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November 15, 2005     516 Words

C.S. Lewis and Narnia: Faith Inside the Wardrobe

CINCINNATI—Millions of people who grew up reading C.S. Lewis’s classic The Chronicles of Narnia are in for a thrill on December 9 of this year when the film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will be released to audiences nationwide. But many of those lifelong fans may not know that they’re watching a film heavily laced with Christian ingredients, thanks to its deeply religious author.

The movie, its Christian author and the religious symbolism of the movie and books are featured in the December issue of St. Anthony Messenger in an article entitled, “C.S. Lewis and Narnia: Faith Beyond the Wardrobe.” Sister Rose Pacatte, F.S.P., who writes St. Anthony Messenger’s “Eye on Entertainment” column, sits down with three people from Walden Media—a motion picture production company—to discuss the making of the film. After November 21, the article will be found at:

With a keen understanding of children and literature, C.S. Lewis, then a professor at Oxford, wrote The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1950. The story, about four siblings who stumble upon an enchanted and perilous world called Narnia and fight for its freedom alongside the great lion Aslan, became a classic among children and adults alike. The religious symbolism behind the book charmed Christian readers as well. Author Mary Margaret Keaton writes, “Aslan represents Christ who offered his life in place of ours, whose death and resurrection won our freedom and redemption. In Aslan’s loneliness, we recognize Jesus’ agony in the garden; and in Aslan’s resurrection, the Easter story.”

Adapting such a literary classic was an undertaking that Micheal Flaherty, Randy Testa and Deborah Kovacs of Walden Media did not take lightly. They feel this movie will enchant audiences who are familiar with Lewis’s books and those who aren’t. “Our goal is to interpret the book faithfully into a film that audiences will delight in,” says Testa.

Although the Christian ingredients within Lewis’s books are unmistakable, the greater theme of goodness is what anchors the story and the film. “It is a reaffirmation of humanity, of all that is good and important in human beings,” Testa says. “Lewis valued and felt it was important to nourish the imagination. Like eating and drinking, the imagination needs nourishment no matter how old a person is.”


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