003777Reviews & Counting
Chronicles of Narnia (SE)
DVD disk
01.02.2007 By: Sturdy
Chronicles of Narnia (SE) order
Andrew Adamson

Georgie Henley
Skandar Keynes
William Mosely


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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.
This extended edition of the film isnít that drastically different from the original version, but it does add enough to make it noticeable. Iím not that familiar with the books, so I donít 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 ďfamilyĒ, but Iíll caution those of you with younginís 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 wouldnít 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 doesnít take anything away from the film, but itís 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 Iíve 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.
Commentary with Andrew Adamson, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley: Itís kind of fun to listen to the kids talk, but itís 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 isnít in the room with the others, but heís talking via a speaker phone. Itís ok, but itís 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): Thereís a few highlights mixed in and itís always funny to see big trolls talk about building Jacuzzis. However, most of these are typical bloopers.

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

The Childrenís 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. Itís broken up into several chapters and some of them can be viewed at once. Itís exhaustive, but itís worth the time if youíre 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. Itís ok, if thatís 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 itís actually a movie on its own. I have to admit that I wasnít a fan. Itís the story of Lewisís life intertwined with the story of Narnia. Itís a nice history lesson, but itís 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 Iíve ever seen on a movie. There isnít one thing that happened on the set of Narnia that isnít covered here. If you have the time, this is a great look at the making of the picture and itís 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. Itís a good look, but itís pretty basic when compared to the other special features.

Thereís 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.
I canít 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 donít have a copy already, then this is an easy recommend.
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