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Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The


Stars: Tilda Swinton, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes

Director: Andrew Adamson

A nice-looking, but overall slightly disappointing family fantasy film. Closer in spirit to The Lord of the Rings trilogy than the Harry Potter movies, it's a sometimes brilliant but sometimes sticky version of the first (chronologically) of C S Lewis's tales of the magical land of Narnia, where the good lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) and the wicked white witch Jadis (Swinton) vie for supremacy.

Newcomers to Narnia are the four Pevensie children, who have entered through the back of an ancient wardrobe. They find themselves expected to be the saviours of a land on which Jadis has bestowed the curse of eternal winter. 'We're not heroes,' they protest. 'We're from Finchley.'

Two helpful beavers (voiced by Dawn French and Ray Winstone) are charming characters, but the witch's monsters are rather obviously computer-generated and, despite some thrilling battle scenes, effects overall are not quite up to Rings' standards. Henley and Keynes are well into the spirit of the thing as the younger Pevensies, with Popplewell and Moseley a little more self-conscious as their elders.

David Quinlan

US/UK/New Zealand 2005. UK Distributor: Buena Vista. Technicolor.
140 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 31 Dec 2006