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Thread subject: The Chronicles of Narnia
Name Date Message
Anne 12/12/05 04:22 pm Another good film I can thoroughly recommend, especially if you can take grandchildren who are not easily frightened.

Some of the critics over here have said the film 'has too many Christian undertones' and therefore could influence children. My Grandson just thought it was a wonderful story and he was absolutely captivated by the magic of it all. And so what if Aslan the lion is Christ-like - that is how C.S.Lewis meant the story to be interpreted.
cathleen 12/12/05 04:37 pm There are archetypes in the Chronicles shared by many mythologies and cultures, not just the Christian tradition. While it is true that Lewis converted to Christianity, he condemned the practice of religiosity in contrast to the integrity of practice focused on preserving humanity. Though I did not grow up Christian, and am not today, I loved reading these books and reflecting on the message of :

"Do good for good's sake, for we are all connected. The smallest act of kindness or of malevolence, seen or unseen, can end up having a big effect. Decide for yourself what is right and wrong, but do not judge others - they will reap their own as you will reap yours."

I am sure others received different messages, as there are many overlapping themes, all connected.

I look forward to seeing the movie. Thanks for your recommendation, Anne.
Anne 12/12/05 05:34 pm How I agree, especially with the quotation. Only as an adult did I come to understand Lewis. As a child, all I could think of was the wardrobe full of fur coats!
Tim P 12/13/05 02:35 am Not only is The Lion christ like. The children represent two daughters of Eve & two sons of Adam.
I Loved the story as a child and expect to enjoy this movie. I have been following the making of this film and I'm eager to see the final product.
C S Lewis & Tolken were friends, imagine the conversations that took place between them???
I'm saving Narnia for the weekend but on Wednesday,, I expect to have a good cry at seeing Peter Jacksons version of KONG...
cathy 12/13/05 08:49 am Another good CS Lewis series of three books is his Space Trilogy. I read all the Chronicles of Narnia to my daughter and then read the space trilogy myself. "Out of the Silent Planet", "Perelandra" and "That Hideous Strength". Reading the space trilogy really changed many of my ideas. It had a major effect on me. I have not been able to interest many others in reading them, though.
Anne 12/13/05 09:33 am Well I shall put them on my reading list. Any books that have a major effect on people are usually very good.

Yes Tim, I have thought that too.They came from very different backgrounds - Tolken going to a strict Jesuit boarding school and Lewis being brought up by a strict Northern Irish Protestant father after his mother died young. Lewis was repressed and only found real love in his later years. Did you ever see that film about his marriage to an American who tragicly died, I think it was called 'Remains of the day' or 'Shadowlands'.?

Anyway, I wonder if their childhoods had any bearing on the wonderful books they wrote later on in life.
Melanie 12/13/05 10:07 am I never read Narnia until recently - because I recently costumed a musical production of TLW&W which was such a horrible experience, now I can't even watch the commericals. I will most likely wait until that particular revulsion passes and rent the DVD. I discovered The Rings & The Hobbit when I was 15 and have been an avid fan ever since.

Tolkein, Lewis and some other Oxford types were part of a writing/poetry group called The Inklings where they would share and critique each others' projects. It was Lewis who kept after Tolkien to publish his works, but when Lewis read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to the group, Tolkien didn't like it at all it because Lewis mixed so many different mythologies.

Tolkien and Lewis had very different childhoods - Tolkien wasborn in S. AFrica, lost his father at an early age, moved back to England and was raised by his widowed mother and was a Catholic. Lewis was raised in Belfast, lost his mother as a youngster, was sent to a boarding school in England with an abusive headmaster where he maintained steadfastly that he was an atheis. During his adult life, he "boarded" with an abusive older woman. She died and he had his big conversion to Christianity. His had a brief marriage to Joy Gresham, an American, which began as a fan (rent "Shadowlands" if you can find it). The only thing these two men really had in common was that they both served in WWI and wound up teaching at Oxford
Anne 12/13/05 10:32 am Thats really interesting. Yes of course, the film was 'Shadowlands'.

