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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taur Tuesday: CON

C. S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" is probably only second to J. R. R. Tolkein's "The Lord of The Rings" in Pre-Harry Potter popularity. Both book series have been around almost as long as I have. I knew of the Chronicles for at least 20 years before I got around to reading the books. They are of interest almost solely to me because of the fact the books feature mythical creatures and make those creatures I love (centaurs, fauns, griffins (gryphons)) into the good guys. 

The most famous and also most popular book in the series, "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe", has been filmed three times. Once, in an animated version for television by the same people who animated the Peanuts comics, again, as a live action piece for British Television and, most recently, as a feature film. To bring "CON:LWW" to the screen many liberties were taken among which is the entire fleshing out of the major battle at the end of the film.

Personally, I found the film to be very well done in most instances, but among the most satisfying features of the film is the 
realization of the centaurs, satyrs, fauns, griffins and minotaurs. At the time this movie was completed they were the best examples of mythical beings ever executed for film. If you are interested in manimals (and why exactly are you reading this if you aren't?) then you owe it to yourself to see this film regardless of the fact it is intended for children. 

I, for one, avoid most every movie that glorifies war, battle, and bloody violence, but this movie and its successor, "CON:Prince Caspian" at least have the bonus of seeing finely realized manimals and forgo the gratuitous bloodshed to keep it light for the little ones. 

The final battle in "CON:LWW" is beautifully realized with many aerial shots ala the battles in Peter Jackson's "LOTR" films, excellent editing, and good musical accompaniment, but your eyes will be glued to the charging centaurs and rock-dropping griffins, the satyrs and fauns, the big cats and enemy minotaurs. 

If you decide to buy the film on DVD I would recommend the extended version as the battle action is increased and there are more views of the manimals to enjoy. This isn't the greatest cinematic effort, but it is a good realization of the book and well worth viewing.

Here is a two-part video presentation of the CON:LWW Final Battle from the Extended Version:

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