on the move"
Evacuated to country during the Second World War, Peter (Moseley),
Susan (Popplewell), Edmund (Keynes) and Lucy (Henley) arrive at Professor
Kirke's (Broadbent) stately house only to be greeted by a barrage of rules
from the housekeeper. Bored, with absolutely nothing to do, the four play
hide and seek. As they all try and find the best place to hide, Lucy finds
an empty room with a wardrobe in it. Thinking this is the perfect place
to hide, Lucy starts to hide but as she pushes further back into the wardrobe
she discovers something unbelievable as she walks into a snow covered forest.
After the success of the adaptation of 'The Lord of the Rings',
Studios went looking for the next big fantasy franchise but it was Disney
that acquired the biggest one, 'The Chronicles of Narnia'.
Based on beloved novels by C.S. Lewis, the first film in a
possible franchise 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' introduces you
to the magical world of Narnia and the prophecy that will save it from a
hundred year winter. From the time that Lucy enters the wardrobe for the
first time and meets Mr. Tumnus, you are transported to a world of talking
animals, myths, legends and magic.
Gripped by a winter that has lasted for a hundred years, the
good creatures of this magical world have been waiting for two sons of Adam
and two daughters of Eve to fulfil the prophecy and bring the spring back
to Narnia. The self-proclaimed Queen, the White Witch has ruled the land
with an iron fist and anyone who crosses her is turned to ice. As soon as
Lucy passes through the wardrobe, things start to change and the legendary
former King of Narnia, Aslan is on the move.
The stunning scenery of New Zealand is utilised again to bring
the mythical scale of Narnia to life. Narnia itself is filled with all the
creatures of myth and legend. From Griffins to Phoenixes, Centaurs to Minotaurs,
Fauns to Giants, every creature you can possibly think of join the animals
that you will already know but the difference is that they all talk. The
visual effects geniuses at WETA, the team behind 'The Lord of the Rings',
have vividly brought to life with all the creative zeal that they afforded
Middle Earth. A combination of practical and digital creatures form the
armies of Narnia and the digital animals are some of the best you will see
on the big screen. The CGI Aslan is quite simply amazing, and the Beavers
are of a similar high standard. The creatures that combine CG and practical
elements such as the centaurs and fauns are also extremely impressive. The
all-practical creatures such as the Minotaurs and the most of the creatures
of the White Witch's army are not as good however, with many of the masks
and makeup's looking extremely basic and dated.
The driving forces of the movie however are the performances
of the four child actors as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. Anna Popplewell
plays the sensible, conscience of the group, Susan. She is apprehensive
about everything the four of them have to do in Narnia and as the only one
of the four with experience of acting, Anna Popplewell does an excellent
job. William Moseley plays Peter, the eldest and reluctant leader of the
group who has to step in for his father, who is away fighting in the war.
This is a role that William Moseley grows into and one that see him develop
into a leader and a king. Skandar Keynes is Edmund, the rebellious one who
acts out because of the lack of a father figure. Edmund is the most difficult
character to play, as you really don't like him at first and then see him
transform into a hero and Skandar Keynes handles this extremely well. Stealing
the show is Georgie Henley as Lucy. For a debut performance she is outstanding,
revelling in the sense of wonder you would expect a child to feel when journeying
Leading the adult cast is Tilda Swinton as the White Witch.
This is a role she was born to play and she grabs it with both hands. She
is suitably cruel and calculated but she isn't as evil as she could have
been but Swinton still makes her a classic character. Jim Broadbent is underused
as Professor Kirke as he is a character we need to know more about. The
rest of the adult cast provide the voices for the creatures of Narnia, with
highlights been Ray Winston and Dawn French as the Beavers and Liam Neeson
as Aslan, the lion king of Narnia.
'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe'
is classic family entertainment. With some exceptional visuals, edge of
your seat battles and some captivating characters, the world of Narnia is
vividly brought to live by Shrek director Andrew Adamson, who makes the
step into live action with ease. Even though the story has some shortcoming,
due to the lack of backstory, this is still an exceptional adaptation that
everyone can enjoy.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well highlighting the amazing scenery and visual effects.
(Single disc version)
Audio Commentary with director Andrew Adamson and stars William Moseley,
Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley
The man at the helm and his young stars have fun with the commentary for
'The Chronicles of Narnia'. They talk about setting the scope for the
movie and the changes they made from the books. The group talk about the
fun they had on the set (as well as with the commentary), what it was
like working with all the visual effects and what it was like act to nothing
with they had to do scenes with Aslan. They also talk about what it was
like in New Zealand. This is a very good commentary track from the director
and his stars that is fun and informative.
Audio Commentary with the production team of director Andrew Adamson,
production designer Roger Ford and producer Mark Johnson
The production team come together to provide a more technical and informative
commentary track. They talk extensively about the production and postproduction
processes, highlighting the creature design, both animatronic and CG.
The set and location designs are also discussed as they group talk about
key scenes. This is an informative track that gives you an insight into
the production of a huge Hollywood movie.
Discover Narnia Fun Facts
Relive 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', this time with pop-up facts
about Narnia from co-producer Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis.
The Bloopers of Narnia (4.25 mins)
Watch on set gaffs and mishaps from the set when trying to get the special
effects right and the cast having fun with their lines and the sets.
Many studios are now producing two versions of the movie, one for those
who just want to watch the main feature and one for fans who want to know
everything about the film's production. This single disc version of 'The
Chronicles of Narnia' still has some good extras however. The two commentary
tracks are very good and the factoids offer an insight into the film's
production. Those of you who want to know more about the film's production
should buy the two-disc set however but those who just want to watch the
movie, this is a good package.
'Creating Narnia': behind the scenes footage
'Chronicles Of A Director' featurette
'Anatomy Of A Scene - The Melting River' featurette
'Creating Creature' featurette
'Cinematic Storytelling' featurette
' Creatures' Lands And Legends, hosted by Mr Tumnus
'Creatures Of The World' featurette
'Explore Narnia' featurette
'Legend In Time' featurette
The Harry Potter Movies
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
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