The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe directed by Andrew Adamson. Review by Eleanor Kane

Book Cover
The new movie, The Chronicles of Narnia, is a tale within a tale of four children caught in a time of wars—in their real world and the world of Narnia. The movie, based on the popular children's book series by C.S. Lewis, is set during World War II. Four children—two boys and two girls—are removed from their mother's care and sent to the country estate of a total stranger, a kindly professor. Their father is fighting in the war on the front lines. Like thousands of other children in London, they were evacuated because of the constant bombing by the German army. The children also have their own small wars. The younger boy is a problem child, uncooperative, selfish and a liar who betrays his siblings.

Life at the country home of the professor is dull for the children. They search for games and one day decide on hide and seek. The huge manor house provides a wonderful array of hiding places. The youngest girl discovers a room empty except for a large old wardrobe. She darts inside the wardrobe and suddenly finds herself in another world, snow covered and full of unusual creatures, such as centaurs. Upon return through the wardrobe she learns two things. Time passes in Narnia but not in her own world and her brothers and sister do not believe her story. Soon enough, however, they all end up in Narnia surrounded by talking beavers, a lordly Lion, centaurs, minotaurs, cyclops and most fearsome of all, the White Witch. As the only humans in Narnia, it is their mission to free the land from the cruel regime of the White Witch who has imposed eternal winter and frozen her enemies into living statues.

The acting in this film is superb, the youngest child particularly engaging and the White Witch chilling as ice. It is charming that all animals in Narnia speak. In spite of the ongoing terror inflicted on the inhabitants of Narnia by the White Witch, a civilized air pervades, offering the children opportunities for tea with the beaver and his wife and philosophical discussions with the Lion. The Chronicles of Narnia will cast its spell on viewers, young and old.

Eleanor Kane is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Her work has appeared in Pockets, Guideposts for Kids, On the Line, Once Upon A Time, My Friend, and Clubhouse. New stories are scheduled for publication in Highlights and Hopscotch.