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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a View of Humanity

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a view of Humanity

Movie goers have stood in line, purchased their popcorn, and found their front row seat to be dazzled by the movie version of the first Chronicles of Narnia series by writer C.S. Lewis. Parents have brought their children to see a fantasy adventure with characters ranging from a talking lion and beavers to a mythical faun who is half man and half goat. They came to see good triumph over evil. They came get away from every day life and all the fears, pressures, and ugliness that comes with it. They came for mindless entertainment, but surprisingly left with a small insight to Christian beliefs. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is an entertaining fantasy adventure movie based on a book series by C.S. Lewis which express his Christian values, but the concept of good triumphing over evil is a universal concept that can not be boxed into one sect, denomination, or organization

The movie begins with a mother taking her four young children-Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy-from the German bombings on London in World War II, to the safety of a house in the country. What these bored children find during a game of hide and seek is another war in another world: inside a wardrobe closet. As the story unfolds, it becomes obvious (at least to an adult) how the storyline follows the Christian belief of Jesus on earth. The real question, as stated in J. Hoberman's review for The Village Voice, is: "Just how Christian is it? Visiting the land of Narnia as a young heathen, I found Lewis's theology an only mildly obtrusive part of the landscape. Even for me, it was easy to see that Aslan was a furry, if fearsome, Jesus--although being a child myself, I missed the theological significance of little Lucy's faith." Hoberman speaks on behalf of the young people in the audience who understand the basic concept, but do not feel preached to. Many of the characters in Narnia are very similar to key characters from the Bible. Let's take a look at some of the symbolism used in both the books and the film.

Lucy portrays true faith, or the follower of Jesus: believing in something that is not seen or heard. She stood true to her story of Narnia when all the others thought she was making it up. Peter portrays Judas: he gave up Aslan (Jesus) for a price (candy). Aslan portrays Jesus: he dies for Peter's sins and rises again. Do young children understand the significance of these roles? Probably not. It would be up to their parents to explain how this movie depicts Christian beliefs or just leave the kids with the story of a neat fairy tale. No one is forcing their beliefs on anyone...take what you want and leave the rest is my advice. There is neither arm twisting nor Bible thumping in the land of Narnia

Hoberman takes a strange turn in his review when he brings politics in. He writes "more than once attacked by religious fundamentalists for flagrant Mouse-worship and sinful secular humanism, Disney has hitched its wagon to the locomotive of C.S. Lewis's seven-volume Christian allegory. The announced $180 million tab has been partially underwritten by multi-billionaire media mogul Philip Anschutz, big-time Bush supporter and public proponent of socially conservative entertainment. " Why he has to throw politics into the review puzzles me. Of course Disney is trying to make money, but so what if one of the financial backers is a Bush supporter? Is it a bad thing to have wholesome movies with a good message and less violence? Whether or not there is a hidden agenda by the Right Wing to impose their values and beliefs on the American people, it was not Lewis' intention with his writing. This is a very entertaining book turned movie which uses style and grace, not finger pointing and name calling, to entertain and enlighten its watchers. This movie was produced to entertain people, not brainwash them into conservative Christian clones. Some would disagree with this view.

"The Christian right has claimed the film for its own, with an intensity



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