The Chronicles Of Narnia
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
What a title ...

The seven Narnia-books are classics in the Anglo-literature, but not over here. I'm not saying they don't deserve to be classics over here, they are (or were) just relatively unknown. In fact, I had never heard of Narnia when I saw the first trailer in July 2005.

The trailer was impressive, so I was looking forward to the movie. I asked the seven books in a box for Christmas and I had read the first two when I went to the movie yesterday.

The movie does a fine job in telling the story. Almost every detail, save for a few small ones, is included in the motion picture (including the Turkish delight).

The four childactors (often the Achillesheel of a big movie) are very good. Thankfully. Jim Broadbent (no more than 5 minutes screentime) is always amazing and Tilda Swanton is very, very scary (especially during the epic battle). She can make some fine ugly faces. Said battle is actually quite gory (judging by Disney-standards).

The music is, what did you expect, epic.

Aslan the lion is the proof CGI can work : he seems like a real lion to me. He is, just as in the books, a character with a strong presence. I hoped for James Earl Jones, Liam Neeson, Rik Boey or Morgan Freeman to deliver the voice ... and yes, Liam Neeson does a fantastic job.

This is not a spoiler : at the end of the movie, we briefly see the four maincharacters grown up. Jennifer Connelly could have been perfect for Susan and Ryan Gosling for Peter. Just a thought.

The movie is a visual and aural treat. It has everything a movie should have : a laugh, a tear and overall satisfaction. The stuff cinema was invented for. I've just seen the movie and already I want to see it again. That's a good sign.

As the first movie from 2006 that I have seen, The Chronicles Of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe sets an incredibly high standard. A must.

Julian De Backer, 4 January 2006