Based on the first book in the C.S. Lewis children series, four English children stumbled across a wardrobe that takes them into the magical land of Narnia where the evil White Witch has turned the land into a never ending winter.
I read the books when I was younger and bought a recent edition of the series a few years back. I didn’t start rereading them though until recently, and only because I knew a new movie was being made of series. I think I might have watched some old television movie of the books too, but it was all a vague memory. I remembered the book being bigger than it was and more things happening to it, but that could be the tv movie that I am remembering since it isn’t the other books. I remember them even less.
Anyway, I reread the book only a couple weeks ago, so it was very fresh in my mind when Jer and I went to see this movie. We received free movie passes to an advanced screening so we saw it two days before it came out in a completely packed theater. Everyone behaved though so I think even Jer had an enjoyable movie-watching experience.
As for the movie, I thought it was highly enjoyable. It was two-and-a-half hours long and extended a lot that was very brief in the book. There was a brief introduction of why the children were in the house to begin with in the book while the movie goes into more details about the air raids happening in Britain during the war.
The children’s personalities were only vaguely mentioned in the book, with most of it centered on Lucy and Edmund. I never really could describe much of Peter or Susan, other than they were older. In the movie, they all have distinct personalities and it felt more natural when the story turned to Peter heading up a fight. In the book, it seemed like Peter was leading just because he was the oldest. They still didn’t do much with Susan though. I found her to be more annoying in the movie than the book, but then she was barely mentioned in the book to begin with.
Finally, the big fight scene between the witch’s evil forces and good things of Narnia were mentioned in passing in the book, but were actually shown in the movie. The actual fight scenes weren’t all that exciting though. This could have been the movie or it could have been that I had a concert to go to, and I knew that the movie was going on longer than I planned and I needed for it to be over soon.
The animation in the movie was really good. You could tell parts of it was animated, instead of parts of Lord of the Rings movies where I forget that I’m not watching something real. It wasn’t distracting though. The movement of the animated creatures was natural and the lion was very cool. It is very much a kid’s movie, but something that adults can watch because they loved the books as kids themselves. I hope they make movies out of the other books.