The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

LWW PosterI recently re-watched this old favorite of mine and decided it was time to review it.

The Story

The four Pevensie children have been evacuated from London to protect them from the bombing raids of WWII. While staying in the country with a distant relative, they stumble upon a magical wardrobe which takes them to the land of Narnia, which at first glance appears to be a snow-covered paradise inhabited by mythical creatures and talking animals.

But all is not as it seems.

For the last one hundred years Narnia has been ruled by a cruel witch who has frozen the land in a perpetual winter without Christmas. The children find that an old prophecy indicates that they will save the land from enchantment and sit as kings and queens over the land in a glorious reign of peace.

The witch also knows of this prophecy and will do all she can to stop it.

The Good

This film has many admirable themes. Themes of friendship, loyalty, and self-sacrifice, to name just a few. Aslan sacrifices himself to save the lives of others. While the relationships between the children are rather poor at the beginning of the film, their journey through Narnia brings them closer together by the end.

I was also pleased by the way the film handles magic. The witch is portrayed as bad and she is the only character to use magic throughout the film. While Aslan does reference the “deep magic” put into Narnia at the beginning of time, it is implied that this ‘magic’ is used by the creator of Narnia.

Violence, while certainly present, is also handled quite well. Most of the violence is implied rather than shown. Even the large battle at the end is well done. It is almost completely blood-free and most of the killing happens off-screen.

The Bad

While this isn’t necessarily bad, it is worth noting. There are several scenes in this movie that would not be appropriate for young children. Some scenes show some of the evil creatures in the witch’s army, and the scene depicting Aslan’s death is quite disturbing. While these scenes are not evil in and of themselves, and while I believe they where actually quite well-done, I don’t believe they should be shown to young children.

At the beginning of the film, the relationship between the four children is not great. However, as I mentioned before, their relationships strengthen throughout the second half of the movie.

There are also a couple of slight instances of immodesty.

Conclusion

Over all this is a pretty good film. While there are some things that make it inappropriate for younger audiences,  I believe that this is a film that older children and their parents will be able to enjoy for years to come.

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