The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Review
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As a child, I loved C.S. Lewis’s book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (see Lisa’s review of the book). Like Lisa, I hadn’t read it in years, but I read it in preparation for the movie—to refresh my memory a bit. Sometimes, that’s a mistake—because the movie is so different from the book that it’s frustrating. But this time, there weren’t any frustrating surprises—which could have something to do with the fact that the co-producer is Lewis’s stepson.

If you’ve read the book, then you know the plot of the movie, too. Four children—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy (played by William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley)—are sent away from their home in London to escape the war. They end up in an enormous yet lifeless home in the country, occupied only by an elderly professor and his unsmiling maid. One day, while the children are occupying themselves with a game of hide and seek, Lucy, the youngest, hides in a huge wardrobe in the spare room—and finds that it leads to a magical land called Narnia. There, she meets a fawn named Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy), who invites her to his house for tea and tells her all about Narnia—and about the White Witch (Tilda Swinton), who’s turned Narnia into an icy place where it’s always winter and never Christmas.

When Lucy climbs back through the wardrobe, no time has passed at all—and none of her siblings believe her stories about Narnia. It’s not until all four children find their way through the wardrobe that Lucy’s older siblings realize that she wasn’t lying after all. Once in Narnia, though, the four children find themselves in the middle of the war against the White Witch—a war that they can only win with the help of the great lion, Aslan.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is every kid’s imagination put on film. It’s almost exactly how I’ve been picturing the story all these years—complete with mystical creatures and spectacular battle scenes. For the most part, the only things that have been changed are minor details—and the rest is exactly as it should be. The kids are cute, the creatures are amazing, and the witch is eerily chilling. The effects are stunning, and the scenes are breathtaking. This movie is positively enchanting.

If you enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia as a child, you won’t want to miss this movie. If you’re new to Narnia—but you enjoy action-fantasy films—be sure to check it out. And, while you’re at it, pick up a full set of the Narnia books—because the film rights to the other six books in the series have already been secured, and the next one will be out in 2007.

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