December 13, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia Review

We just returned from seeing Narnia today. I organized a private showing for our group at a local theater. It was fun we had around 60 people from our homechool group, quite a few fathers were able to take off work and join us as well. It was nice to just have our group in the theater. On to the movie.

This is the main reason I really loved this film. During the car ride home I discussed the film with the kids. Rhiannon said Mom I realized something about Jesus and Aslan. They both came back to life from the dead. They both died for someone elses mistakes. They both choose to die to save the other person. Then we had a great conversation about the basics of Christianity. Both my 4 and 6 year old really saw this message in a real way through this film. Of course both of them know the story of Christ's death quite well but still they found it there themselves, atleast Rhia did and Ciaran understood and could articulate the point back to us. We talked about the stone table cracking and the veil breaking. We talked about Christ and us and how it was a similar story. It was a very meaningful conversation.

If the movie encourages that kind of discussion then it is a great movie in my book. Still on its own merits I thought it was a great movie. Disney really managed to create Narnia. Just as I felt a part of Middle Earth in LOTR I felt a part of Narnia. The charachters were believable, Aslan was majestic and the movie captured the spirit of the book and stayed pretty close to the book overall. The boy who played Edmund was fantastic and demonstrated the conflict very well, Tumnus and Lucy were also favorites of mine.

Having read these books many times I was pretty set to be disappointed or left unhappy - I was not, I really was pleased. The movie is good even for those who have not read the books as a child adventure film. The pacing is good, the storyline easy to follow and the adventure is there but never goes over the top.

Personally I feel it is an intense film and would not feel comfortable recommending it to kids under say the 8-10 range unless their parents saw it first. Serona disagrees and thinks it is fine for younger children. I say make a case by case judgement on your own child. The scene where Aslan is taunted and killed is very intense. The creatures are mythical and dark in nature and personally I think nightmare material for sensitive children. Still we did take our very young children and they were fine. They loved the movie.

Our decision was based on how much a part Narnia is to our family. We have read the series aloud several times to the kids, they have seen The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe several times as a play, Serona has portrayed Aslan and they have watched the White Witch "kill" Aslan (their Dad)- therefore we felt they were prepared enough for this and they were but I would hesitate to recommend it for real young children. Some of the creatures are a small step from LOTR IMHO.

This is a keeper, a good film. One we will own and one we hope they will make sequels too. It treats children with respect but does not cross over to make them superior to the adults around them. It is an excellent child fantasy and adventure film. Our whole family enjoyed it.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review, Tenniel. I think I will wait for the DVD to come out before I show it to my 5 yr old. We did read the book together, but I've read several reviews that say the killing of Aslan scene really pushes the PG rating. A big-screen viewing might be too much for my son, but I think he could handle seeing it at home on small screen. (Of course I've yet to see it myself--I will decide for sure at that point.)

    Thanks again!