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"THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE"
(2005) (William Moseley, Tilda Swinton) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor Extreme *Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Minor Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A quartet of WWII era British kids finds themselves the unlikely prophetic saviors of a fantastical world ruled by an evil witch who's subjected the inhabitants to a century of nothing but winter.
PLOT:
It's WWII era England and the Pevensie kids -- teenagers Peter (WILLIAM MOSELEY) and Susan (ANNA POPPLEWELL) and their younger siblings Edmund (SKANDAR KEYNES) and Lucy (GEORGIE HENLEY) -- not only have to deal with their father being off in the war, but also constant bombing raids by the Nazis. When the latest is too close for comfort, their mother puts them on a train where they head off into the countryside to stay at an enormous manner owned by Professor Kirke (JIM BROADBENT).

With his steely housekeeper informing the kids not to disturb him, they try to find ways to amuse themselves, and the older kids eventually agree to play hide and seek with Lucy. During the game, Lucy discovers an otherwise empty room containing only a covered wardrobe. Deciding it would make a good hiding place, she scurries inside, only to discover that it's much bigger than it seems and eventually leads to a wintry world that she soon will learn is called Narnia.

There, she meets the Faun Mr. Tumnus (JAMES MCAVOY), but doesn't realize his seemingly kind ways are really a ploy to kidnap her for Jadis, the evil White Witch (TILDA SWINTON) who's ordered that any such humans be rounded up and delivered to her. Tumnus is conflicted by what's the proper thing to do and thus helps her escape back to her world.

Her siblings don't believe her story, even after Edmund follows her into Narnia and encounters Jadis, before returning to the manor. Yet, after accidentally breaking something, all four try to elude the housekeeper and end up hiding in the wardrobe. It's then that Peter and Susan realize Lucy was telling the truth. They also discover that Tumnus has now been deemed a traitor and the kids then find a new guide in the form of Mr. Beaver (voice of RAY WINSTONE).

He takes them back to his home where he and Mrs. Beaver (voice of DAWN FRENCH) inform them that the White Witch has subjected Narnia to a century of winter, but without Christmas. They also state that prophecy foresaw the two sons of Adam and the two daughters of Eve arriving in Narnia to free the inhabitants from the White Witch's rule.

The Pevensie kids don't believe they're the ones, yet with the aid of the Beavers and a slinky Fox (voice of RUPERT EVERETT), they're soon on their way to meet the mighty lion Aslan (voice of LIAM NEESON) who's gathering an army of mythological creatures to battle the White Witch and her forces.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet that many will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For battle sequences and frightening moments.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GEORGIE HENLEY plays the youngest Pevensie child who's the first to stumble into Narnia, but must deal with her siblings initially not believing her. She also unwisely agrees to go with Tumnus back to his home, having only just met him.
  • SKANDAR KEYNES plays her brother who doesn't like Peter trying to act like the father in regards to him. He also ends up in Narnia and falls under the White Witch's spell, thus endangering his and his siblings' lives.
  • WILLIAM MOSELEY plays his older brother whose need to be the family's father figure is complicated by the daunting task of leading the army of good vs. that of the White Witch.
  • ANNA POPPLEWELL plays his teenage sister who also doesn't initially believe in Narnia, but soon finds herself caught in a perilous predicament.
  • TILDA SWINTON plays the evil White Witch who's subjected the inhabitants of Narnia to a century of winters and will do anything in her power to make sure the Pevensie kids don't fulfill the prophecy regarding them.
  • JIM BROADBENT plays the professor who owns the large manor in which the kids are staying during the war and whose wardrobe provides them with access to Narnia. He smokes his pipe a few times and wants to hear all about the kids' adventures and exploits.
  • JAMES MCAVOY plays the faun who's torn between wanting to be Lucy's friend and his fear of the White Witch which causes him to kidnap the younger girl.
  • ASLAN is the regal lion leader of the opposition to the White Witch who's returned to join the kids in battling her. He shows wisdom and strength in his actions and decisions.
  • MR. BEAVER is a talking beaver who befriends and assists the kids.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated action/adventure film. Violence consists of a large-scale battle where humans and other creatures use all sorts of weapons to fight, wound and kills their enemies. Other smaller-scale violence is also present (characters killing or seeming to kill others, wolves biting and holding other animals in their jaws, etc.), but almost all of that's blood and gore free (except for a handful of scenes featuring scrapes and a little blood).

    Even so, such scenes, other moments of peril (of which there are several, including a WWII era bombing run) and the sight of various monstrous creatures and an evil witch might be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to some younger viewers, while older kids probably won't have that much of a reaction (if any) to that sort of material.

