The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is available now on Disney +.
Without C.S Lewis, we may never have had Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings; without Tolkien, we may never have had The Chronicles of Narnia. Both men are intrinsically linked in their fantasy worlds, yet Tolkien’s work generally receives more public attention. However, one could argue The Chronicles of Narnia series is equally as important as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and just as visionary in scale. Here both men rooted their fantasy in personal experience; one would build their fantasy world out of the horrors of the First World War, while the other would wrap the biblical story of Jesus into a tale of childhood escape and wonder.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe cleverly merges several Christian traditions into one story, from Christmas to Easter and All Saints Day. Over the years, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has sat at the heart of discussions around theology in literature and film. Some Christians have praised the vision of C.S Lewis, while others have critiqued his inclusion of classic pagan imagery and ideas. There is no denying the story’s links to The New Testament; after all, here we have Aslan, killed due to betrayal only to be resurrected, the story of Jesus. While Edmund’s path clearly reflects that of Judas in scripture. However, the Christian themes found in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe undoubtedly merge with classic Greek mythology, Pagan imagery, magic, and fantasy. Therefore, Narnia is far more than just a religious story; like Lord of the Rings, it is one of the foundation stones of modern fantasy.
The film opened to positive reviews on the 9th of December 2005, and there is no doubt that Andrew Adamson’s beautiful, thoughtful, and stunning adaptation is a joy to watch. Adamson brought to life the world of C.S Lewis in exquisite detail with puppetry, physical effects and CGI effortlessly interweaving to create a truly magical adventure. But Adamson also added scale and vision by enlarging Narnia into a breathtaking world of darkness and light, the final battle embracing a far more modern world of fantasy filmmaking. As a result, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe would gross more than 745 million dollars worldwide while winning several Academy Awards the following year.
Walden Media always envisioned The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as the opening chapter of a series, and true to their word, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader would follow. However, due to legal disputes over rights between Walden Media, 20th Century Fox, and Disney, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader would be the final Narnia outing. Disney’s acquisition of Fox would later solve this legal battle, but there are no signs of any resurgence. Sixteen years after its release, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is one of the best family fantasy films of the past twenty years.
THE NEVERENDING STORY