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Chronicles of Narnia (SE)
DVD disk
Jan 2, 2007 By: Sturdy
Chronicles of Narnia (SE) order
Director:
Andrew Adamson

Actors:
Georgie Henley
Skandar Keynes
William Mosely

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Four siblings find themselves living with a strange professor after their parents send them away during World War II. While playing a game of hide-and-seek, the youngest girl stumbles upon an old wardrobe that happens to lead to a magical place called Narnia. There, the siblings learn a lot about life, honor and family.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This extended edition of the film isnt that drastically different from the original version, but it does add enough to make it noticeable. Im not that familiar with the books, so I dont know if it adds or subtracts elements from the book. In the end though, Narnia is still a good flick and excellent family entertainment.

I know I just said family, but Ill caution those of you with youngins out there. There were some intense scenes that might be too much for the little ones. With those few exceptions, the rest of the film holds up well as family entertainment. At the time of release, there were mumblings that the Christian overtones were laid on pretty thick. I noticed them, but only because I was looking for them. If the Christian overtones are a leading motivator, or de-motivator for that matter, to see the film, I wouldnt put much stock in it.

The performances from the children were decent. I like their performances to the kids of the first HARRY POTTER film in that they seemed uncomfortable at times. It doesnt take anything away from the film, but its noticeable. The brightest spot in the film is the lavish settings the filmmakers have created to tell the story. The scenery is beautiful with great special effects to go along with them.

Narnia was definitely a good, well-made film, but when it was over, it felt like a hodgepodge of films Ive recently before. The story is reminiscent of the LORD OF THE RINGS with shades of STAR WARS thrown in. Despite the familiarity of the film and the story, the movie holds up as being an excellent family film.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Andrew Adamson, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley: Its kind of fun to listen to the kids talk, but its also nice to be able to mute it if you need to. Kids have a magical way of getting on my nerves. I wanted Andrew to take more of a moderator role, but he kind of backed off and let them ramble.

Commentary with Andrew Adamson, Roger Ford, Mark Johnson: Roger isnt in the room with the others, but hes talking via a speaker phone. Its ok, but its a little distracting. This commentary is more boring than the other one and it goes into very minute detail into all aspects including the differences with the book and why he made the changes.

Bloopers of Narnia (4:36): Theres a few highlights mixed in and its always funny to see big trolls talk about building Jacuzzis. However, most of these are typical bloopers.

A Directors Journey (37:59): This is the story of Andrew Adamson and how he got the directing job and the process he went through. Its pretty good, with a lot of behind the scenes looks and good insights.

The Childrens Magical Journey (26:23): This is a fantastic featurette about the kids and how they got the parts and their journey on the film. Of course, Georgie Henley steals the show and is cute as a button during the entire featurette.

Evolution of an epic (112:19): This is an all-inclusive look at virtually every aspect of the costumes, characters, costumes and the people responsible for all of them. Its broken up into several chapters and some of them can be viewed at once. Its exhaustive, but its worth the time if youre a fan of the movie.

Creatures of the World (14:16): This is a little feature where a female recites pages from the book that describe the creatures of the film. Its ok, if thats your thing.

Explore Narnia: This is an interactive map of Narnia where you can click on a place and it will give you a brief description of that place. This is nice if you got confused about where things were or if you just want a nice recap.

Legends in Time: This is another interactive map of sorts that takes you through the timeline in Narnia as compared to England. I felt that the very end of the film was a little confusing and this cleared everything up.

CS Lewis: Dreamer of Narnia (75:39): I list this as a special feature, but its actually a movie on its own. I have to admit that I wasnt a fan. Its the story of Lewiss life intertwined with the story of Narnia. Its a nice history lesson, but its only mildly interesting.

Visualizing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (140:12): This is one of the most extensive looks into the production process Ive ever seen on a movie. There isnt one thing that happened on the set of Narnia that isnt covered here. If you have the time, this is a great look at the making of the picture and its full of interesting tidbits and facts to keep your attention.

Behind the Battle (7:47): This is a short look at the final battle scene in the film. Its a good look, but its pretty basic when compared to the other special features.

Theres also a ton of Concept art and some Previews

You can also view the film with a very cool Pop-up fact track that gives you great bits about the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I cant really justify making this a must upgrade DVD over the other special edition, but it does add a healthy dose of special features to make the purchase worthwhile. If you dont have a copy already, then this is an easy recommend.
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