Everyone insists on calling this movie The Chronicles of Narnia, which, as a person who read all of the books somewhere around eight times since the time I was ten years old, grates on me a little. Then again, every time a new Harry Potter or Star Wars movie comes out, it’s generally referred to as just “Harry Potter” or “Star Wars”.
The biggest problem I had with this movie is that I didn’t get a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur from Aslan, the great lion, the Christ figure. You’re told that he is this great being, but until he’s resurrected and starts breathing life into the petrified victims of the White Witch, you don’t get to see that he’s such a great thing. In the books, he was radiant. At the mention of his name, the Pevensie children (the three good ones anyway) were filled with a happy emotion while Edmund was filled with dread. You get a small inkling of this (more Edmund’s emotion than the others) but it’s chalked up to confusion, since they don’t know who he is.
Maybe that’s nit-picking, but really, besides that and the lack of blood (I didn’t mind the lack of blood in the battle scene, but it should have been there when Peter makes his first kill), there wasn’t much of anything I didn’t like about this movie. Like everyone says, when Lucy (Georgie Henley) first makes her way into the land of Narnia, you are caught up in her sense of wonder and delight. The talking beasts aren’t ridiculous and the half-man/half-beast characters (namely the centaurs and fauns) actually look pretty cool. The entire film looks beautiful of course, having been shot in New Zealand.
The acting, I’d say, was all-around good, too. Mr. Tumnus wasn’t the silly character I’d pictured him as when reading the books, Georgie Henley did a nice job as a gateway character and I thought Peter (William Moseley) was portrayed well too. Then again, I think I always liked him more than the others because, like me, he’s the oldest of four (in the same order, too; boy, girl, boy, girl).
So, final thoughts: great scenery, good acting, they didn’t destroy the Christian themes that were central to the book, a nice battle scene and a very nice job bringing the beginning of one of my all-time favorite series of books to life. I walked away happy, but not as wowed as I’d liked to have been.