The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is one of the most famous and most loved fantasy novels for children all over the world. The book reveals the magnificent and fabulous world of magic creatures struggling for their future.
There have been various screen adaptations of the famous novel. However, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) is one of the most majestic versions. It is possible to state that it portrays the world described by C.S. Lewis.
The filmmakers managed to reveal the specific atmosphere of the brilliant world. Admittedly, there are some discrepancies as there can hardly be a film version that totally coincides with its literary ‘ancestor’. Nonetheless, it is necessary to admit that the film is a high-quality version that focuses on the same ideas and highlights the major points. However, it is also necessary to note that the film has certain downsides.
The novel leaves a lot of space for children’s imagination. Thus, the author does not highlight some events giving children the opportunity to co-create the story. As far as the film version is concerned, the filmmakers left little space for children to imagine or co-create. At least some people think so. Therefore, some may claim that the film leaves no place for imagination.
Though, it is also important to pay attention to another point. The film reveals the story in detail, but it excites children’s imagination and encourages them to create their own stories. So, should children read the book or rather watch the film? It is important to find out whether the film ‘kills’ children’s creativity or, vice versa, inspires them to use their imagination.
Admittedly, children love books with pictures. They want to see images which help them to recreate the story in their heads. Some authors provide detailed descriptions of the characters. However, Lewis gives no particular description of the major characters only noting that Lucy “was the youngest” and Edmund “was the next youngest” (3-4). The reader needs to picture the main characters somehow.
Apparently, the author’s description is not enough. When it comes to the film, the viewers see the characters and the magic world. Of course, some may claim that children are forced to see the world in the way the filmmakers see it. Nonetheless, after watching the films, the viewers can still find lots of ways to discover new places in Narnia, places which are not revealed in the film. Besides, the film cannot possibly cover all the events highlighted in the book. Therefore, children can use some images (modified by their own imagination) to picture events they read about.
Thus, the film is a kind of visual aids which can be used while (or rather before) reading the book by Lewis.
Some of the most unforgettable events in the book as well as the film are battles. Lewis depicted a lot of battles in detail. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why the book has become so successful. However, the author also left many things aside. For instance, the writer portrays the final battle when Aslan joins Peter’s army (Lewis 178). The writer only hints that Peter’s army was in a very difficult and dangerous position.
The rest is left to the reader’s imagination. The reader is free to picture the beginning of the battle which was tragic, glorious, breathtaking, etc. However, the film reveals all the details of the battle. The entire battle was recreated by the filmmakers (The Chronicles of Narnia). It is a really majestic scene which is inspired by the novel itself.
However, some may claim that the detailed depiction of the battle deprives the readers of possibility to recreate it using their imagination. Nonetheless, these claims are rather wrongful. The film provides the viewer with a specific sketch to be used while reading the book, or any other fantasy book. Children can modify the battle scene provided by the filmmakers to create their own battlefields.
It may also seem that the filmmakers changed the plot slightly when it comes to their life in the Professor’s house.
The author did not mention that professor knew about the magic world, whereas in the film it is obvious that the professor was there at least once. Some may say that the filmmakers leave no room for any kind of intrigue. Nonetheless, it is clear that the filmmakers encourage the viewers to imagine the world the professor had discovered many years before the four children found it.
The viewer is left to imagine the professor’s adventures in the beautiful magic world.
To sum up, it is possible to state that the film and the book create a majestic world that inspires children to travel across their own imaginary kingdoms. Though, the book provides more details and seemingly deprives children from the opportunity to use their imagination, it is obvious that the book encourages children’s desire to discover new worlds and picture numerous uncovered adventures.
The 2005 film is one of the best adaptations of the book as it is a bright illustration of the novel that has made children travel their own magic worlds.
Lewis, Clive Staples. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2000. Print. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Ex. Prod.
Andrew Adamson and David Minkowski. Burbank, CA: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Disney. 2005. DVD.