Monday, January 16, 2006

The Chronicles Of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

Finally got to see The Chronicles Of Narnia last night and going by the size of the audience it won't be too long before it's gone from the cinemas. It's based on the classic children's novel by C.S. Lewis so here's a brief summary...

When four London children are evacuated to a country house during World War II, they find a magic portal inside an old wardrobe that leads to the mystical land of Narnia. Narnia is populated by all manner of mythical creatures such as fauns, centaurs, unicorns, minotaurs, cyclops, griffins, etc. but it is also ruled by the evil White Witch who keeps the land in perpetual Winter but never Christmas.

However, an ancient prophecy talks of the coming four humans, two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve, who will defeat the Witch, breaking the spell holding the land in Winter so, when the four appear in Narnia, their presence is noted by both the good and evil sides. While the forces of good, led by Aslan the true ruler of the land, begin building an army to defeat the witch and so fulfill the prophecy, she is also scheming to do everything in her power to stop it. So the stage is set for a battle bewteen the two.

I read the book years ago, not as a child but older, and quite enjoyed it even with all the talking animals, etc. That aside, the translation to film is excellent and any fans of the book will probably love it. Aslan, voiced by Liam Neeson, is a huge and imposing figure as expected and the witch, played by Tilda Swinton, is cold and evil looking. Jim Broadbent has a small part as the professor who own the house the kids move to and James Cosmo turns up as Father Christmas.

The quality of the CGI effects is awesome. The landscapes look amazing and the creature effects are incredibly well done. The faun Mr. Tumblus, played by James McAvoy, walks around quite convincingly on the hind quarters of a deer and the centaurs are extremely good too. Funniest though are the beavers, totally animated but with the voices of Ray Winstone and Dawn French. A couple of other well-known voices in there are Michael Madsen as Maugrim and Rupert Everett as the Fox.

It's all pretty well done and I'd thoroughly recommend it for kids old and young.

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
My Rating: 7/10

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