Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The
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I know at some point in my youth I read at least some of the Narnia books…but for the life of me I couldn’t remember any of the story or characters. This was somewhat of a blessing, since I could watch “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” with absolutely no preconceived notions. I had a clean slate, and could enjoy the movie as an entity in and of itself, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.
The story follows four English children who are shuffled off to an estate in the country to avoid those rascally Germans bombing the piss out of their hometown. During the course of checking out their new surroundings, they discover that a big free-standing closet opens up into a fantasy world filled with mythical creatures who all speak English.
As the children learn more about Narnia, they discover that a mean witch is taking over, and they’re part of a prophecy which dictates that they’ll help the king (who’s a lion, by the way) defeat the witch and bring peace to all the land.
This is a VERY brief overview of the tale, which is closer to epic proportions than what I’ve spelled out here. It’s more like “Lord of the Rings” than “Harry Potter” in its scope. The whole movie is huge. Larger than life characters, massive scenery and grandiose themes. I was easily swept up in the story, and the 132 minutes went by in a blink. The pacing was great for such a long film…at no point did I glance at my watch hoping the end was near. I could have stayed in Narnia for another hour.
The sound effects and music were outstanding, and the special effects were top notch. Other than a few brief seconds, you couldn’t tell the CGI from the standard effects (and that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?) Overall this was a wonderful experience, and a terrific base for the series. I give high praise to Disney for not merely letting the license sell the product, instead, they’ve created a beautiful, amazing and emotional film that I will definitely be watching again.
My own experience proves that you don’t need to be an existing Narnia fan to enjoy the movie, rather, this stands on its own merits and is one of the best movies I’ve seen in the theaters this year. It’s destined to become a classic, and the DVD is sure to become a staple for fantasy fans.
Although I can find little fault with the film, I’m going to score it a 4 ½ cans out of 5 (I have to leave a little bit of room for improvement). As long as the amount of care and passion that went into this film is carried over into subsequent chapters, this could very well become a masterpiece.
Added: Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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