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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 British epic fantasy adventure movie directed by Andrew Adamson and based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published book in C. S. Lewis's children's series, The Chronicles of Narnia. It was co-produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures. William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes play Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund, the four British children that had to go to the countryside during the Blitz, and there they find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia. There they join the Lion Aslan against the forces of Jadis, the White Witch (Tilda Swinton).
The movie was released on December 9, 2005, in both Europe and North America and was highly successful at the box office. It won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Make Up and various other awards and is the first movie in the series of movies based on the books. It was the best selling DVD in North America in 2006 taking in $332.7 million that year.
During the 1940 bombing of Finchley, London, the Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, run away to the country home of Professor Digory Kirke, their relative.
While they are playing hide-and-seek, Lucy finds a wardrobe that leads to a world called Narnia, where it is always winter. She spends a few hours in the home of the faun, Mr. Tumnus, who tells her about Jadis, the White Witch, and how she cursed Narnia into being only winter for one hundred years. If they ever met a human, they had to bring them to her. However, Tumnus likes Lucy and does not want to kidnap her, so he instead takes her safely back home. When she returns, hardly any time has passed in the normal world, and when the other children check the Wardrobe, it does not lead to "Narnia".
A few days later, Edmund follows Lucy into the wardrobe, meeting the White Witch and her dwarf Ginarrbrik. She offers him Turkish Delight and asks Edmund to bring his brother and sisters to her castle, so that he can become her heir and the rest will serve him. Edmund agrees, and she leaves, just as Lucy meets Edmund. They return together, and Lucy tells Peter and Susan about how she went to Narnia again (this time with Edmund), but Edmund denies it. The Professor talks with Peter and Susan, and he tells them that Lucy's story might be telling the truth.
While running away from the housekeeper after accidentally breaking a window, the four siblings hide in the wardrobe and enter Narnia. They find out that Mr. Tumnus has already been taken by the Witch's secret police, and meet Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, who tell them about Aslan. They say that Aslan is on the move to take back Narnia from the Witch. The four must help Aslan, for there was a prophecy that if two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve sit in the four thrones, the White Witch would no longer be able to reign.
Edmund sneaks off to visit the Witch while they are at the Beaver's house. When he goes to her castle, she is angry that he came alone and without his siblings. The Witch sends wolves to find the children and the beavers, who barely escape. Edmund meets Tumnus while being chained in the Witch's dungeon. The Witch demands that Edmund reveal where his siblings are because the wolves could not find them, and Edmund hesitates before telling her. The Witch then turns Tumnus into stone and begins searching for the other children herself.
While Peter, Lucy, Susan and the beavers go to the Stone Table, they see what they think is the White Witch chasing after them, so they hide. It is actually Father Christmas, one of the signs that the Witch is getting weaker. Father Christmas gives Lucy a bottle of cordial that will cure any sickness and a dagger to defend herself with, Susan a bow and arrows and a magical horn, and Peter a sword and shield.
Pursued by wolves led by Maugrim, the group crosses a river. When they come to Aslan's camp, they meet Aslan, who is a huge and noble lion. Aslan promises to help Edmund in any way he can. Later, two wolves ambush Lucy and Susan while they are playing in the river. Then Peter comes and kills Maugrim with his sword, and some of the troops of Aslan follow the other wolf to the witch's camp and rescue Edmund.
The White Witch goes to Aslan's camp and tries to take back Edmund, but Aslan says he will sacrifice himself instead. That night, as Lucy and Susan secretly watch, Aslan is killed by the White Witch at the Stone Table. In the morning he is resurrected because "there is a magic deeper still the Witch does not know". Aslan takes Susan and Lucy to the Witch's castle, where he turns the stone prisoners back to real life.
Edmund persuades Peter to battle with the Witch. Peter's army begins losing, and to stop the witch from turning others to stone, Edmund destroys the Witch's wand and gets stabbed while he does so. Then, as the Witch fights Peter, Aslan comes and kills her with his roar. The Pevensies become Kings and Queens, staying in Narnia until they are adults.
Fifteen years later they find the wardrobe and return to England, becoming children again. The professor enters the room and asks what they were doing. Peter replies, "You wouldn't believe us if we told you, sir." The professor tosses him the ball that broke the window and replies, "Try me." Lucy later goes to the wardrobe because she wants to return to Narnia, but the Professor tells her he has been trying for years, and that the wardrobe will probably not work again.
