DVD Review - The Chronicles of Narnia
Directed by Andrew Adamson.Certificate: PG
I WAS a little worried when I heard that Disney was due to make a film version of C S Lewis’s classic, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’. Was this going to be a dumbed-down cutesey cartoon? Would too many special effects ruin a terrific story?
As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. This retelling of the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series was faithful to Lewis’s wonderful Christian allegory. The special effects didn’t overwhelm the story. They enhanced it!
The story, for those who have never heard it, involves the four Pevensie children who are evacuated from wartime London to a big house in the countryside owned by an enigmatic Professor. On a wet day, they play a game of hide and seek. The youngest child, Lucy, finds a great hiding place in an old wardrobe in an upstairs room. As she backs her way through hanging coats, she finds herself in a snowy forest where she meets a friendly faun. The wardrobe is a door to another world. He tells her that she is in the land of Narnia where it is always Winter but never Christmas. An evil White Witch who calls herself a queen rules the land. Only the mysterious Great Lion Aslan can bring life and freedom to Narnia.
Despite the carping and critism from the usual suspects: Polly Toynbee, Philip Pullman and the other liberal-leftist media types led the charge against its overt muscular Christianity, this was one of the most popular cinema releases in 2005.
Tough luck, Polly! The mass indoctrination continues. The first couple of weeks since the DVD came out suggest that few homes will be without one. And no wonder! Certain supermarkets were selling the single disc version for £9.95 and the double disc version for under £15.00. The picture quality and sound is superb. Liam Neeson provides the voice of Aslan and there are strong performances from the largely unknown cast. For this Son of Adam, Tilda Swinton stole the show with her powerful interpretation of the White Witch. If they do things as well as they’ve done here, Disney could be on to a winner. I am now looking forward to seeing ‘Prince Caspian’, ‘The Horse and his Boy’ anf the ‘Voyage of the Dawntrader’ coming to the big screen and eventually to my local DVD shop. Here’s hoping!