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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Literature > Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (4-Disc Extended Edition/DVD-Video)

Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (4-Disc Extended Edition/DVD-Video)

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: A-†††† Film: B-

 

 

This is the third release of this film version of the C.S. Lewis classic Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.The three releases consist of a single-disc edition, a 2-DVD Special Edition (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and now this latest release of a 4-disc edition.In order to give a slight background of the film and world of Narnia, this critic will now give a brief overview.The story takes place in the depths of World War II, where England is under attack with bomb raids.In this hopeless situation three children are sent to live in the country side with an elderly professor who has agreed to take them in during the span of the war.In a large, old, mansion the children are forced to find a means to entertain themselves, while be instructed by the lady of the house to never disturb the professor.

 

As the tale unfolds we quickly are given insight into who these three children are physically and mentally.They get cast into a world of constant winter where an evil Ice Queen has stolen rule of the land.Mystical animals infuse the somewhat religious tone of the film (which was toned down from the novels) and help guide the children to victory as the discover this world of Narnia.This story is also not purely based on imagination but C.S. Lewis search for truth, as is viewed in the children of the film as they search for who they truly are mentally and physically.The use of all digitally created creatures is somewhat annoying, hurting the film to a degree as digital creations did to George Lucasís Star Wars Episode I and II.The real life costumes and makeup of the film, however, are simply amazing. Overall, a good film but not great.Disney plans to make more films in this series, so letís hope for improvement in terms of content, depth, digital animation, and musical score.

 

The technical aspects of this 4-disc extended edition box set are rather good but no where near perfect.The picture is presented in a 2.35 X 1 Widescreen Format that is mostly clear and crisp but the colors come off dull (Was this intended to look like a water color?).The picture at times does demonstrate the occasional light/dark issue, the quality seeming to lean toward the dark side.The sound is a great feature presented in DTS 5.1, with the Dolby Digital 5.1 version being good, but not as good.The tale of Narnia has the intended nature to be quite epic and utilizes sound and music to heighten the sensation and emotion of each battle, tear, and soliloquy.The music of this film, however, was not always so epic seeming blander than intended, maybe the musical scores will be improved for future films.The sound is clean, the music pops, and overall is good on the surrounds.The only part of the sound that had the occasional issue was the surround sound balance not always being 100% perfect and the voices at times sounding more distant then they should along side a light soundtrack.

 

The technical aspect of where this 4-disc set flourishes remains in the extras.Since this film has already been reviewed on this site mostly for film content, this reviewer will more focus on the added features of this extended edition.You can read about that at the following link:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/3583/The+Chronicles+Of+Narnia:+The+Lion,+The+Witch+&+The+Wardrobe+(DTS+2-DVD+Set)

 

 

Now, the layout of this set.

 

 

Disc 1:

 

This disc features the extended edition of the film.For the most part, when viewing the regular or un-extended version of the film this reviewer found certain aspects of the film to drag and bore.Adding these deleted or extended scenes to the film did not make the film any better or worse, but for true fans of this film and/or the C.S. Lewis book series these extended sequences may thrill others more than they did for this reviewer.By no means is the film boring, but Disney seems to have attempted to create their own ĎLord of the Rings Trilogyí with director Andrew Adams attempting to do what Peter Jackson did for New Line.Strangely enough C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien were great friends and it was C.S. Lewis who persuaded Tolkien to finish his Lord of the Rings Trilogy and it was Tolkien who persuaded Lewis to write the Narnia Series.In the end the extended nature would not be a reason to purchase this film.

 

Also on this disc there are Bloopers, which are not very funny as well as Narnia fun facts.The fun facts are trivially amusing and children as well as adults will enjoy.A final feature of disc-1 is director and kid commentary, which was not very interesting along side a film concept where imagination is supposed to reign supreme.

 

Disc 2:

 

This feature was available on the 2-Disc edition of the film, where an in-depth look at the two worlds of Narnia is explored.The content overall is interesting and entertaining and the picture/sound quality is surprising good in a world where most DVD extras seem to be slapped on as an after thought.Reviewed in this feature are the creatures of Narnia (computerized junk) and the lands & legends, which is more interesting.

 

Disc 3:

 

This disc features an ALL NEW full length film on author and Narnia creator C.S. Lewis, entitled C.S. Lewis Dreamer of Narnia.This reviewer found this feature to be extremely well put together and interesting.For any fans of A&E Documentaries, the History Channel, or TLC this is a must see.The film basically follows C.S. Lewisís Life from birth to death, while emphasizing key points which shaped the brilliant authors life and mind set.He was a man of hopes, dreams, pain, and imagination.The full length film is infused with original sketches and drawings or C.S. Lewis and the artist he used to illustrate his original Narnia series.Disney even went as far as to bring some of these illustrations to life digitally.This feature overall was impressive and held this reviewers interest throughout.

 

Disc 4:

 

This feature was not as interesting as the last two discs but had its merits.This feature explores the production of the film, rather then the overview seen on disc-2.Some of the content becomes monotonous especially after viewing the content of disc-2 but has much too insightfully offer on how locations of the film were chosen and how scenes were created.

 

Some find this film boring and too far of a deviation of C.S. Lewis original intentions, but this reviewer found it to be entertaining and was a great experience.Where the film is not perfect and possibly will be revisited in 25 years, for now it is full of heart and to a degree imagination.C.S. Lewis throughout his life searched for truth beyond all reason, and where this reviewer hopes future extensions of this series will improve, for now this film brings to life a classic.

 

 

-†† Michael P Dougherty II


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