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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2005), PG ["Hardcore" PG*] (2hr 9min)
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walt Disney Pictures, Walden Media, Lamp Post Productions Ltd.
Distribution (US): The Walt Disney Company, Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Andrew Adamson
Producer(s): Andrew Adamson, Douglas Gresham, Mark Johnson, Perry Moore, Philip Steuer
Novel by: C. S. Lewis
Screenplay: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cinematography/Camera: Donald McAlpine
Music: Stephen Barton, Toby Chu, Tim Finn, Frou Frou, Harry Gregson-Williams, Alanis Morissette, Lisbeth Scott
Film Editing: Sim Evan-Jones, Jim May
Casting: Sameer Bhardwaj, Pippa Hall, Liz Mullane, Gail Stevens
Production Design: Roger Ford
Art Direction: Jules Cook, Ian Gracie, Karen Murphy, Jeffrey Thorp
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Since this analysis of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is provided before the first showing, I will not discuss the plot and story. Describing the plot and story is not the main purpose of this service anyway. But there are a couple things I would like to share with you about it before getting into the discussion about the content.
I am preparing this in somewhat of a rush but I hope to give you enough cause to pause and think for yourself whether this film is acceptable in spite of what "everybody says." This is not an analysis of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe book. It is an analysis of the film with the same title. One does not have to have read a book to report on the content of a film with the same title. C. S. Lewis was not there when the film was made. I suspect the film would have been different had he been there.
And as always, it is not our intent to decide for you what is and is not acceptable for your children. We are not the MPAA. That is your decision to make. We simply tell you about the content of the film as it relates to the Word of God so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision whether a film is or is not fit for your kids. We tell you what is there. You decide.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe may be described as a magnificent and beautiful, intricate creative work of geniuses in many talents. But it appears to be a blend of what may be cautiously paralleled with the Gospel mixed with paganism and maybe Gaiaism. It may be what God is talking about in His warning of they who, through smooth talk [Rom. 16:18] and fine-sounding arguments [Col. 2:4] and strange philosophy [Col. 2:8], would slip in amongst us "unawares" to deceive us and change His Word into a convenience interpretation or a situational redefinition of it -- into a more comfortable or believable counterfeit. [Rom. 1:25, Jude 1:4] -- into a version that serves man by lessening Christ.
Deny Jesus Christ? Seeing this phrase from Jude 1:4 may be serendipitous of my long-felt uneasiness with C. S. Lewis' stories. Especially since the crowd of defenders of the witchcraft and sorcery in the Lord of the Rings trilogy used Lewis' claim of being Christian to defend the Lord of the Rings work (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King) of Tolkien who also claimed to be Christian: that indeed the two authors had conferred in some way. Both popular authors may indeed be Christian. I do not have the authority to say they are or are not. But God does. Test the spirits. Even me. But please do not put God to the test. [1 John 4:1, Luke 4:12] Trust His Word over anything you see or hear in film by anybody. Test the spririts. Just because an author is Christian does not mean his writing is.
Lewis has been reported as having said, for example, faith in Jesus as Lord and resurrected Savior is not the only way to Salvation [Rom. 10:9], that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God [2 Tim. 3:16] and that Jesus Himself may not be God (ref.). Since no man shall be Saved except by Jesus and since being saved by faith in Jesus as Lord and resurrected Savior is the only thing that will make one a Christian [John 14:6], does Lewis' reported comment about Salvation through other than Christ, if true about him, make Lewis Christian? Or does it make him one of those who "unawares" to us "changed the truth of God into a lie" with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?
And maybe that Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, while clearly attempting to touch on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, does not touch our accountability to Him; maybe that it does not mention that we must humble ourselves enough to ask forgiveness is why so many like Lewis, especially the young, many of whom are typically opposed to authority [Prov. 22:15]. I remember reading another Christian author, I wish I could remember whom, who put this into great perspective. He said something like if you talk of God in a group of people they will likely each gladly chime in, but if you mention Jesus in a group of people they will start looking at their watches, remember previous engagements and quickly peel off.
Some depiction in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is "based on the true story" of the Scriptures. The "Satan" character - the personification of evil - murders the "Jesus" character though it was man under the influence of Satan who murdered Jesus. The "Jesus" character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe sacrifices himself just as Jesus sacrificed Himself for our sakes that we may live. The "Jesus" character walks a path through a forest to his death as Jesus walked the road to Golgotha. The "Jesus" character willingly submits Himself to be killed that prophecy ("law") might be fulfilled as did Jesus.
The story even touches on splitting of stone when Jesus died [Matt. 27:51]. But the "Jesus" character in the film kills the one portraying Satan with a graphic bite to the face. Jesus did not kill Satan. Jesus defeated Satan but did not kill him. Even Judas is depicted as one of the children "defects" to the side of the "Satan" character for "30 pieces" of Turkish delight. And even the brutality against our Lord in the praetorium is depicted. Not quite as graphic as in The Passion of the Christ but graphic nonetheless.
"Literary license" is taken freely. Lewis and/or the filmmakers rely heavily upon mythological creatures as characters in the show. For that reason, people who try to use this film to discuss the Gospel of Jesus will have a hard time explaining the relationship of the content of this film with the Gospel. There are threads of relationship and there are concepts, but no real educational substance. But I fear this and other films like it are "paganizing" man's perception of Christianity.
I suspect the movie is embellished quite a bit over the actual intensity of the book. I haven't read Lewis' books. As said above, one does not need to read a book which is the basis of a film to be able to analyze the content of the film of the book. Yet but I somehow doubt there is, for example, impalement of children with piercing weapons in it. I doubt that in the book the reader actually "watched" an impalement murder nor the eyes of the victim as he died. I doubt the book had a demon holding a knife to a child's throat and then his back. And I doubt a child's life was threatened by an adult raising a blade at him. Maybe the book did? If the book did indeed contain these influential ignominy, at least no one had to watch and hear them happen by reading the book. (I hope that point is made.)
With a final score of 70 out of 100, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe earned a place in the range of scores earned by PG films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. However, that score places this film with only two points between it and the top of the the PG-13 scoring range (55 to 67 out of 100).
Again I remind our readers to not depend solely on the final score to make a decision whether a film is acceptable. The scoring distribution and the listing in the Findings/Scoring section are as essential to the most complete assessment possible as the final score. The final score is an average of all the investigation area scores (W, I, S, D O, M). An average cannot show the spikes within the averaged mathematical set. The scoring distribution revels the spikes. This film earned a score of zero in Wanton Violence/Crime and another R-equivalent score of 51 in Offense to God.
At least there was not one example of the use of the three/four letter word vocabulary nor of God's name in vain with or without the four letter expletive. Not one. Nor was there one shred of sexually immoral behavior or imagery noted in the entire film. Not one.
PLEASE ... read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you make your decision whether to expose your children to this powerful film. Please! With so much of modern entertainment for children (which includes at-home teens) such as Narnia, Harry Potter [Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Sorcerer's Stone, Goblet of Fire] and Lord of the Rings [Fellowship of the Ring. Two Towers, Return of the King], I am increasingly concerned about modern entertainment fulfilling the paganization of Christianity by the paganization of children's culture: of they who will one day be the social engineers of the day -- one of the most sly and even invisible attacks of the adversary. The brush has been applied to the paganization painting by many for quite some time. The "painters" now appear to be, instead of quiet and sly as in yesteryear, arrogant and bold in their counterfeiting of what it means to be Christian. Are we to welcome demons and creatures of mythology into our understanding fo the Gospel? With Narmia has Lewis (whether intentional) applied a brushstroke or two to the painting of paganization of children's culture and thus the future of Christianity?
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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