THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

Director:  Andrew Adamson
Writer: Andrew Adamson/Ann Peacock/Christopher Markus/Stephen McFeely 
Producer: Mark Johnson/Phillip Steuer 
Starring: Georgie Henley/Skandar Keynes/William Moseley/Anna Popplewell/Tilda Swinton/Liam Neeson/James McAvoy/Ray Winstone/Dawn French 
Year: 2005
Country: UK/US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 150 minutes

The Chronicles of Narnia is originally a book series consisting of seven books written by C.S Lewis, which were filled with imagination and loveable characters. However, the question that is asked is whether the movies do justice to the books. For The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I can say yes. Four siblings find an enchanted land named Narnia and they learn of their destiny to free it from the icy clutches of the evil White Witch with the help of Aslan, a wise lion and other mythical creatures. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe tells a brilliant and magical story, touching on subjects of betrayal, loyalty and sacrifice. The story itself is a well-done adaptation and is sure to entertain adults and children alike with it’s charming storytelling and it’s well-written script. Not only is the story brilliantly entertaining and quite captivating in some parts but it’s also brilliantly casted as the actors who play the Pevensie children were good. Georgie Henley who plays Lucy and Skandar Heynes, who plays Edmund were the best out of the four. Anna Popplewell wasn’t bad as Susan but her performance felt a little wooden sometimes and lacked emotion in a couple of parts as well. William Moseley, who played Peter, is the worst out of the four as he was constantly wooden and you just didn’t believe his performance or his character.  However, the best actress in the entire movie is, without a doubt, Tilda Swinton, who plays the terrifyingly cold White Witch, Jadis. The rest of the cast had done a good job and the voice acting in the movie was well-done. Dawn French and Ray Winstone lend their voices as the funny Mr and Mrs. Beaver and Liam Neeson provides the voice of the wise and mighty lion, Aslan.

 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is quite impressive but when it came to the special effects and the CGI, they had really pushed the boat out as the animals and mythical creatures looked quite realistic. There were a few parts which were impressive but it’s charm and breathtakingly gorgeous locations made Narnia feel more real and more magical than the mythical creatures or the talking animals. Andrew Adamson, the director, has done a great job in making this movie adaptation as it’s quite faithful to the book itself, although there are a few tweaks. However, there were a couple of emotional scenes in the movie that were spot-on and Narnia itself is beautiful. The writing is also very good as the story is loyal to the book and also has that same magical feeling that the books had when you read them. Overall, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a great movie to watch just in time for Christmas and it’s sure to entertain the whole family.

For me, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is such a brilliant fantasy movie with great storytelling and a couple of emotional scenes. The special effects were magnificent and they’re something most people would not fault as it made everything look realistic instead of cheap. The movie is quite enjoyable and those who have read the book will not be disappointed. Don’t expect The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to be perfect but don’t expect it to be disappointing either as you’ll find something in the movie that you’ll like. Whether it be the story, the characters, the locations or the special effects, everyone will find something they love about Narnia.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN

Director
:  Andrew Adamson
Writer: Andrew Adamson/Christopher Markus/Stephen McFeely 
Producer: Andrew Adamson/Cary Granat/Perry Moore/Douglas Gresham/Mark Johnson/Phillip Steuer 
Starring: Ben Barnes/Georgie Henley/Skandar Keynes/William Moseley/Anna Popplewell/Eddie Izzard/Liam Neeson/Sergio Castellitto 
Year: 2008
Country: UK/US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 150 minutes

The Chronicles of Narnia continues on telling the story of the Pevensie children and their adventures in the land of Narnia. However, all is not well in the land of Narnia and all is not well for the movie either. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy return to Narnia to help Prince Caspian in his fight for the throne against his evil uncle, King Miraz. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has a more darker and mature tone than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, however it is unfortunate that it is a weak sequel and overall, pretty tedious and boring most of the time. The story starts pretty promising and manages to keep your attention but as soon as the four siblings are actually in Narnia, it slowly goes downhill from there. The story isn’t new and it hardly develops as it’s almost a repeat of the first movie but with a change of circumstances and different characters, who are quite dull. Everything  that is in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has already been covered in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe including the characters and their story. Because the Pevensie children are used to Narnia and know it well, it doesn’t make them interesting and, as a consequence, makes them quite boring. Even the new mythical creatures seem a little annoying or boring rather than mystical and Prince Caspian himself isn’t really likeable on any account. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe had also got that certain charm to it and a lot more imagination too, however, for some reason, this didn’t feel as imaginative or as charming. They try to keep Narnia fresh and it shows by adding different things to the scenery and trying to make the characters look all surprised and in awe of the land itself, however they miss out the fact that they lived in Narnia for so many years so why would they still be in awe of something they’re already familiar with?

