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Chronicles of Narnia, The: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Animated)

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The first installment in C.S. Lewis’ best-selling series The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows four children in their adventure through the enchanted kingdom of Narnia. While playing hide and go seek, the four siblings climb into a wardrobe that leads them into a world filled with mythical creatures and fantastic magic. The kingdom of Narnia is not all fun for the children, though. An evil witch has cast a spell on Narnia keeping it in eternal winter. To defeat the witch and restore springtime, the four children must team up with the creatures of Narnia as well as Aslan, a noble lion and the King of the Woods. Will the children be able to stop the witch or will it remain winter forever in Narnia?

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lion, Wardrobe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Dubbed, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004OBQDFM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,904 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Chronicles of Narnia, The: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Animated)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
BUYER BEWARE: This movie is a must-own classic, but be warned that this version has been cut -very poorly, by the way- (foreheads, chins cut off, etc. It's enough to annoy long-time fans) to seem like a widescreen edition, for which one doesn't actually exist. The original made-for-tv movie was meant to be viewed in full screen format. I'm going to try to return this copy for a better version.
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For those of you who don't know this, this is the first part of the "Chronicles of Narnia." There are 7 books in all. (1) "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," (2) "Prince Caspian," (3) "Voyage of the Dawn Treader," (4) "The Silver Chair," (5) "The Horse and His Boy," (6) "The Magician's Nephew," and (7) "The Last Battle." (Though so far, only the first 4 books have been made into movies.)

To appreciate this story the most, we have to keep in mind that C.S. Lewis was an atheist who eventually converted to Anglicanism. (Anglo Catholicism if you prefer)

The story starts with the 4 Pevensie children. (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) The youngest one (Lucy) claims to have gone through the wardrobe, which leads to the land of Narnia, where an evil queen makes certain that it is always winter there and never Christmas. None of the other 3 children believe Lucy, but Edmund is especially rude. However, Lucy holds to her beliefs. Later Edmund finds this to be true, and runs across the evil queen. Perhaps out of feeling picked on, Edmund develops a liking for her.(It's worth noting that she has some political charm, and is even somewhat funny in this first encounter with Edmund.)

Edmund later runs into Lucy there who is now convinced Edmund will back up her story to Peter and Susan. But in an especially vile moment, he flat out denies it.

Eventually, all the children end up in Narnia, and Edmund is caught in his vile lie. The 4 children soon run across Mr. and Mrs. Beaver who explain to the children that there is an evil queen there who keeps Christmas out of Narnia. But there is hope. The noble lion Aslan (who is obviously suppose to represent Jesus is coming). We may wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Beaver represent C.S. Lewis and his wife.
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Like with Rankin/Bass and their version of The Hobbit, animation was clearly the only way we were going to see anything from the Narnia series was going to be through animation. Technology just wasn't keen enough in 1979 to give us a live-action film with any quality. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy stumble into a wardrobe and are transported to Narnia, a magical land under the control of the wicked White Witch, where its always winter but never Christmas. But as the Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve (yes, there are religious undertones throughout) begin to explore the land, things begin to thaw a little here and a little there. One of the great beloved fantasy stories of our time. This version is true to the book and voiced with some excellent talents. This is Narnia before Disney and CGI got a hold of it and tried to make it so much more than it was. I have read the books and seen the movies and I really prefer this version. It's not only nostalgic but its straight-forward,

Dig it!
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This little animated version of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was my introduction to the story and to Narnia itself. I remember seeing it on VHS, and then we got our own copy. Years later, a DVD released by Alpha & Omega Publishing was the first Narnia DVD I ever bought, but it was bare bones to say the least! Later, it was re-released by the Sterling Company twice. I bought their second version with many new bonus features. However, that had a "digitally remastered" print that had been cropped to widescreen.

I found this edition in a store and picked it up, despite seeing that it had been cropped to widescreen, because it had the British English audio as a separate track. (They had a different voice cast for the UK airing, except for Aslan.) It is also the first one to have subtitles. Most (but not all) of the bonus features from the Sterling Special Edition are carried over as well.

Though the animation is far from the animation quality that Narnia deserves, it manages to help tell the story very well, and clocking in at about 95 minutes, it is also the shortest visual adaptation of C.S. Lewis' first Narnia story, sticking very closely to the book. Most of the dialogue is even derived from Lewis' text. The only real difference is that Father Christmas does not appear and Aslan gives Peter, Susan, and Lucy their gifts.

The reason why I can't give this a five is because the picture is widescreen. If this had been how it was originally presented, I would have no problem, but this production was made in the late 1970s for television. It is NOT the complete picture, as even a new viewer should realize at seeing the tops of character's faces cut off.
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I remember watching this movie every time it came on TV as a kid. Now I get to share it with my quadruplet boys. The animation is pretty low quality in comparison to the CGI stuff today, but it is a great way to introduce kids to the amazing world of Narnia that C.S. Lewis created so long ago.
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