Without the box office success of Lord of the Rings
, it’s quite likely that Disney never would have dipped its toe into the world of Narnia
movie making. Ironically, without LOTR
author J.R.R Tolkien, it’s quite likely C.S. Lewis never would have written The Chronicles of Narnia
to begin with.
Both Lewis and Tolkien started out at Oxford as members of the Inklings, a literary discussion group where young authors got together and discussed their unfinished work. It was there that the two became fast friends and eventually literary and ideological rivals. It was due in large part to Tolkien’s influence that Lewis converted to Christianity, and ended up, somewhat by happenstance, incorporating vaguely Christian concepts into his fantasy world.
Lewis completed his first Narnia
book in 1950 and his novels have endured, firing the imaginations of young readers ever since. That enjoyment however, has not come without controversy. Lewis has been called a racist, a sexist, and even a pagan, though recent years have seen Christian groups embrace the movie based on his first book in a way that even Lewis might have found unwarranted. Now his Narnian world is being used as the basis for sermons, and Disney’s movie version is being shown in Sunday school classes by teachers desperate to connect to disinterested students through pop culture.
Ultimately though C.S. Lewis intended his books simply as great fantasy entertainment, and though various groups may try to co-opt them for their own purposes, that’s what The Chronicles of Narnia
are. As an awkward pre-teen, as so many other kids at that age did and still do, I holed up in my junior high school library obsessing over Aslan, transported to an exciting new world where the possibilities seemed endless. Even more than fifty years later, whether on the page or on the screen, C.S. Lewis’s world feels fresh, new, and popping with life.
The same could be said of director Andrew Adamson’s first Chronicles of Narnia
movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
, an energetic fairy tale3 that rocketed to the top of the box office, despite dropping into a movie market already glutted with failed fantasy adaptation. Disney releases Prince Caspian
this week, the second tale in The Chronicles of Narnia
. They have at least one more Narnia
film planned afterward, but for now sit back and prepare for your second adventure in Aslan’s land with our guide to everything you’ll need to get your head right with Narnia. Check this page more than once, as we'll be updating it right up until the films' release with new information.
Movie Preview - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Expect more of the brilliant filmmaking that made the first film work so well. Adamson and his entire cast return to bring more of Aslan’s land to life. The respect they’ve earned with the success of the first film should only help make this movie better.… read the rest
Interview - Prince Caspian's Georgie Henley And William Moseley
The two are clearly comfortable with each another, passing questions between them and throwing nudges and knowing glances once in a while. When Georgie refers to William as being like her older brother in real life, you believe it...
Interview - Prince Caspian's Screenwriters
Adapting one of history's most beloved children's books for the big screen isn't what most of us would call a simple job, but Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus had it comparatively easy...
Interview - Prince Mark Johnson won an Oscar twenty years ago for producing Rain Man, but his latest project was a challenge even for such an experienced producer...
Discuss - Prince Caspian Movie Forum Thread
Talk Narnia with other Blenders before and after you see the movie.
Video - Trailers And Clips From Prince Caspian
Get a sneak peek at what Aslan has in store for you.
Images - Stills And Posters From Prince Caspian
Gaze into the hairy maze of Trumpkin the Dwarf’s beard.
Bowling For Box Office – Prince Caspian
Pit your foretelling abilities against those of other Blenders by trying to guess how much money Prince Caspian will make.
Movie Review - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
What The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe really is, is a spectacular adaptation of a fairly nice fantasy tale. It doesn't just live up to its source material, it surpasses it by finding nuances in the story that C.S. Lewis didn't… read the rest
DVD Review – The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe: Four-Disc Extended Edition
It’s always hard to know when the pinnacle release of a film has arrived. It would certainly seem that a four disc extended edition would be the end of things, but the package’s flimsy (but beautiful) cardboard case and lack of any extra printed material (no collector’s booklet, no fold out map of Narnia, nothing!) would suggest there’s still at least one more major collector’s edition somewhere on the horizon… read the rest
In Print – The Chronicles of Narnia
Hop on our forum and discuss the books that inspired the movies!