- William Moseley as Peter Pevensie, the eldest of the four Pevensie children.
- Anna Popplewell as Susan Pevensie, the second eldest child of the four Pevensie children.
- Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie, the third of the four Pevensie children.
- Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie, the youngest of the four Pevensie children.
- Tilda Swinton as Jadis, the White Witch, the evil witch who holds Narnia under an eternal winter.
- Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan, the great lion who was responsible for creating Narnia and who sacrifices himself for Edmund's sake.
- James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, a faun who is under the White Witch's rule, but befriends Lucy Pevensie and joins Aslan's forces.
- Ray Winstone voices Mr. Beaver, a beaver who helps lead the children to Aslan.
- Dawn French voices Mrs. Beaver, a beaver who helps lead the children to Aslan.
- Kiran Shah as Ginarrbrik, the White Witch's servant dwarf.
- Jim Broadbent as Professor Digory Kirke, an old professor. He lets the children stay at his country estate during the war.
- Elizabeth Hawthorne as Mrs. Macready, Kirke's strict housekeeper.
- James Cosmo as Father Christmas. He gives Peter, Susan, and Lucy their Christmas gifts.
- Michael Madsen as the voice of Maugrim, a wolf who is captain of the White Witch's secret police.
- Patrick Kake as Oreius, a centaur who is second-in-command of Aslan's army.
- Shane Rangi as General Otmin, a minotaur who is second-in-command of the White Witch's army.
- Morris Cupton as Train Conductor, the conductor of the train Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy ride.
- Judy McIntosh as Helen Pevensie, the mother of the four Pevensie children.
- Rupert Everett as the voice of a fox who helps the children along their way to Aslan.
- Noah Huntley as the adult Peter Pevensie, who has grown up as a king in Narnia.
- Sophie Winkleman as the adult Susan Pevensie, who has grown up as a queen in Narnia.
- Mark Wells as the adult Edmund Pevensie, who has grown up as a king in Narnia.
- Rachael Henley as the adult Lucy Pevensie, who has grown up as a queen in Narnia.
- Producer Philip Steuer voices Phillip, Edmund's talking horse.
The radio-announcer that Peter listens to near the beginning of the movie is played by Douglas Gresham, co-producer of the movie and C. S. Lewis's stepson. Keynes' voice broke during filming, so some of his voice track had to be voiced again by his sister Soumaya. Mr. Pevensie is only glimpsed in a photo which Edmund tries to retrieve during the bombing, which is of Sim-Evan Jones' father.
With the exception of Tilda Swinton, who was the first choice to play Jadis, the White Witch, casting took a long time. Beginning in 2002, Adamson went through 2500 audition tapes and met 1800 children before coming down to the final four actors for the Pevensies. Moseley and Popplewell came from the very start of casting, whilst Henley and Keynes were rather late. Moseley quit school to learn all his lines and beat 3000 boys to the role of Peter.
- "Narnia DVD sales". the-numbers.com. 2008-12-20. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2005/LWWRB-DVD.php.
- Andrew Adamson, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley. The Chronicles of Narnia:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Cast Commentary [DVD].
- Richard Taylor, Howard Berger, Isis Mussendun, Roger Ford, Donald McAlpine, Sim-Evan Jones, Harry Gregson-Williams, Mark Johnson. Cinematic Storytellers [DVD]. Buena Vista.
- Chronicles of a Director [DVD]. Buena Vista.
- Visualizing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Complete Production Experience [DVD]. Buena Vista.
- Andrew Adamson, Mark Johnson, Roger Ford. Commentary [DVD]. Buena Vista.
- Roya Nikkhah (2008-07-03). "William Moseley on Prince Caspian". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/03/bfnarnia103.xml&page=1. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
- "Brian Cox Cast as the Voice of Aslan". NarniaWeb. 2004-12-09. http://www.narniaweb.com/news.asp?id=154&dl=1645490. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
- Wloszczyna, Susan (2005-05-02). "The wonderful world of 'Narnia' SIDEBAR: 'Narnia' nearly ready". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2005-05-02-narnia_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
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- Official website
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Box Office Mojo
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Metacritic
- Imageworks – making of Narnia visual effects