Toon Talk: The Chronicles of Narnia
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A Review by Kirby C. Holt
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
The Never Ending Story
Hoping to milk their own cash cow along the lines of the Harry Potter films and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Disney has turned to another beloved book series, Irish author/theologian C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narniaâ€?, for the latest big screen excursion into a fantastic realm filled with enough awe-inspiring magic and spectacle to thrill the whole family.
Like Wonderland, Neverland and Middle Earth, Narnia is a legendary land located on the outskirts of imagination. Lewis created this fantasyland back in 1950 with the publication of the first volume, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobeâ€?, followed by six more entries in as many years. The seven books have endured through the years as each new generation has discovered them, as both enchanting fantasies as well as so-called Christian allegories.
Unlike the works of Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, et al, Lewis' Narnia books have had little noteworthy film adaptations, save for an Emmy Award-winning animated television version of "Lionâ€? in 1979 and three BBC-TV productions of four of the novels from 1988 to 1990. So, outside of its literary legion of fans, the general public has had little exposure to the inhabitants of Narnia.
Until now. With the release of the first in a proposed films series, the cumbersomely titled The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Disney (along with Walden Media, their production partner last year on another fantasy adaptation, Around the World in 80 Days) is counting on the prospects that such characters as Aslan, Tumnus and Jadis will become just as renowned as Frodo, Gollum and Gandalf.