    Some of that fighting and other stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate, all of the villains have bad attitudes, while some of those are also between brothers, leading to some tense family moments (of which there is other related material as well). Some male mythological characters are seen shirtless, while a tiny bit of cleavage is present, a character briefly smokes a pipe in several scenes, and a few colorful phrases are uttered.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a few scrapes on Edmund as he's gagged and bound to a tree.
  • We see some dried blood on Edmund's lip.
  • We see a slight scrape on Tumnus' face.
  • Peter has a little bit of blood on his brow, while Edmund has some blood on his shirt from where he was stabbed.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The White Witch and those who work for her all have bad attitudes (with the witch also wanting to kill the kids to prevent them from fulfilling the prophecy involving them).
  • For those opposed to magic, some characters, such as the White Witch, use it.
  • Ed lies to his siblings about having traveled with Lucy to Narnia.
  • Rather than fess up to having accidentally broken a window and another item in the manor, the kids all run when the Professor's housekeeper is heard coming their way.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed here and under "Violence" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but less likely so for older kids.
  • Similarly, the appearance of various creatures (such as the Cyclopes and other monsters) and the evil Witch might be unsettling or scary for younger viewers.
  • We see WWII era Nazi bombers flying over England, with some planes being hit by anti-aircraft fire, while others drop their bombs.
  • The Pevensie family panics to get to their bomb shelter as bombs go off nearby. Edmund then races back to the house to get a framed photo of his dad and then scurries back to the shelter. Peter is mad at him for that, asking "Why don't you just do as you're told?"
  • While playing hide 'n seek, Lucy enters a room that's otherwise empty save for a large, draped wardrobe. She slowly approaches it, removes the covering, opens the door and hides inside it. She then discovers that the coat closet is quite deep and leads to the snowy woods of Narnia. She's amazed by the spectacle, but gets a little nervous when she hears footsteps racing about in the woods. She screams when she catches sight of Tumnus, but while he then appears frightened of her (at first), she isn't of him after that initial jolt.
  • Lucy doesn't see him do it, but Tumnus locks the door to his cottage and hides the key. She does, however, see figures appear in the flames of his fireplace, including that of a witch, other characters and then a lion and his roar. She's mesmerized by this and then falls asleep under its spell.
  • Tumnus admits to Lucy that he's kidnapping her (making her a little uneasy), but he cries while doing so, saying that he's working for the White Witch. Moments later, however, we see him helping her escape back to the wardrobe so that she'll be safe.
  • Back in Narnia, Ginarrbrik chases after Edmund and flicks his whip that grabs the boy by his feet and trips him. He then holds his knife to Edmund's throat and then raises the blade to kill him, but the White Witch makes him stop.
  • Although she initially tells Edmund that she's the queen, the White Witch appears creepy to us while around the boy.
  • The kids discover that Tumnus' place has been ransacked.
  • The kids hear sounds from the woods around them, but it just turns out to be Mr. Beaver (who they then learn can talk).
  • The other kids realize that Edmund has left and Mr. Beaver informs them that their brother is the bait used by the White Witch to lure in and kill them.
  • Edmund slowly enters the White Witch's castle where he sees many frozen figures (animals or mythological animal/human figures) in various poses, some of them pained in appearance. As he steps over a wolf that looks that way, it suddenly springs to life, pins him to the ground and appears menacing.
  • The White Witch is mad and menacing toward Edmund.
  • Lots of wolves race off to attack the Beavers home and try to kill the three siblings who are there. We then see the wolves furiously digging at the house to get inside, but when they do, everyone is gone (down through a tunnel they've used to escape).
  • As a Fox tries to keep the wolves at bay, we see that three of the kids and the Beavers are hiding in a tree above them. Lucy nearly gives away their position when one of the wolves bites down onto the Fox and then tosses him aside (he's injured, but alive).
  • We see that Edmund is imprisoned in an ice jail alongside Tumnus.
  • The White Witch lifts Edmund off the floor by his shirt and prepares to strike him with her deadly staff, but stops.
  • Ginarrbrik hits Tumnus on the head with something, knocking him out. We then see that he's been turned into a frozen statue outside, with his face frozen in a grimace of pain.
  • The three kids and Beavers race away from a carriage they believe to be carrying the White Witch. They hide in a partial ravine and hear the carriage stop. After a few moments, Mr. Beaver goes off to investigate and then suddenly pops his head down toward them, startling them (but the White Witch is nowhere to be seen).
