The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 epic fantasy film distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and produced by Walden Media, based on the original C.S. Lewis novel. It opened in theatres on December 8 in the United Kingdom, and on December 9 in the United States.
It was released on DVD, and had an Extended Edition version with flubs, etc, which was distributed until January 31, 2007. It added two new characters; Otmin the Minotaur general of the White Witch's army, and Oreius the loyal Centaur general of Aslan's army.
Its sequel, Prince Caspian, was released in theaters on May 16, 2008.
Set in 1940 during the Blitz, the Pevensie children- Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy -were evacuated from their home in Finchley, London after German bombers almost destroyed their house. The children are sent by train into the English countryside where they are picked up at a station by Mrs. Macready. Mrs. Macready then takes them to the country home of Digory Kirke, a professor. One rainy day while they were playing Hide and Seek, Lucy discovered an 8 foot tall wardrobe and, through it, entered a world called Narnia. She spent several hours in the home of the faun, Mr. Tumnus, who explained that the White Witch cursed Narnia, and it had been winter for a century. In accordance with her orders, if a human is ever encountered, a Narnian must bring them to her. However, Tumnus liked Lucy and regretted his plan, so he sent her out of the Wardrobe. When she returned, hardly any time had passed in the normal world during her stay. She made the other children check the Wardrobe, but the portal was gone.
Later, Edmund follows Lucy at night into Narnia, and met the White Witch, who offered him Turkish delight, as well as the prospect of becoming king. She asked Edmund to bring his siblings to meet her. After she departed, Edmund and Lucy meet and they returned to tell the others. Edmund did not confirm Narnia's existence to Peter and Susan, saying he was merely playing with Lucy, causing distress in Lucy, who ran out and bumped into Professor Kirke. The Professor has a private talk with Peter and Susan; he did not understand why the others did not believe Lucy's story and presented to them the use of logic (which Susan is very fond of) in the situation: when they are given three choices for an explanation of Lucy's behavior--insanity, dishonesty, and sincerity--the others know she is neither mad nor dishonest, so "logically" she must be telling the truth.
On another day, while hiding from the housekeeper Mrs. Macready in the wardrobe after they broke a window, the four siblings stepped into Narnia. Peter and Susan apologized for their earlier disbelief and Peter threatened Edmund until he apologized to Lucy. The siblings then go to to Mr. Tumnus's home where they discovered that Mr. Tumnus had been taken by the Witch's secret police, led by captain Maugrim. They then meet two talking beavers that told them about Aslan. According to them, Aslan was on the move to take the control of Narnia from the White Witch. The four siblings had to help Aslan and his followers; it had been prophesied that when two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve sat in the four thrones, the Witch's reign would come to an end.
Edmund sneaked off and visited the Witch alone. When he arrived at her castle, she was angry that he did not bring her his brother and sisters. Then the White Witch sent a pack of wolves led by Maugrim to hunt down the other children and the beavers, who barely escaped with the aid of a fox.
Meanwhile, Edmund was chained in the witch's dungeon were he met Mr. Tumnus in an adjacent cell. The Witch came down and demanded that Edmund tell her where his family was because her police couldn't find them; Edmund told her some information, but hesitated when Tumnus looked at him, warningly (he also tried to tell the witch that Edmund didn't know anything, but was injured by Ginarrbrik).
The witch saw that Tumnus was hindering the information, so she had him "released" and brought over to her. After she told Mr. Tumnus that it was Edmund's fault that she knew about his involvement, Mr. Tumnus was dragged upstairs and turned into stone, as Edmund saw with horror when he was brought up.
While Peter, Lucy, Susan, and the beavers were traveling to the Stone Table, they saw what they believed to be the White Witch in her sleigh chasing after them, so they ran and hid--fortunately, it was really Father Christmas. He gave Lucy a bottle of the juice of the fire-flowers and a dagger; Susan a bow and arrow and a magical horn; and Peter a sword and shield. Father Christmas informed them that winter would soon be over. Unfortunately, this meant that the rivers were thawing, and the arrival of Maugrim and several other wolves made the passage even more perilous. But with their weapons, the group managed to safely cross the river, leaving the Witch no real way to reach them by sleigh.
Arriving at Aslan's army encampment, they encountered Aslan, who was revealed as a huge and noble lion. Aslan promised to help Edmund in any way he could. Later on that day and after changing into Narnian clothes, the children were reluctant to participate in a war after fleeing from London. However, they had to save Edmund and Mr. Tumnus. Peter joined Aslan's army.
A little later, two wolves ambushed Lucy and Susan while they were frolicking by the river. Susan was able to blow her horn to call for help, then her and Lucy climbed a tree. When Peter intervened, Maugrim attacked him, and Peter killed him with his sword. Some of Aslan's troops followed the other wolf back to the witch's camp and rescued Edmund.
Aslan had a "private talk" with Edmund. When he was done, Aslan told the other children to forget Edmund's previous actions and they reconciled. The White Witch then arrived and claimed that Edmund was her property, based on the "Deep Magic" of Narnia; it said that traitors belonged to her as lawful prey and that she must kill them at the stone table. Aslan "negotiated" with the White Witch, who agreed to leave Edmund alone.
In return, Aslan sacrificed himself and surrendered to the witch. As Susan and Lucy watched in hiding, Aslan was humiliated and stabbed to death. However, he was resurrected because "there is a magic deeper still the Witch does not know." Aslan took Susan and Lucy to the Witch's house where he freed the prisoners of the White Witch, forming an army for battle.