The thing about The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is that none of the characters learn anything and they don’t grow as a character to be something more. They were just the same as they were in the first movie but grown-up and they had a more darker and evil battle on their hands as well as fighting alongside those who obeyed the White Witch in the last movie. The writing and directing is quite good and it’s not a bad sequel in any case but you could see plenty of room for improvement as well as loads of room for character development. Direction-wise, it’s quite good as there are a few scenes that impress with either it’s very well-used gorgeous scenery or spectacular special effects and CGI. Overall, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is quite disappointing compared to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, however it’s not entirely bad.

While The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian isn’t a bad sequel, it’s nowhere near good and it could have been a lot better. The characters weren’t as interesting this time around as there was nothing that hadn’t been covered before. The only difference is that the characters are older and taller, everything else about their character is the same apart from Edmund, who manages to stay a good guy all the way through the movie. They still knew about Narnia and what to expect, there wasn’t any surprise or suspense like there was in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian takes a major step backwards from the first movie but there are some parts which are quite enjoyable, it’s just unfortunate that the movie isn’t so memorable after watching it. Let’s hope The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader follows in the footsteps of the first movie rather than this one.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER

Director: Michael Apted
Writer: Christopher Markus/Stephen McFeely/Michael Petroni 
Producer: Andrew Adamson/Mark Johnson/Phillip Steuer 
Starring: Ben Barnes/Georgie Henley/Skandar Keynes/Will Pouter/Simon Pegg/Liam Neeson 
Year: 2010
Country: UK/US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 115 minutes

As the Harry Potter movie series is coming to an end, The Chronicles of Narnia is a potential to take over the reins as there could possibly be four more movies being made since there are seven books. It started fantastically and with style in the form of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe but then The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian was made and took a major step down from it’s unforgettable first chapter. However, the Narnia movie series is saved and still lives to fight another day, thanks to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third installment in the series. After Peter and Susan leave for university, Edmund and Lucy are left to stay with their aunt and uncle and their annoying cousin, Eustace. Edmund, Lucy and Eustace find themselves transported to Narnia through an overflowing picture that floods the entire room. They find themselves on the Dawn Treader, a ship that was built to rescue the seven Lords, with King Caspian and so, a series of adventures unfolds for our three heroes. The best thing about this movie was it’s runtime as it wasn’t too long nor was it too short and so the story didn’t drag on for ages. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian had the problem of being too long and too drawn-out in parts but The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader doesn’t have this problem as the timing was almost perfect for each scene. The scenes didn’t go on any longer than they should have and most of the time, the story was interesting, which is an improvement from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
has improved majorly in the acting department as we see the return of Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley, who both play Edmund and Lucy Pevensie respectively. They both do a brilliant job and they have improved from the last two movies a lot as we see a new side to both characters. Ben Barnes returns to his role as King Caspian and he is a lot better this time around than he was in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Simon Pegg replaces Eddie Izzard as the voice of the courageous talkative mouse, Reepicheep and he does a good job. Michael Apted takes over as director and manages to keep things fresh and new and show us new places in the land of Narnia and new sides to characters, which is what was lacking in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Yet again, just like the other Narnia movies, the special effects and the CGI are superb and look very realistic, including the animals and Narnia itself, which looks quite beautiful. Although The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is not as good as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, it’s a massive improvement from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

The movie has a few great moments with it’s characters and we see more to Narnia and the Pevensie characters than we ever did in the second chapter. The design of the Dawn Treader is marvellous and looks quite beautiful to the last detail. Will Pouter as Eustace stole every scene he was in and was also my favourite character in the movie. I have not read the book to this movie and so I can’t comment on whether it stays true or not but even so, as a movie, it succeeds and improves. Now that the series is back on track, let’s hope the future Narnia movies keep up the same quality. If you didn’t like The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, do not worry as this is much better and more improved, although it’s not the same as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Fans will very much enjoy this movie and is a great little movie just in time for Christmas.

About The Author

My name is Darren Camponi and I run a website called Darren Camponi which can be seen here: http://innersanctumreviews.wordpress.com/

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