  • The kids and Beavers realize that a great frozen river is starting to thaw and the ice is starting to crack. As they see the wolves race above them over the frozen waterfall, they decide they have to try to traverse the river, but once they get out on the ice, more cracks appear and they're then surrounded by the wolves on both sides. One wolf bites down onto Mr. Beaver and holds him there (but he's later okay). It only gets worse as the waterfall starts to melt, with the vertical ice there starting to give way as well. A big chunk then crashes down into the river below, sending a huge wave that engulfs the kids, beaver and wolves. The latter are washed away, and the Beavers are fine in the water, while the kids hold onto Peter and his sword that's jammed into the one piece of ice on which they're standing. They ride out the wave that way, but when they get to shore, Lucy is missing (all they have is her coat). She soon reappears, however, and is okay, if wet and cold.
  • A wolf has the Fox in its jaws and then throws it to the ground where the White Witch jabs it with her staff, instantly turning it into ice. She then does the same to a passing butterfly that falls to the ground, right after she slaps Edmund on the face.
  • We see Edmund as he's gagged and bound to a tree.
  • A wolf is suddenly behind a hanging sheet (or similar object), startling the girls.
  • We see the sisters up in a tree, with wolves below them (and one jumping and snapping at their feet). Peter then comes to their rescue and draws his sword, but has never encountered anything like this before. The main wolf is menacing toward him and another prepares to jump on him, but Aslan jumps on it, pinning it to the ground and then allows Peter to fight his fight. The first wolf then charges and jumps at Peter who raises his sword to defend himself. In doing so, he ends up stabbing the wolf, killing it.
  • The White Witch says that since Edmund was a traitor, by the rules he belongs to her, and that if those rules are broken, all will die by fire and water. Aslan then meets privately with the White Witch and makes concessions.
  • Spoiler Alert: A bull creature knocks Aslan to the ground and other creatures grab and tie up the lion. They then cut his mane, drag him across the stone platform, up some stairs and leave him on the altar for the White Witch. She then raises her staff and jabs it down, killing him (we don't see the impact, but do see the results on his face -- pain and then his death -- while we also see that the sisters have witnessed the entire incident from afar and are quite upset about it). After everyone else has left, the sisters go up to his body, but it's too late to do anything. As they then prepare to leave, a loud sound startles them, and when they turn, the stone altar has broken apart and Aslan's body is nowhere to be found. Spoiler Alert: He then approaches them, fully alive, having been resurrected by greater powers and is completely okay after that.
  • We see that the White Witch's much larger army is approaching Peter's that's easily outnumbered. The White Witch then gives the command to "Kill them all." A massive battle then ensues between the armies, beginning with large birds dropping huge stones/boulders down onto the enemy, hitting (and wounding or killing) some of them. They fire arrows back at them, followed by hand to hand combat by the ground forces, where spears, swords, battle axes, clubs and more are used to bash the enemy (no blood, but some rather brutal hitting).
  • The White Witch stabs Edmund, but he doesn't turn to ice/stone like the others. After the battle is over, his siblings come to his side and he's gasping for air, but Lucy uses her magic potion to heal his wound and save his life.
  • Peter and the White Witch get into a swordfight, with both having close calls with the other's blade.
  • Spoiler Alert: Aslan jumps on the White Witch, delivering an apparently fatal bite (we don't see the actual impact).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Spears/Battle axes/Clubs/Knives/Magical staff: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see WWII era Nazi bombers flying over England, with some planes being hit by anti-aircraft fire, while others drop their bombs.
  • Soldiers carry rifles.
  • We see swords mounted on the wall in a large manor.
  • After nearly killing him with it earlier, and now while walking behind him, Ginarrbrik holds his knife to Edmund's back.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "Like talking to a lunatic," "Wake up, Dolly daydream," "You dumb head," "You little liar," "I ain't gonna smell it if that's what you want" and "You're blooming joking."
  • The fighting and other stunts may be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A wolf suddenly springs to life.
  • A wolf is suddenly behind a hanging sheet (or similar object), startling the girls.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Tumnus is shirtless, but that's his natural appearance (furry from the waist down).
  • The White Witch shows some cleavage in an overhead shot looking down on her.
  • A male centaur is shirtless (as normal).
  • A teenager shows a little cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • Professor Kirke smokes a pipe twice (we see him stuffing tobacco into it in one scene).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that the kids' father is off in the war, thus leaving them without a dad.
  • We see that the kids' mother is sending them off to live with someone else until the war is over, like other families are doing, leading to tearful separations at the train station.
  • Edmund tells Peter, "You think you're dad but you're not." Other tension between the brothers is present.
