. 104–113. ISBN 0-00-720817-0.  
  26. ^ "Narnia Filming Underway!". NarniaWeb. 2004-06-28. http://www.narniaweb.com/news.asp?id=59&dl=630415. Retrieved 2007-01-07.  
  27. ^ Alan, Perrott (August 26, 2004). "Animatronic reindeer replace living variety in Narnia film". New Zealand Herald. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=200&objectid=3587193. Retrieved 2006-11-22.  
  28. ^ The Children's Magical Journey. [DVD]. Buena Vista. 2006.  
  29. ^ "Narnia Shooting Ends". IGN. 2005-02-16. http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/588/588270p1.html. Retrieved 2007-01-06.  
  30. ^ a b Brennan, Mike. "Exclusive - The Chronicles of Narnia - First Listen". SoundtrackNet. November 14, 2005.
  31. ^ Burlingame, Jon. "Harry Gregson-Williams: A 21st Century Man". Music World via BMI. October 5, 2006.
  32. ^ [Leonard Maltin's 2009 movie and video guide page 245]
  33. ^ Stuart Klawans. Imitation of Art.
  34. ^ Metacritic reviews
  35. ^ Metacritic: 2005 Film Critic Top Ten Lists
  36. ^ Hollywood.com review
  37. ^ Newsday Review
  38. ^ PopMatters review
  39. ^ CominSoon.net news report
  40. ^ "The Chronicles of Narnia is the Top Selling DVD for 2006". MovieWeb.com. 2006-05-17. http://www.movieweb.com/dvd/news/09/12709.php. Retrieved 2006-10-24.  
  41. ^ "Narnia total dvd numbers". the-numbers.com. 2008-12-20. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2005/LWWRB.php.  
  42. ^ McCutcheon, David (2006-09-29). "Disney Closes the Vault: Four films locked away by Disney after December". IGN. http://dvd.ign.com/articles/736/736573p1.html. Retrieved 2007-01-03.  
  43. ^ DVD Press Release
  44. ^ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Four-Disc Extended Edition DVD Review Ultimate Disney, dated December 12, 2006, accessed 2007-01-03
  45. ^ Disney Sets 'Chronicles of Narnia' Blu-ray for May | High-Def Digest

External links


Simple English

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure film directed by Andrew Adamson and based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published book in C. S. Lewis's children's series, The Chronicles of Narnia. It was co-produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures. William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes play Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund, the four British children that had to go to the countryside during the Blitz, and there they find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia. There they join the Lion Aslan against the forces of Jadis, the White Witch (Tilda Swinton).

The film was released on December 9, 2005 in both Europe and North America 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. It was the best selling DVD in North America in 2006 taking in $332.7 million that year.[1]

Contents

Plot

During the 1940 bombing of Finchley, London, the Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, run away to the country home of Professor Digory Kirke, their relative.

While they are playing hide-and-seek, Lucy finds a wardrobe that leads to a world called Narnia, where it is always winter. She spends a few hours in the home of the faun, Mr. Tumnus, who tells her about Jadis, the White Witch, and how she cursed Narnia into being only winter for one hundred years. If they ever met a human, they had to bring them to her. However, Tumnus likes Lucy and does not want to kidnap her, so he instead takes her safely back home. When she returns, hardly any time has passed in the normal world, and when the other children check the Wardrobe, it does not lead to "Narnia".

A few days later, Edmund follows Lucy into the wardrobe, meeting the White Witch and her dwarf Ginarrbrik. She offers him Turkish Delight and asks Edmund to bring his brother and sisters to her castle, so that he can become her heir and the rest will serve him. Edmund agrees, and she leaves, just as Lucy meets Edmund. They return together, and Lucy tells Peter and Susan about how she went to Narnia again (this time with Edmund), but Edmund denies it. The Professor talks with Peter and Susan, and he tells them that Lucy's story might be telling the truth.

While running away from the housekeeper after accidentally breaking a window, the four siblings hide in the wardrobe and enter Narnia. They find out that Mr. Tumnus has already been taken by the Witch's secret police, and meet Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, who tell them about Aslan. They say that Aslan is on the move to take back Narnia from the Witch. The four must help Aslan, for there was a prophecy that if two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve sit in the four thrones, the White Witch would no longer be able to reign.

Edmund sneaks off to visit the Witch while they are at the Beaver's house. When he goes to her castle, she is angry that he came alone and without his siblings. The Witch sends wolves to find the children and the beavers, who barely escape. Edmund meets Tumnus while being chained in the Witch's dungeon. The Witch demands that Edmund reveal where his siblings are because the wolves could not find them, and Edmund hesitates before telling her. The Witch then turns Tumnus into stone and begins searching for the other children herself.

While Peter, Lucy, Susan and the beavers go to the Stone Table, they see what they think is the White Witch chasing after them, so they hide. It is actually Father Christmas, one of the signs that the Witch is getting weaker. Father Christmas gives Lucy a bottle of cordial that will cure any sickness and a dagger to defend herself with, Susan a bow and arrows and a magical horn, and Peter a sword and shield.

Pursued by wolves led by Maugrim, the group crosses a river. When they come to Aslan's camp, they meet Aslan, who is a huge and noble lion. Aslan promises to help Edmund in any way he can. Later, two wolves ambush Lucy and Susan while they are playing in the river. Then Peter comes and kills Maugrim with his sword, and some of the troops of Aslan follow the other wolf to the witch's camp and rescue Edmund.

