Took family to see “Chronicles of Narnia, LWW” yesterday. All enjoyed
it. The kids remembered the book, said it was just as they imagined.
Danny wants to see a match-up movie, “Aslan vs. King Kong.” (We had
some fun with that, spinning off similar titles: “Gandalf vs. Darth
Vader,” “Spiderman vs. White Witch,” etc.) Nellie rated it a couple
of ticks above the last Harry Potter movie, whichever that was, don’t
I managed to enjoy the thing moderately after firmly pushing aside the
mental baggage I brought with me, viz.:
(a) All those dire memories of tweedy pipe-smoking Lewis clones trying
to pound Anglicanism into my infant head.
(b) My general & instinctual aversion to religious intellectualizing,
politicizing, apologetics & allegory of any sort (as opposed to “mere
religion,” of which I strongly approve).
(c) My ditto to English child actors. I found myself wishing they’d
Americanized the whole thing. The boys’ faces, for example, were what
in my own childhood we called “public school faces.” Boys who
attended public schools (which in England means tony private boarding
schools) had a certain kind of face. You could spot them at a hundred
yards. Peter and Edmund both have public school faces–the kind I
grew up wanting to smash a fist into. And then there are the
phonetics. Why can’t English kids pronounce simple vowels and
diphthongs any more? Why do they have to turn “No” into “Noueiuw”?
Aren’t there any good American kids’ fantasy stories that could be
movie-ized? Did “Wizard of Oz exhaust the genre? Come on, my fellow
Americans, rise to the challenge here.
The reaction I was really interested in was my wife’s. She wasn’t
present when I read the books to the kids, had never read them
herself, and does not know about the Christian angle, or indeed know
anything much about Christianity. (She’s Buddhist.) Well, she liked
the movie a lot, thought it “a great story,” and teared up when Aslan
was slain. I take that as definitive. It’s a good movie, and should
do well on worldwide distribution.