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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Four-Disc Extended Edition)
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Journey into the world of Narnia and share with your loved ones the most magical 4-disc DVD masterpiece ever! Venture deeper into a beloved fantasy world with this extended four-disc collection that presents the original motion picture featuring new and expanded scenes, enhanced special effects, and an extended climactic battle scene added by director Andrew Adamson. Experience hours of extensive bonus material including an exclusive world-premiere, feature-length film about C.S. Lewis, the creative mind behind Narnia. Enjoy a vivid and in-depth companion guidebook. Plus, visualize the complete production process -- from green screen to big screen -- with an additional state-of-the-art special feature.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has often been compared to another fantasy-epic-turned-movie, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. This four-disc extended edition is a clear attempt to reinforce those comparisons, and it's a worthwhile DVD set, even if it falls quite a bit short of the LOTR must-have extended editions. For starters, the extended cut is a mere seven minutes longer than the theatrical cut, 150 minutes to 143. The additions add a bit of depth to the story--Lucy offering her stuffed animal to Edmond on the train and seeing a fish frozen in the water near the beavers' home, Susan making snow angels and practicing more archery--all worth seeing but less than a minute each, and, unlike LOTR, not restoring anything that had been left out of the book. Other scenes such as the kids' playing cricket are very slightly recut. The most interesting addition is about two minutes of new footage in the big battle sequence, mostly involving some cool aerial combat. If you had a choice of which edition to watch, the extended is probably preferable, but by itself it's not much reason to upgrade if you have an earlier DVD of the movie.
A better reason is the bonus features. The four-disc edition retains the bonus features of the previous two-disc edition (the commentaries are the same; they go silent during the extended scenes, or spill over a little bit into the next scene), and adds a third disc with a 75-minute documentary about C.S. Lewis, which should appease those who complained about the lack of attention the author had received on the earlier DVD. It discusses Lewis's life and inspirations, and is skewed somewhat toward a younger crowd with its simple animation and first-person narration. The fourth disc has a comprehensive 140-minute documentary about production--costumes, sets, music, animating animals--though not unexpectedly some of the material overlaps with the older material. All in all, Narnia fans will want to pick up this edition, but for the extra discs, not the extra footage. --David Horiuchi
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To appreciate the White Witch you need to read Magician's Nephew. The director portrayed her perfectly. On the bonus material of the DVD, the director mentioned that he avoided a typical female villan such as wicked witch, evil queen. Therefore he went for someone unexpected. She was internally demonic and quietly seething which made her role more evil instead of playing her over the top. The battle scene is her forte. She is Jadis - tall, strong and twisted.
As far as Disney - Disney marketed the film, but they were restricted from offering advice or making changes to the production. This is marketed through Disney, but it is not a Disney film. Big difference. When others state it is a typical Disney film, they are mistaken. Some complain that the characters are stock with the typical Disney villan and happy Disney ending. Good grief, read the book!
Now, for those true Narnia lovers - Focus On The Family has all of the Narnia stories recreated in a radio theater format with actors, orchestrations and sound effects. We have all of them and my boys, 16 and 12, still listen to them weekly. It is a wonderful way to get to know the other books as well.
Life's too short to miss out on Narnia. Get the DVD and enjoy the story and the best bonus material I have seen yet.
My grandson and I watched it over and over and then went to Google to research the different chimeras: fauns, centaurs, minotaurs.
Amazing and all accurate. But truly,Aslan the Lion is the very best of all. I think this should be required viewing for all kids. .....and frankly all adults as well.
ACTING: Having an all children cast is always risky, mainly because of inexperience with actually portraying emotion through acting. However, the kids do an amazing job. I never really liked the children from Harry Potter. Georgie Henley, who plays the youngest daughter, does a fantastic job. You could call her the British Dakota Fanning. As for the rest of the cast, it's mostly CGI. Tilda Swinton does a great job as the white witch, and she does a great job with being evil. The voice acting for the CGI is fantastic. Liam Neeson is probably the most well known actor doing voice work. He gives Aslan the lion a sense of wisdom. My favorite animals would have to be the two married beavers who just bicker as typical husband and wife. The film has everything from cheetahs to polar bears.
BOTTOM LINE: A visual feast for the eyes from director Andrew Adamson, and a strong and emotional score from Harry Gregson-Williams. The CGI is astounding, and the sets are amazing. The film is very entertaining even if it get's saccharine at times, but then you have set youself in a child's mindset. A new fanstasy franchise is born.
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