"No, I don't think Shrek 2 is as good as the first, but it is highly enjoyable, pretty much for the same reasons the first one was. The script takes on more fairy tale concepts and turns them on their heads, the CGI is improved and even more impressive, and the story drives the point home that it is far better to be who you are than to waste so much time and effort being something you aren't..." read more
"In a way Shrek is almost an amalgam of cookie cutter fairytales thrown into a blender and twisted up and turned inside out, to create something totally and completely different. Yet at the same time, Shrek also remains rife with elements borrowed from other less traditional fantasy films, softly resounding with themes and elements from classic films such as The Princess Bride and The Never Ending Story..." read more
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass
"Pullman’s tale is little damaged by a filmmaker’s fear of offending right-wingers, and The Golden Compass sticks rather closely to the narrative on which it’s based. It’s still the tale of Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a precocious little girl in a parallel world, caught up in magic and intrigue beyond her ken."
"Even for a fantasy movie, Stardust is made of pretty silly stuff. In a way it’s a throwback to what fantasy movies were before Peter Jackson, reminiscent of now rather dated work like Willow, Legend, or The Dark Crystal. But inspired directing from Matthew Vaughn and a wry sense of humor saves the movie’s oh-so-80s story from being an out of time curiosity and makes it a completely unique fantasy film unlike any of the other witches and wizards fare flooding theaters."
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
"As it is in each of these movies, the mysterious dark lord Voldemort has returned and continues to make life hard for Harry. This time he seems to have chosen to do it through the Wizard media. The new Wizard government has decided that Voldemort doesn’t exist, and that for the past couple of years Harry has just made the whole thing up. He’s slandered in the newspapers and used as a political tool, which only serves to make Harry’s newfound teen angst even angstier."
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"Having seen Harry Potter on screen before, his fourth outing at Hogwarts becomes less about exploring him as a character and more an exploration of how much can we throw at him. Apparently quite a lot. This time around Harry fights dragons, angry shrubs, and a school dance. For him, it's that last item that's the worst."
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
"We’re reintroduced to Hogwarts as a choir ominously belts out, “something wicked this way comes,” and are shown walls reeking of age and use. Azkaban’s world is a less polished one than that which Columbus presented to us, more what you’d expect from a movie all about Witches, Wizards, and dark magic."
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
"As the second film in the series, this one is now free from the necessities of character introduction to spend its time more wisely exploring the people and worlds the first movie went through so much trouble to firmly establish. Like they were before, characters are the Chamber of Secrets strength, but Columbus demonstrates exactly why we should all be happy the next installment will be directed by someone else. "
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
"Harry is almost a static character, who succeeds more through luck than actual talent. He and his chums make their way through school, facing many of the same challenges normal kids face, with a bit of a magical twist. However, there is more to Hogwarts than meets the eye, and Harry and Co. have mysteries to uncover and evil to battle. "
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
"Return of the King is a massive conclusion to an astounding epic of astounding imagery and audacious ambition. It’s a spectacle, an undertaking unlike anything else that has ever touched the silver screen. The funny thing is, what sticks with you isn’t the overwhelming scale of this film, but the little moments of subtlety, of caring, and hope generated by genius direction and obsessively loving detail."
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
"Towers is an avalanche of filmmaking perfection, an epic of grandeur and scale that’s been decades gone from the popcorn pushing sound stages of Hollywood. The story and legend continues on exactly as it should, wrapping us all up even more deeply in the people and places of Middle Earth. There are more liberties taken with the translation this time, but Jackson has proven he knows what he’s doing, even if he does have to depart from the books of Tolkien now and then."
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
"Despite being populated with wizards, elves, dwarfs, and trolls, Lord of the Rings has more in common with epic films like Ben Hur or The Ten Commandments than it does with the comparatively small-scale mild adventurism that is the likes of Harry Potter. Fellowship bites down hard and achieves a beautifully broad and dramatic scale, balancing the mind-boggling beauty of Tolkien's Middle Earth with the majesty and history of its characters."