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

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ★★★½

I often count Disney’s adaptation of The lion, the witch and the wardrobe among one of the most faithful fantasy book adaptations I’ve ever seen. Its a film that, for the most part, manages to include every important scene and character from its source material, along with most central themes. Perhaps that is also where some of its issues stem from. For a film that depicts such a magical adventure it feels a little devoid of personality, somehow. Obviously its walking a hard line trying to capture C.S Lewis prose. His blend of anglo-Saxon myth, Christian themes and British post-war propaganda is not easily brought into the 21st century. Still, I used to love the first two thirds of The lion, the witch and the wardrobe when I was younger. Even if even I felt everything after the stone table sequence was a little flat even back in 2005. Back then it might have seemed mostly like Disney trying to cash in on the Harry Potter and The lord of the rings craze hitting cinemas, but today it feels like an overlooked fantasy universe ripe for revisiting. I love Tilda Swinton as the witch. Liam Neeson brings a great presence to Aslan as well, even if the CGI has aged a little poorly and the films climax is its weakest part. But there’s a rich variety of creature designs, a great blend of practical and visual effects that creates a world inhabited by mythological creatures and powerful magic that undeniably comes alive on the screen.