Monday, November 28, 2005

Narnia on the Big Screen

Sore from kicking themselves for passing on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Disney is bringing Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia to the masses, starting with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Seems that after the success of Harry Potter, the studios can't find more British children's lit fast enough--but Lewis's Christian Indoctrination for Children could cause problems for Disney:

In fact, there are some Hollywood observers who seem to believe that there is a good reason Lewis is among the last of the classic children's authors to be adapted for the movies, and that in taking on Narnia, Disney has backed itself into a corner. If the studio plays down the Christian aspect of the story, it risks criticism from the religious right, the argument goes; if it is too upfront about the religious references, on the other hand, that could be toxic at the box office. Disney, which is producing "Narnia" with Walden Media, the "family friendly" entertainment company owned by the politically conservative financier Philip Anschutz, is hedging its bets and has, for example, already issued two separate soundtrack albums, one featuring Christian music and musicians and another with pop and rock tunes.
Well, they can release two soundtracks, but we don't see how the Righteous Christian Forces of Aslan and the Immoral And Ultimately False Popular Culture can both win The Good Fight. Maybe they filmed two endings, one to show in red states and one for the blue states?

UPDATE: Polly Toynbee rants, "Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion" at the Guardian.

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