Adaptation Analysis: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

For Adamson’s adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he chose to expand on scenes that would particularly fit the cinematic medium. For many moments in the film, he shows scenes that were merely mentioned in the novel and dramatizes them. I find the dramatization of the opening scene adds stakes to the film compared to the opening line in the book, “This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the war because of the air-raids.” (3). As the children are in the professor’s home, it is evident that the reason for the characters going into the closet and reaching Narnia is quite different from the novel. Both versions focus on Lucy’s dilemma of not being believed by her siblings and Edmund lying that he did not visit Narnia. However, in the novel, the children go into the wardrobe while attempting to escape the housekeeper Mrs. Macready and her house tours. In the film, they shatter a window while playing ball, which causes them to seek refuge in the wardrobe. Much of Adamson’s transformation of the story goes after expanding upon what would be more visually appealing for the film. In Lucy’s encounter with Tumnus, as a crucial scene for Narnia, it had the feeling of the chapter through its visualization. The look of Tumnus is spot-on:

 “He had a strange pleasant face, with a short pointed beard and curly hair, and out of the hair there stuck two horns, one on each side of his forehead. One of his hands, as I have said, held the umbrella.” (10).

The character is spot-on; however, there are differences in his speech and the dialogue. Through this scene, and the rest of the film, Adamson’s adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, seems to be fairly close but on the whole intermediate. Adamson employs some techniques John M. Desmond highlights in his Adaptation: Studying Film and Literature. In the chapter on the novel, some of the techniques in the scene when Tumnus meets Lucy are adding dialogue, cutting, and finding correlatives. 

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Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy film co-written and directed by Andrew Adamson. The film is based off of the 1950’s novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. This story centers around four siblings named Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley) who have been sent away to life in the countryside of England because of WWII. They are living with the strange Professor Kirke (Jim Broadbent), who’s large home is filled with many interesting things. One day when the children are playing hide and seek the youngest, Lucy, finds herself in an empty room with nothing but a wardrobe to hide in. The wardrobe is a doorway into the fantasy world of Narnia, where Lucy meets a faun named Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy) who tells her all about Narnia and the Witch Witch who tyrannically rules over the Narnians.

When she returns to “our” world, Lucy tries to tell her siblings what happened but none of them believe her. Later that night Lucy sneaks out of her room and goes back to Narnia through the wardrobe. Edmund follows her into the strange land realizing she has been telling the truth, but when they get back he tells their siblings that Lucy was just making it all up. A few days later, when they are trying to hide from the strict housekeeper, the children wind up in the empty room and have no choice but to go in the wardrobe. The four siblings escape and find themselves in Narnia. Soon the Pevensies find themselves playing a large part in stopping the White Witch in the coming war. In this blog post I will be looking at how the film changed the beginning of the story, and how it sheds light on different facets of the Pevensie children. 

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