USA Today has an interesting story on the upcoming The Lion. The Witch and The Wardrobe film.
Much of it focuses on the film’s lack of "Disneyishness" – meaning no wacky sidekicks, no big musical numbers, basically nothing that Disney has used for the past decades in their feature films for children.
The story also discusses the Christian nature of the books and the film, which studio execs trying to both court and not court the Christian community. By that I mean, they would love for Christians to show up en masse like they did for The Passion, but at the same time they are not too comfortable being associated with the Christian community.
If all the things I am reading about the movie are correct, I think I will love this and all the other Chronicle of Narnia films.
I certainly do not want a cutesy Disney version of the story. I agree with producer Mark Johnson who said in the story, "It would be a big mistake if the creatures appear to be cuddly stuffed animals on a little girl’s bed."
Part of the intrigue of the story is the mysteriousness of everything. The edge that Narnia appears to have. The fact that although Aslan may let you ride on him, he is not a tame or safe lion. He is still wild.
This may surprise some people, but I also would not want an overtly Christian movie. I want on screen what Lewis wrote. It is a story filled with Christian imagery and a stream of faith that runs throughout the characters and their adventures, but it is not something that beats you over the head.
I remember reading the books (before I knew about C.S. Lewis and his faith) and thinking that a lot of the ideas seem to be similar to the Bible and to Christianity, but again there was still there mystery to it.
Lewis never intended for the Chronicles to be a character for character, place for place allegory in the vein of Animal Farm. Narnia was written to be a hint at reality, a wink to the truth; not a bullhorn for the faith.
You know that underneath all of Narnia is the undercurrent of Christianity, but it is still inviting to the Christian, those of other religions and the secular. Maybe we could learn a lot from Lewis (as always) and his approach. He sought to engage people with Christianity in the vernacular of the current age, keeping the simple simple and the complex complex. In offering something called mere Christianity to everyone, Lewis enriched both the Christian and secular worlds or better yet, the world in general.
Hat Tip: World Mag Blog