Meanwhile, Edmund persuaded Peter to join battle with the Witch's host. At first quite sucessful, Peter's army soon began to lose the fight, and Edmund was badly injured when he had managed to destroy the White Witch's staff, her most effective weapon. She was doing battle with Peter when Aslan arrived with reinforcements. She took advantage of this distraction and disarmed him. She was about to stab him when Aslan jumped on her, knocking her to the other side of the cliff and killing her. He then returned to Peter and told him that "it is finished". Susan used her bow to kill Ginarrbrik who attempted to finish Edmund off before there was a chance to save him. Lucy revived Edmund and many others with the fire-flower cordial given to her by Father Christmas, while Aslan freed more victims of the White Witch's stone-turning spell.
The Pevensies became Kings and Queens and stayed in Narnia for fifteen years. While chasing a white stag to receive wishes, they found the lampost and the wardrobe and returned to England. The Professor then tossed them the ball used to break the window and instructed them to tell him the story.
Later, at the end, Lucy attempted to go back to Narnia, but the Professor told her that she (and the others) will probably get back to Narnia when they least expected it.
- William Moseley - Peter Pevensie
- Anna Popplewell - Susan Pevensie
- Skandar Keynes - Edmund Pevensie
- Georgie Henley - Lucy Pevensie
- Tilda Swinton - Queen Jadis the White Witch.
- James McAvoy - Mr. Tumnus
- Liam Neeson - the voice of Aslan
- Ray Winstone - the voice of Mr. Beaver
- Dawn French - the voice of Mrs. Beaver
- Jim Broadbent - Professor Digory Kirke
- James Cosmo - Father Christmas
- Patrick Kake - Oreius
- Kiran Shah - Ginarrbrik
- Elizabeth Hawthorne - Mrs. Macready
- Judy McIntosh - Helen Pevensie
- Shane Rangi - Otmin
- Michael Madsen - the voice of Maugrim
- Rupert Everett - the voice of the Fox
- Noah Huntley - the adult Peter Pevensie
- Sophie Winkleman - the adult Susan Pevensie
- Mark Wells - the adult Edmund Pevensie
- Rachael Henley - the adult Lucy Pevensie
- Philip Steuer - voice of Phillip
Differences from the Book
- NOTE: This movie also takes some elements from The Magician's Nephew.
- In the book, the London Blitz was mentioned only, while in the film, the opening sequence shows the Pevensies hiding from death in their shelter.
- In the book, Lucy first enters the Wardrobe while they were exploring the house. In the film, she enters while playing Hide-and-Go-Seek.
- In the book, Lucy's second time into Narnia and Edmund's first was while playing Hide-and-Go-Seek. In the film, it was in the middle of the night.
- In the book, while playing Hide-and-Go-Seek, Susan who was "It," not Peter.
- In the film, the White Witch has fair skin, brownish-blonde hair and a crown of ice. In the book, the Witch is described as "not merely pale, but white like snow or paper or icing-sugar", with black hair and a golden crown.
- In the film, Mrs Macready's stern demeanour comes out on more occasions than in the book, such as the scene where she explains the house rules to the Pevensies, and the scene where she is awoken by an argument over Narnia's existence, in which she warns the children that they are 'One shenanigan shy of sleepin' in the stable', but not before running into Professor Kirke, who assures her that he is confident there is a logical explanation for the argument.
- In the book, the Beavers' tunnel was not attached to the dam.
- In the film, the children and the Beavers have to go through the tunnel to escape from the wolves. In the book, they had already escaped the Beavers' house before the wolves arrived.
- In the film, Edmund and Tumnus share a cell and Jadis taunts them by telling Tumnus that Edmund turned him in. In the book, Edmund and Tumnus did not share a cell as Tumnus had already been turned to stone when Edmund arrived at Jadis' house.
- The frozen river sequence was not in the book.
- In the movie, the White Witch turns Mr. Fox into stone after Edmund tells her about Aslan. In the book, she turns a party of Narnians into stone after the Fox tells her about Father Christmas.
- The Pevensies didn't change into Narnian clothes throughout the book.
- In the book, only Maugrim attacks Susan and she's the only one who climbed a tree. In the movie, Maugrim and another wolf attacked Susan and Lucy, and both girls climbed a tree.
- In the book, Aslan vaguely tells Peter he will be leading the Narnians alone. In the movie, Lucy and Susan send the Dryad to tell Peter and Edmund that Aslan is dead, leaving Peter to decide what to do.
- In the book, Lucy wants to stay with Edmund to see him recover, but Aslan tells her to go help the others before it is too late for them. In the film, Edmund recovers quickly and Lucy goes to help the others.
- In the book, it is unknown if the girls brought their weapons to the Stone Table but according to illustrations, they didn't (except for Lucy's Cordial). In the movie, the girls brought their weapons as well as cloaks.
- In the book, the focus remains on Susan, Lucy and Aslan during the Battle of Beruna. The battle isn't described at all until they arrive at the scene, at which point it is almost over. The main events of the battle are then retrospectively described by Peter. The film, meanwhile, shows the battle as it is happening. It also adds many elements to the warfare, including an aerial assault on the Witch's troops by Gryphons carrying rocks, in a way that echoes the air raid scene at the start of the film.
- In the book, when the girls rode on Aslan to the Witch's Castle, it describes Susan held on to Aslan while Lucy holds on to Susan. In the movie, Lucy holds on Aslan and Susan holds on to Lucy.
- The characters of Otmin, the White Witch's minotaur general, and Oreius, the Narnians' centaur general, do not appear in the book, although centaurs and minotaurs are mentioned in passing.
The Extended Edition of the movie adds 15 minutes of footage that include these: -
- The Witch's Courtyard
- The Secret Police destroying the Beaver's Dam
- Battle of Beruna