The Chronicles of Narnia (the movies)

Sometimes, I like writing or talking about lighter things. Entertaining things. Anyone who knows me knows one of my biggest interests/passions is film.

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So over the past couple of days, my  amazing wife and I revisited the Chronicles of Narnia film series from Disney/Walden and then Fox/Walden (which will soon be getting a reboot with The Silver Chair…run on sentance? Run on sentence). At times this franchise, especially Dawn Treader, has gotten a lot of flack from fans of the books for not being loyal to the source material.

And fair enough, but as much as I like the books I don’t think that they would work that great as films – at least some of them. The most truthful to the book is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe…but man, is the pacing slow during the first half of that one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good, but the following two movies were definitely better paced. And goodness was Tilda Swinton awesome as the White Witch, and Liam Neeson was fantastic as Aslan.

Prince Caspian has it’s flaws, but it’s still a good movie. This book is one that I don’t think would work well as as a film, and changes were made – and it helped make for a good movie. Yeah, there’s some awkward stuff (looking at you, Susan and Caspian)…and some bad (looking at you, Caspian’s accent), but there’s some great scenes going on, we get to see Edmund be awesome more than once, a cool cameo that was only hinted at in the book, and Liam Neeson being briefly great as Aslan again. It’s not true to the book – but it doesn’t abandon it’s material to the extent other adaptations have.

Voyage of The Dawn Treader gets a lot of flack. I mean a lot of flack. And yet upon rewatching it, I found myself REALLY enjoying it. Yeah, there’s some dumb stuff (I’m looking at you Caspian’s disappearing accent and those one footed things), there’s no denying . It gave Lucy a great character ark (involving something not from the book), it had a lot of great Edmund-Caspian bro moments, gave the story more of a focus than a straight adaptation would (no offense to the book, but ‘let’s go find seven old dudes’ isn’t a compelling film story). The ‘green mist’ is hated by some, but it doesn’t bug me much. Again, beating this evil thing by getting the ‘seven old dudes magic swords’ gave the characters more of a reason to go the islands, and gives them reasons to feel the things they do. And then there’s Will Pouter as Eustance Scrubb. I cannot express how fantastic his performance is. He embodies that character so well, and annoys the crap out of you, and it makes his characters journey all they better. The most important thing that this (and the other films) nailed though was it’s Christian aspects. There’s debate whether or not C.S. Lewis was trying for allegory, but the themes were there, and the films handled them very well, and I was really happy to see that.

On a side note, before the proposed sequel The Silver Chair was shelved (and then became The Magicians Nephew, and then shelved again, and soon to be done as a reboot by a different company), the producers idea was that the Green Witch/Lady of the Green Kirtle was behind the green mist, which is a cool way to foreshadow that character in my opinion.

If you’re a book purist, then you probably won’t like Caspian or Dawn Treader, but I recommend all three of these films.

Happy new year, and God bless my friends.

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