The White Witch goes to Aslan's camp and tries to take back Edmund, but Aslan says he will sacrifice himself instead. That night, as Lucy and Susan secretly watch, Aslan is killed by the White Witch at the Stone Table. In the morning he is resurrected because "there is a magic deeper still the Witch does not know". Aslan takes Susan and Lucy to the Witch's castle, where he turns the stone prisoners back to real life.

Edmund persuades Peter to battle with the Witch. Peter's army begins losing, and to stop the witch from turning others to stone, Edmund destroys the Witch's wand and gets stabbed while he does so. Then, as the Witch fights Peter, Aslan comes and kills her with his roar. The Pevensies become Kings and Queens, staying in Narnia until they are adults.

Fifteen years later they find the wardrobe and return to England, becoming children again. The professor enters the room and asks what they were doing. Peter replies, "You wouldn't believe us if we told you, sir." The professor tosses him the ball that broke the window and replies, "Try me." Lucy later goes to the wardrobe because she wants to return to Narnia, but the Professor tells her he has been trying for years, and that the wardrobe will probably not work again.

Cast

Further information: List of Chronicles of Narnia cast members
  • William Moseley as Peter Pevensie, the eldest of the four Pevensie children.
  • Anna Popplewell as Susan Pevensie, the second eldest child of the four Pevensie children.
  • Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie, the third of the four Pevensie children.
  • Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie, the youngest of the four Pevensie children.
  • Tilda Swinton as Jadis, the White Witch, the evil witch who holds Narnia under an eternal winter.
  • Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan, the great lion who was responsible for creating Narnia and who sacrifices himself for Edmund's sake.
  • James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, a faun who is under the White Witches rule, but befriends Lucy Pevensie and joins Aslan's forces.
  • Ray Winstone voices Mr. Beaver, a beaver who helps lead the children to Aslan.
  • Dawn French voices Mrs. Beaver, a beaver who helps lead the children to Aslan.
  • Kiran Shah as Ginarrbrik, the White Witch's servant dwarf.
  • Jim Broadbent as Professor Digory Kirke, an old professor. He lets the children stay at his country estate during the war.
  • Elizabeth Hawthorne as Mrs. Macready, Kirke's strict housekeeper.
  • James Cosmo as Father Christmas. He gives Peter, Susan, and Lucy their Christmas gifts.
  • Michael Madsen as the voice of Maugrim, a wolf who is captain of the White Witch's secret police.
  • Patrick Kake as Oreius, a centaur who is second-in-command of Aslan's army.
  • Shane Rangi as General Otmin, a minotaur who is second-in-command of the White Witch's army.
  • Morris Cupton as Train Conductor, the conductor of the train Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy ride.
  • Judy McIntosh as Helen Pevensie, the mother of the four Pevensie children.
  • Rupert Everett as the voice of a fox who helps the children along their way to Aslan.
  • Noah Huntley as the adult Peter Pevensie, who has grown up as a king in Narnia.
  • Sophie Winkleman as the adult Susan Pevensie, who has grown up as a queen in Narnia.
  • Mark Wells as the adult Edmund Pevensie, who has grown up as a king in Narnia.
  • Rachael Henley as the adult Lucy Pevensie, who has grown up as a queen in Narnia.
  • Producer Philip Steuer voices Phillip, Edmund's talking horse.

The radio-announcer that Peter listens to near the beginning of the film is played by Douglas Gresham, co-producer of the movie and C. S. Lewis's stepson.[2] Keynes' voice broke during filming, so some of his voice track had to be voiced again by his sister Soumaya.[2] Mr. Pevensie is only glimpsed in a photo which Edmund tries to retrieve during the bombing, which is of Sim-Evan Jones' father.[3]

With the exception of Tilda Swinton, who was the first choice to play Jadis, the White Witch,[4] casting took a long time. Beginning in 2002,[5] Adamson went through 2500 audition tapes and met 1800 children before coming down to the final four actors for the Pevensies. Moseley and Popplewell came from the very start of casting, whilst Henley and Keynes were rather late.[6] Mosley quit school to learn all his lines and beat 3000 boys to the role of Peter.[7]

Brian Cox was originally supposed to voice Aslan on December 9, 2004,[8] but Adamson changed his mind.[9]

References

  1. "Narnia dvd sales". the-numbers.com. 2008-12-20. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2005/LWWRB-DVD.php. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Andrew Adamson, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley. The Chronicles of Narnia:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Cast Commentary [DVD].
  3. Richard Taylor, Howard Berger, Isis Mussendun, Roger Ford, Donald McAlpine, Sim-Evan Jones, Harry Gregson-Williams, Mark Johnson. Cinematic Storytellers [DVD]. Buena Vista.
  4. Chronicles of a Director [DVD]. Buena Vista.
  5. Visualizing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Complete Production Experience [DVD]. Buena Vista.
  6. Andrew Adamson, Mark Johnson, Roger Ford. Commentary [DVD]. Buena Vista.
  7. Roya Nikkhah (2008-07-03). "William Moseley on Prince Caspian". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/03/bfnarnia103.xml&page=1. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  8. "Brian Cox Cast as the Voice of Aslan". NarniaWeb. 2004-12-09. http://www.narniaweb.com/news.asp?id=154&dl=1645490. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  9. Wloszczyna, Susan (2005-05-02). "The wonderful world of 'Narnia' SIDEBAR: 'Narnia' nearly ready". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2005-05-02-narnia_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 

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