Movie Review

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe

There are a thousand stories in the land of Narnia ... The first is about to be told.
The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Poster

US Release Date: 12-09-2005

Directed by: Andrew Adamson


  • Georgie Henley
  • Lucy Pevensie
  • William Moseley
  • Peter Pevensie
  • Skandar Keynes
  • Edmund Pevensie
  • Anna Popplewell
  • Susan Pevensie
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Jadis, the White Witch
  • Rupert Everett
  • Fox (voice)
  • Liam Neeson
  • Aslan (voice)
  • Sophie Winkleman
  • Adult Susan
  • Jim Broadbent
  • Professor Kirke
  • Ray Winstone
  • Mr. Beaver (voice)
  • Dawn French
  • Mrs. Beaver
Average Stars:
Reviewed on: December 14th, 2005
The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a great film! It is a child's story treated like a mature film. The combination is an amazingly tense fantasy/family movie.

It is World War II London. The four Pevensie children have been sent to the country side to avoid the Blitz. They move into a huge manor home owned by a professor. There, they discover a wardrobe that transports them to the world of Narnia. In Narnia dwells animals that can talk, centaurs, unicorn and an evil Queen who has frozen the world. The children's presence in Narnia poses a threat to the Queen and thus there is a war between the evil Queen's forces and that of the humans and good creatures of Narnia, lead by the lion Aslan.

This film is fast paced and action packed. From being chased by wolves to a huge scale battle, the Pevensie children, and the audience, are never bored. With the help of Santa Claus no less, the children are armed with weapons to defend themselves. They learn lessons on loyalty and the value of family.

Much has been made over the Catholic and religious symbolisms of the books by C. S. Lewis and this movie. They are there if you wish to see them, but they are hardly an in your face aspect to the film. Aslan is resurrected as was Christ. When the children are on an ice flow in the river they are all holding onto a sword that has been stuck into the ice to use as a handle. The visible half of the sword is the shape of a cross. God and or Jesus Christ are never mentioned and or referred to in this film.

Of the actors playing the Pevensie children only Anna Popplewell has any sort of resume to speak of. She was in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003). The rest of the cast are unknowns, at least for now. 18 year old William Moseley makes an impressive screen debut leading the cast as the oldest brother Peter. It is Tilda Swinton, however, who steals the movie as the scene stealing White Witch. She hams up many scenes with such bad guy talk as, "If it's a war Aslan wants, it's a war he shall get".

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fun film for anyone who can allow their imagination some good old fashioned play time.

Reviewed on: December 23rd, 2005
The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

I would call The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a very good film, but not a truly great one. It is a children's story and the sense of danger, even in the final battle, is definitely aimed at kids with its lack of bloodshed, which lessens the tension dramatically.

The other problem with the movie is that the plot is very thin. The story, once the children get into Narnia, is simply a journey leading up to a final battle. Although there are episodes of action along the way, the plot remains paper thin throughout.

Eric is right that the religious symbolism never interferes with the story, but it is there if you wish to see it. Aslan, while always interpreted to represent Christ, is hardly a pacifist and it's difficult to imagine him turning the other cheek. If you never read or heard any mention of its religious meaning, you probably won't even notice that it's there.

William Moseley does do a fine job as Peter, but I wonder if he was hired for his acting ability or simply the fact that he bears an uncanny resemblance to Prince William. It's the only reason I can think of as to why he's blonde and doesn't look anything like his brother or sisters.

Clearly, as Eric said, it is Tilda Swinton who steals the movie as the White Witch. In fact, she's so good as the evil queen that I almost found myself rooting for her to win over the somewhat bland Pevensie children.

Like the book it is based upon, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a children's story and will probably best be enjoyed by them.

Reviewed on: April 10th, 2006
The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

Quite frankly I was bored. As Scott said the plot is pretty slim, once the initial wonder of Narnia passes there is very little to hold the attention. The children are quite bland at that. And I've never liked Aslan or the White Witch as characters. She is the most miserable evil person, there is no glee in her at all. Aslan is a heavy-handed bore. Does Goodness have to be that serious? What they represent is presented in such a simple manner.

Visually it's stunning. The CGI work is impressive. Aslan looks amazing. And I'll join the chorus praising Tilda Swinton. She is great in the part and looks incredible. Too bad the role didn't have a bit more motivation and/or depth written in.

My favorite parts to the story have always been when the hidden passage in the wardrobe is first discovered and the ending when the children have grown-up still living in Narnia and rediscover the lamppost. What a wonderful symbol and image that is. But even as a child I was disappointed with the details of the story that happen in between these events. This movie did nothing to change my opinion.

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