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46. Ten Years Later, Why Did ‘Dawn Treader’ Sink the Narnia Movies? | with Rilian of NarniaWeb

This month brings release anniversaries for two Narnia movies. The first roared, but the last sank hard. How did this fantasy franchise fizzle?
Fantastical Truth on Dec 22, 2020 · No comments

Want to feel old at Christmas? The first Narnia film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, released in 2005 and is now fifteen years old. Five years later, the third Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, released in 2010, so it’s now ten years old. Let’s explore these films’ successes and failures, as we’re joined by a special guest and “prince” of Narnia here on Fantastical Truth.

Introducing ‘Rilian’ of NarniaWeb

  • Rilian started a podcast called “Narnia News and Notes”
  • This became the podcast, and it’s now called Talking Beasts.
  • The twice-monthly podcast explores Narnia books and films. It’s even featured actors from the film series.

“Of course he isn’t safe. But he is good.”

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

  • Walden Media produced, Disney distributed
  • Released in the U. S. on Dec. 9, 2005
  • Budget: about $180 million
  • Earned: about $745 million
  • We share our memories of the film’s anticipation
  • We share our initial and current response to the film
  • Briefly we also mention Prince Caspian (2008)

C. S. Lewis himself expressed his feelings about adapting Narnia for a visual medium.

  • From Lewis’s letter to Lance Sieveking in 1959:

But I am absolutely opposed—adamant isn’t in it!—to a TV version. Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. At least, with photography. Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) wd. be another matter. A human, pantomime, Aslan wd. be to me blasphemy.

  • From Lewis’s letter to Jane Douglass in 1954:

Aslan is a divine figure, and anything remotely approaching the comic (above all anything in the Disney line) would be to me simple blasphemy.

2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

  • Walden Media produced, 20th Century Fox distributed
  • (Now that Disney has bought Fox, this film is also owned by Disney.)
  • Released in the U. S. on Dec. 10, 2010
  • Budget: about $140–$155 million
  • Earned: about $415 million
  • We share our memories of the film’s anticipation
  • We share our initial and current response to the film
  • Caution: we’re a bit negative, especially about the humanistic hints in earlier films that flourish into non-book themes here.

3. What’s next for Narnia?

  • We lament the current limbo of further (and faithful) Narnia film adaptations.
  • Yes, Netflix technically has the rights to remake the series, and we express cautious pessimism.
  • Briefly we explore the pros and cons of making Narnia movies versus making Narnia miniseries, for certain books.

Stranger Than Fantastical Fiction

  • Japanese Police Panel Proposes Crossbow Permits To Prevent Crimes,” The Daily Caller, Dec. 17, 2020
  • This isn’t for a citizen vigilante force.
  • There was apparently a crossbow attack in Hyogo province, back in June, that injured and killed four people.
  • So this is about preventing future crossbow attacks.
  • Apparently there have been other crossbow attacks in recent years in other countries. Is there a crossbow villain out there somewhere?
  • At any rate, the Japanese police want to limit crossbow usage to ” animal anesthesia, academic research or sports.”
  • Perhaps next we will see a Japanese, crossbow equivalent to the NRA? I can already see the bumper stickers.

Next on Fantastical Truth

  • Announcement: this episode is our last regular episode of this year.
  • Next year brings great topics, including many we couldn’t explore this year!
  • Well-wishes, merry Christmas, happy new year, further up and further in, etc.
Fantastical Truth
Fantastical Truth

Lorehaven explores fantastical stories for God's glory: fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond.

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    In the Fantastical Truth podcast from Lorehaven, hosts E. Stephen Burnett and Zackary Russell explore fantastical stories for God's glory and apply their wonders to the real world Jesus calls us to serve.

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