  • The White Witch stabs Edmund, but he doesn't turn to ice/stone like the others. After the battle is over, his siblings come to his side and he's gasping for air, but Lucy uses her magic potion to heal his wound and save his life.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The ability of children to imagine themselves away from bad circumstances (as a defensive mechanism).
  • The Christian and Christ-related symbolism and metaphors found in the film.
  • Meeting strangers (and then going off with them as Lucy does).
  • We hear that the kids' father is off in the war, thus leaving them without a dad.
  • We see that the kids' mother is sending them off to live with someone else until the war is over, like other families are doing, leading to tearful separations at the train station.
  • Aslan talks of a greater power that rules all of them.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see WWII era Nazi bombers flying over England, with some planes being hit by anti-aircraft fire, while others drop their bombs.
  • Back in Narnia, Ginarrbrik chases after Edmund and flicks his whip that grabs the boy by his feet and trips him. He then holds his knife to Edmund's throat and then raises the blade to kill him, but the White Witch makes him stop.
  • Peter pushes Ed to the bed in passing.
  • Edmund is accidentally hit by the ball while playing cricket. A subsequent hit sends the ball through one of the manor's windows where it breaks something inside.
  • The kids have a playful snowball fight where they pelt the others with snowballs.
  • A wolf bites down onto the Fox and then tosses him aside (he's injured, but alive).
  • The White Witch lifts Edmund off the floor by his shirt and prepares to strike him with her deadly staff, but stops.
  • Ginarrbrik hits Tumnus on the head with something, knocking him out. We then see that he's been turned into a frozen statue outside, with his face frozen in a grimace of pain.
  • A wolf bites down onto Mr. Beaver and holds him there (but he's later okay). Moments later, a big chunk of ice crashes down into the river, sending a huge wave that engulfs the kids, beaver and wolves. The latter are washed away, and the Beavers are fine in the water, while the kids hold onto Peter and his sword that's jammed into the one piece of ice on which they're standing.
  • A wolf has the Fox in its jaws and then throws it to the ground where the White Witch jabs it with her staff, instantly turning it into ice. She then does the same to a passing butterfly that falls to the ground, right after she slaps Edmund on the face.
  • We see the sisters up in a tree, with wolves below them (and one jumping and snapping at their feet). Peter then comes to their rescue and draws his sword, but has never encountered anything like this before. The main wolf is menacing toward him and another prepares to jump on him, but Aslan jumps on it, pinning it to the ground and then allows Peter to fight his fight. The first wolf then charges and jumps at Peter who raises his sword to defend himself. In doing so, he ends up stabbing the wolf, killing it.
  • One good character slams into a bad one (seen from a distance) in the woods to rescue Edmund, leaving Ginarrbrik in his place (bound to a tree).
  • Spoiler Alert: A bull creature knocks Aslan to the ground and other creatures grab and tie up the lion. They then cut his mane, drag him across the stone platform, up some stairs and leave him on the altar for the White Witch. She then raises her staff and jabs it down, killing him (we don't see the impact, but do see the results on his face -- pain and then his death -- while we also see that the sisters have witnessed the entire incident from afar and are quite upset about it). Later, however, he's been resurrected and is okay.
  • We see that the White Witch's much larger army is approaching Peter's that's easily outnumbered. The White Witch then gives the command to "Kill them all." A massive battle then ensues between the armies, beginning with large birds dropping huge stones/boulders down onto the enemy, hitting (and wounding or killing) some of them. They fire arrows back at them, followed by hand to hand combat by the ground forces, where spears, swords, battle axes, clubs and more are used to bash the enemy (no blood, but some rather brutal hitting).
  • Arrows are fired from both sides at the other, while Peter hits the ground hard after his horse is hit. A great deal more battle impact ensues, while a good rhino races through the bad army, smashing into and running over many before being wounded or killed.
  • A centaur kills one of White Witch's generals and tries to kill her, but misses, followed by her stabbing him, leaving him in a frozen and presumably dead state. (Spoiler Alert: Most every frozen good character is thawed out at the end).
  • The White Witch zaps two large bird creatures (turning them to stone/ice, with one shattering upon impact with the ground) and one large wild cat.
  • The White Witch stabs Edmund, but he doesn't turn to ice/stone like the others. After the battle is over, his siblings come to his side and he's gasping for air, but Lucy uses her magic potion to heal his wound and save his life.
  • Peter and the White Witch get into a swordfight, with both having close calls with the other's blade.
  • Spoiler Alert: Aslan jumps on the White Witch, delivering an apparently fatal bite (we don't see the actual impact).
  • Susan shoots an arrow that hits and presumably kills an elf-like creature.



  • Reviewed November 29, 2005 / Posted December 9, 2005

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