I cant imagine TLTWATW as a stage production, that must be difficult.
FOB Webmaster 12/13/05 10:39 am I loved Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe as a child. One of my very favorite books.

Regarding the movie, Disney wanted this movie to appeal to Christians. Five percent of the marketing budget was used to promote the movie to faith-based groups, and they used the same company that promoted "The Passion of the Christ." There were eight showings for church groups around the country including one for about 700 pastors at the Colorado Springs headquarters of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. They hoped the leaders would then recommend the movie to their members in churches around the country.

I haven't decided on seeing the movie yet. I don't want it to taint my enjoyment of the book.
Melanie 12/13/05 11:42 am It was a musical, no less. Not very good music, either, but the script was very faithful to the book. What started out as a cast of 24 exploded into a cast of 56 and of those, all but the humans (8) were in fake fur of some sort or another and animals were getting added as late as a week before opening night. Even though the director started out with a definite decision to keep this a "secular" show, 95% of the kids that showed up at auditions were from Christian schools and those schools and attending churches made up all fo the group sales. The show sold out every performance for all 9 performances.

And if you think LWW would be a difficult stage production, there is a stage version of The Lord of the Rings opening in Toronto in the spring of '06.

The fellow at Disney who is in charge of producing and marketing Narnia is an evangelical Christian so yes, there is a very deliberate attempt to a Christian audience, which kind of baffles me - I mean, historically Disney has always been pretty much family oriented (with the possible exception of Pretty Woman)
cathleen 12/13/05 05:03 pm Well, Disney is definitely conservative, and conservatives appeal to what they call "family values" as well as "faith-based" constituencies...

The LWW as a musical sounds impossible - but it does sound like a resounding success from the box office side!
Anne 12/13/05 05:54 pm Hasn't March of the Penguins been promoted as a Christian values film too? Personally I wish we could be left to make our own minds up.

The thing I am really fed up with is all the PC garbage that is going on nowadays. The critics slate Narnia because it is Christian, many towns in the UK have banned any mention of Christmas in town centres for fear of offending other faiths and I believe George Bush's Christmas card doesnt mention Christmas. The world has gone mad.
cathy 12/13/05 06:46 pm What I liked about the Space Trilogy was that it was science fiction, which I usually don't like. But in the context of thinking about the possible forces in the universe, it encouraged me to realize that my reasoning was not useful. As in the Chronicles of Narnia, it took me to worlds that could have been as real as what my senses can perceive, and are just as likely. It was sort of like looking into an osprey nest. The action in the nest that we see with the camera has been going on for millenia, but we were unaware of it. There may be forces that have been and still are acting on us and our world. C.S. Lewis gives us a literary picture of the possibilities. And it is beautifully painted.
Anne 12/14/05 09:33 am Food for thought Cathy. I wonder if humans were ever like birds - accepting the rules of nature, eating to live and not vice versa, obeying the urge to reproduce the species. Even just enjoying the simple things - have you ever seen a blackbird spread it's wings and sunbathe or a bird fly on the wind and tumble and turn as though playing. Our brains have allowed us to develop so much, but how much have we lost along the way.
cathleen 12/14/05 12:41 pm Wow, Anne. That comment just reminded me of a book I tried to read long ago and had trouble fully understanding:
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. He talks about humans losing a sense of "wholeness" by the integration of both halves of our brains that happened parallel to the development of civilization.
I have often wondered if we could be so true to ourselves as we see animals being - not that we would be any less violent, but that we would cease to assign value to enjoyment/suffering or having/not having, etc.
Anne 12/14/05 03:32 pm Civilization - social, moral and cultural advancement. But all civilizations die out in time - the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Mayans etc etc. And why? Do they reach their limits?

Certain birds, animals and insects have social order, why do they not die out (apart from those destroyed by natural disasters)? It seems to me that those that obey the natural laws survive.

So as long as there is food and habitat, our beloved birds will thrive. Not sure about us though.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006