Film Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

by Nate Taylor

The Rumsfeld says:
"That final battle was mind-blowing!"
There are some of us who remember the BBC's valiant attempt to make the "Chronicles of Narnia" series in the '90s as the best that could possibly be done with such a vibrant and imaginative world. Then Peter Jackson made the "Lord of the Rings" and suddenly anything was possible.

I suppose it's only fitting that the books of Tolkien's longtime friend, C.S. Lewis, were to follow in the latest generation of film adaptations. I'm not going to waste time recounting the story of Lewis' most famous series of books, but rather assume that if you haven't read them by now, you will be shortly. Sufficed to say, the film follows the book very closely, with only a couple deviations to keep things interesting and moving quickly. The most important thing about the movie is that it does just as good of a job introducing you to the world as the book did, so you don't feel like you've been left behind if you haven't actually read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."

The next best thing the movie does is dazzle you with its blending of digital characters (or half-digital characters) and real people and backgrounds. I caught myself carefully examining the lines where Mr. Tumnus' real human body met his faun's furry legs. If that doesn't keep you occupied, then Aslan certainly will. The best work I've ever seen bar none. The casting choices were all wonderful as well. There's been enough gushing about little Lucy, so I'll just go on to Tilda Swinton as the White Witch. She is as entrancing as ever in her villainous ways, although some of her outfits seem like they'd be horribly awkward to wear. Liam Neeson was the wise voice of Aslan and did another superb job making you believe that he really did know everything. My only complaint was the almost-cameo use of the ever-versatile Rupert Everett as the fox. I would have enjoyed seeing more of his character, but there are time constraints I'm sure. In conclusion, I believe my sister described it best, and I agree with her. It truly is "enchanting."
So here are my answers:
Repeat viewings? Absolutely, even if it's just to gawk at Aslan again.
Bring a date? Not exactly a romantic piece, but it'll be enjoyable for both of you, and it'll stimulate plenty of conversation later.