the domestiC AcTresS

Stay at home with the cats... or act on stage. My lifelong dilemma.

Friday, December 30, 2005

How did they do the lion?!

Warning - there are plot spoilers re: 'The Chronoicles of Narnia' in this post so watch out! Before they start, I'll write **SPOILERS** so you'll know to avert your eyes if you haven't watched it!

Watched 'The Chronicles of Narnia' yesterday - I thought it was an absolutely lovely film. I don't usually like films that last over 2 hours as I get antsy, but with this one, I didn't even notice time had passed (like what happens in Narnia itself - hee!)

The kids' acting is superb and they are so cute. Georgie Henley, who plays Lucy, is fantastic, and a natural. But all the kids are good. Tilda Swinton who plays the witch is really scary and so perfectly cast. Mr and Mrs Beaver, voiced by Dawn French and Ray Winstone (whom I met a couple of years ago when he was filming here and he was really nice), are absolutely hilarious! James McAvoy as Mr Tumnus is really very good - you kind of want to adopt him and take him home. Although he has a tiny role, Jim Broadbent is excellent. But then, he always is.

And Aslan (voiced by the great Liam Neeson - who sound as good as Sean Connery, but without the accent)... well, i'll leave Aslan for the end.


The film starts off in the real world with WW II bombs falling on the Pevensie household. This scene was excellently done, I thought, as it realistically portrayed how scary it must have felt to be bombarded in your own home.

When Lucy first enters the land of Narnia through the wardrobe, she looks totally surprised, fascinated, shocked with awe. I told myself: "This kid is either the best actress ever or this is the first time she's seen the set" It was so natural, so genuine - the wide eyes, the look on her face. Turns out, I was right! Apparently she was so excited about seeing the set that the director blindfolded her and carried her on, then started to film. Amazing... and very clever of the director.

What else? Tthe battle sequences are very cool and a bit reminiscent of 'The Lord of the Rings'. The costumes are very good - except, I hope they use faux, and not real, fur for the kid's fur coats - and so are the make up and special effects.

Which brings us nicely to Aslan, the lion and true king of Narnia. WOW. That's really all. WOW. Not one lion was used in the filming of this movie. Aslan is completely CGI but I swear he is the most lifelike CGI character I've ever seen on screen. I mean, I'm sure fur must be so difficult to replicate but it is perfect, it sways in the wind. And his face is gorgeous. I was so impressed with Aslan as a whole... he even walked like a real lion. Fantastic!

Here's a link to the Narnia film website - it's great fun!

Some trivia (my favourite!):

  • The movie was shot in chronological order.
  • As a thank you gift for being in his movie, Andrew Adamson gave each of the children an iPod. When Georgie Henley got hers she thanked him whole-heartedly, but once he was out of earshot she turned to her mother and said, "What is it?"
  • The actress who plays the grown-up Lucy is called Racheal Henley... I wonder if she is Georgie's sister?
  • Skander Keynes, who plays Edmund is the great-great-great grandson of naturalist Charles Darwin. The name Skander is of Turkish origin meaning Alexander - oddly enough his character Edmund Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia is obsessed with the delicacy Turkish Delight.
  • Anna Popplewell, who plays Susan, lives around the corner from co-star Skandar Keynes.
  • No trivia on William Mosely, who played Peter!
  • The director's name is Andrew Adamson, who was also responsible for the two shreks and has the most apt surname to direct this film - Adamson... son of Adam! If you read the books or saw the film, you'll understand!

I'm not going to go into the merits or not of this being a 'Christian' film or whatever. Yes, CS Lewis did write the book based on Christian beliefs and Aslan is obviously the embodiment of Christ. But, after all, the values he preaches - of kindness, valour, loyalty and love, should make sense to everyone, whatever religion they believe in - or even if they do not believe in any religion at all.


As a purely cinematic experience, it definately gets a big thumbs up from me. If you haven't seen it and you plan to, be sure to stay till after the credits start as there is a short scene with Lucy and the Professor.

Oh, and by the way, like Tilda Swinton, I haven't read the books either... so my first new year's resolution is to read them all in 2006!


  • At 10:37 PM, Blogger MaltaGirl said…

    I had no idea that the lion was completely CGI - wow!

    I read all seven books as a kid, and loved them, but I never owned a set. I could never afford to buy all the books, and spent years gazing wistfully at boxed sets, and then Cory gave me all seven in one book a couple of Christmasses ago *grin*

    Right now the individual books are running at about Lm3.30 each, and Sapienzas had one copy like my big book for a mere Lm5.95.

    I know all this cos I was thinking of getting them for Michael for Christmas :-)

    At the time (two weeks ago), you couldn't get a boxed set for love nor money - at Sapienzas they explained that there's been a run on them because of the film, and they're waiting for reprints. do have some :-)


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