The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

Starring: Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Rupert Everett, Georgie Henley, William Moseley, Skandar Keynes, Anna Popplewell, Dawn French and Jim Broadbent, Brian Cox
Director: Andrew Adamson

U.S. Opening Date: Dec 9, 2005

With fantasy books such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter breaking all kinds of box office records it was only natural that more fantasy properties would get dusted off to get the big screen treatment. While not quite as well-known as Tolkien’s tomes, the several Chronicles of Narnia volumes by C.S. Lewis do have their share of dedicated followers.

Me? I’m not exactly a fan of the genre (you should see the hate e-mail I got for calling Lord of the Rings – Return of the King overrated), but to be honest if they must film a fantasy novel, why not some of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels? (Oh wait; we already have one Sci-Fi Fantasy comedy this year, namely Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy . . .)

Directed by Andrew Adamson of Shrek fame by the way . . .

Plot description of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005):

Based on the classic novel by CS Lewis. Four London children are sent to a professor’s country home for protection during World War II. There they find a magic wardrobe which leads to a mystical land called Narnia, which is being ruled by an evil witch. To defeat the Witch, they must join forces with Aslan, the lion God of Narnia, and the great battle between good and evil.

Some sources:, IMDb

Trivia about The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

  • Walden has optioned the entire seven-part "Chronicles of Narnia" fantasy book series for film development.

  • The movie had two fake working titles: "The Hundred Year Winter" and "Paravel". Signs in Auckland which directed extras and crew to the sets had "Paravel" written on them.

  • The Director, Andrew Adamson, who himself is from West Auckland, along with some of his production crew, were given a traditional Maori welcome onto a Maori meeting house near the West Auckland studios. This was done as a sign of respect to the local tribe of West Auckland whose lands will be used for filming locations.

  • When placing ads in "The New Zealand Herald" for extras, the call was put out for people under 5ft and over 6ft. Extras calls were made in the NZ main cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch over a period of two weeks.

  • The makers asked for permission to bring in 12 reindeer to New Zealand to pull the Ice Queen's sled. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry denied, citing the potentially deadly "Q fever", from which the North American reindeer population suffers, as the reason. However, eight wolves were allowed in for filming in Auckland.

  • Michelle Pfeiffer was offered the role of the White Witch, but turned it down due to family obligations. She was the only major Hollywood star to have been contacted about the movie.

  • Tilda Swinton hadn't read the book prior to filming.

  • "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is the first book in the series. It was the first of the seven to be written; in fact, Lewis never intended at the time to write a single sequel, let alone six. However, many younger readers mistakenly think that "The Magician's Nephew" (actually Book 6) is the first book in the series because if the books are read in Narnia's chronological order (i.e., Y happened before X, even though X was written first), "The Magician's Nephew" is read first because it is the story of Narnia's creation. New publications of the books are numbered in this order instead of the order Lewis wrote them in; however, some readers argue that this spoils the mystery and effect of the story's various revelations, especially as regards "The Magician's Nephew".

  • Singer/songwriter Amy Lee of the popular band "Evanescence", who is contributing to the soundtrack of this film, was offered a cameo appearance. In response, Lee eagerly requested that she play a character that gets killed.

Some sources:, IMDb





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