"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" (2005) Review
MPAA Rating: PG, for battle sequences and frightening moments
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Andrew Adamson
Starring: Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Anna Popplewell, William Moseley, Rupert Everett, Ray Winstone, Dawn French, Liam Neeson, Jim Broadbent
Guide Review of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe"
During WWII four child refugees – Lucy (Georgie Henley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmond (Skandar Keynes), and Peter Pevensie (William Moseley) - tearfully leave their mother to go and live in the massive old manor of an elderly professor.
While playing a game of hide-and-seek, Lucy hides in an old wardrobe and stumbles through the fur coats into a snowy enchanted kingdom.
Soon after her arrival, she encounters a faun named Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy) who takes her to his home for tea. The friendly faun is actually scheming to kidnap her, but in a fit of conscience he abandons his plan, and he describes a terrible White Witch (Tilda Swinton) who has cursed the land with eternal winter and ordered that any Son of Adam or Daughter of Eve be brought to her. With that, Mr. Tumnus nervously helps Lucy back to the wardrobe.
Although her brothers and sister do not believe her at first, they eventually all find their way into Narnia only to discover that something terrible has happened to Mr. Tumnus, and the talking animals and fanciful creatures of Narnia see them as the foretold heroes who will end Jadis’ cruel reign.
When they find Edmond missing, the children learn that the only way to save him is to find Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson), the Great Lion, and ask for his help.
Led by talking beavers, they manage to stay one step ahead of the witch on the dangerous journey to find the Great Lion. Aslan helps them rescue Edmond, but the cost is high, and the children soon find themselves involved in a battle for Narnia and for their own lives.
In C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, a magical door is opened to a fantasy world that parallels our own, in an allegorical sense, from the perspective of a deeply religious Christian author. The movie stays true to the book and captures the wonder of the enduring tale. For those who do not care about the religious undertones, the movie does an excellent job at telling an enchanting story of good versus evil in a place where the children are able to escape the frightening and woeful situation of a war torn world and enter a world where they themselves have the power to affect a happy and abundant outcome.
The impressive special effects make classic fantasy characters such as fauns and centaurs look as real as the human characters, with a brillian adaptation of Mr., Tumnus the faun and an awesome rendering of Aslan the Great Lion. I wish these wonderful characters would have been given more time and meaningful content in the movie. While the evil witch and the battle scenes will be a little much for very young children, kids who are old enough to love the books will probably also love the movie.
Note to Parents on "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe"
Younger children may find the White Witch and her minions extremely scary and unsettling. The movie contains several intense battles and fight scenes, although very little blood and gore are actually shown. Several characters are wounded in the battles, and some die.
Content Overview of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe"
The following contains some of the most prominent examples of possibly scary or offensive content in the movie:
-In the beginning of the movie,the Prevensie mother and children are shown running to a bomb shelter with planes dropping bombs overhead.
-Many scenes contain battles and fights using weapons such as knives, swords and bows.
-Aslan is demeaned and killed using a knife (the actual stabbing is not shown).
Scary Scenes (Extreme)
-The violent scenes are all scary and suspenseful.
-Many of the White Witch's followers are grossly ugly and frightening.
-Many moments of peril are shown where characters are frightened or tense about being in the witch's presense or in hiding from her.
-Some of the half breed male animals do not wear clothes, but are covered with fur from the waist down.
-Words such as "Shut-up" and "dumb" are used.
-The witch and her followers are evil and cruel.
Sad/Distressing Scenes (High)
-The children must leave their mother at a train station.
-Edward sees Mr. Tumnus chained at the ankles in pain. He later sees that Mr. Tumnus has been turned to stone.
-The Witch and her creatures demean and act cruelly to Aslan.