Friday, November 05, 2010

The New Narnia Movie

Just spare me the Narnia McNuggets.


Mr Veale said...

When my pupils (the 11-12 yr olds) review the book LWW and compare it to the movie, they nearly always mention that the films aren't as "mysterious" and Aslan is not as "awesome".

In other words, they'd like transcendence back, please! Aslan is much too safe. And not nearly appealing enough.

A Disney-fied Narnia.Disgraceful

Still, the main thing is that D Gresham is happy, and gets a cameo.

Victor Reppert said...

A tame lion? OH NO!

Mr Veale said...

In fairness to the folks at Disney-land, it is a nice way to introduce kids to Narnia. Most of my students don't read at all, and some are academically very weak.(Which isn't equivalent to being unintelligent). Those that do read, read "Twilight"

Quite a few pick the Narnia books up, with a little encouragement. Once they've read the book they find the film disappointing.

Mr Veale said...

But when Aslan admits to Lucy in "Caspian" that he doesn't know if lives would have been saved if she'd sought him out earlier---when Tumnus tells Jadis that he is a prisoner because he "believes in a free Narnia"---when the Digory Kirke tells the Peter and Susan that they should believe Lucy because "you're a family--you just might try acting like one"...

then you know the film makers are more interested in twiddling with CGI effects on their lap-tops than translating the story in the books to the big screen.

For pities sake - they chose the Director of "Shrek"! Rowling took more care when choosing the director for the first Potter film. She knew that there was enough magic in the book to dazzle a cinematic audience.

The editing is terrible in LWW... The special effects budget was wasted on German Bombers....Adamson contrived to make the wolves tedious (note to Disney- read some Nordic mythology. Wolves bring about the end of the world. They are not Husky Dogs with American accents!)..."Caspian" fails to see the opportunities in Aslan's strange, spectacular and terrifying romp with Bacchus...

Sorry - that's quite a rant, but it's been building up for a while!


Tim said...


Yikes! those are horrific changes. I'll be sure not to see it. (Not that I would've been likely anyway.)

kbrowne said...

I'm curious. Just what is wrong with Aslan telling Lucy that he does not know something? (I can understand why you do not like the 'free Narnia' and 'you're a family' bits.)

Aslan is the equivalent Of Jesus, right? Some Christians believe that Jesus knew everything but Lewis did not believe that. He thought that Jesus did not know and could not have known everything and that he could and did admit as much.

Perhaps I would understand if I had seen the film, of course.

T.D. Billingsley said...

What is wrong with Tumnus saying he is a prisoner because he believes in a free Narnia, exactly? The theme of Narnia being a free country seems to run throughout the series and the term "free Narnians" is from Lewis himself.

Mr Veale said...

Thanks for the comments guys. I'm not used to my tantrums attracting attention(-:

I don't find any sense of the "freedom" that Lewis wanted for his Narnians - schools for Fauns abolished, Bacchus' romp etc. - in the films. The bridge is smashed at the end of "Caspian", but it's really just an excuse for a special effect. In the book "Caspian", the bridge kept the river god imprisoned. Bacchus and the Maenads release the spirit of the river from being imprisoned by Telmarine civilisation.

There is not a hint of this in Tumnus' dialogue in the first film. There isn't a hint of the mediaeval age's being mined for imagery or detail.

As for a semi-kenotic Aslan - I'm not sure that we can ask Lewis to create an image of Christ that could match the biblical picture point for point. There's no equivalent of a Virgin Birth in LWW, for example. In the books Aslan grows larger every year that you know him. I can't see any equivalent in the Gospel narratives, but I can see an equivalent in Christian experience.

Aslan is meant to convey the majesty, danger and magnetism of the Son of God. And in any case, I doubt that the script writers had Open Theism in mind when they penned those lines. (-;

T.D. Billingsley said...

Ah, okay. I can agree with that.

Mr Veale said...

Thanks. And thanks for the conversation.

My wife usually throws something at me when I go on like this.

Gregory said...

Get ready for the Aslan shaped McNuggets that are sure to be part of McDonald's new "Happy Meal".

Now check out my take on the "Narnia" concept:

Four children find a magical door inside a special Happy Meal box that whisks them away to the land of "Commercia". Tis a magical land...or it was "magical" until a great recession/depression hath deprived it's inhabitants of a prosperous future and abundant living. In order to survive, the children must apply for General Relief funds as they struggle to find a decent education at the "Hogwarts Correctional School For The Misguided, Under-Privileged Yuuth". note: "Yuuth" are children from our world.

And there is no "Aslan" in this story...just a giant vulture named "Ronald". And there's no "witch" in this story either. Just the vulture...and it only speaks Vulture (i.e. literally and metaphorically). The kids struggle. The kids are mugged by Hamburglar and Grimace, and languish for lack of true nourishment.

Or something like that. I think it would sell....somewhere over the rainbow.

Gregory said...

I wanted the word "yuuth" to have an umlaut above each 'u'; but, for reasons that I won't discuss here, I couldn't make it happen. But the proper spelling would include the double umlaut's. I just wanted to point that out, just in case there are people who really want to dig into the lore of "Commercia".

Mr Veale said...


Disney have turned Alsan into a genteel Irish RM...but I wouldn't accuse Disney of making movies about Tashlan just yet.

Still, merchandising Narnia seems to be something that Shift would endorse.

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