I just realized that there were more comments on my Narnia post from a few weeks back. I didn’t just ignore the comments – in my defense, I was out of town.
Haven says I’m being anal, and he’s pretty much right, as usual. But I think he’s missed the mark about what I’m saying. My boycott of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was not conceived of because I thought they would do injustice to the allegory – to be honest, that had not entered my head (I did say that I didn’t want to see Adamson’s version of a Christian allegory, but I was thinking of the novel as a whole, not the allegorical aspects). I suppose I would have objected to that, but I hadn’t really thought about it, mostly because it would be impossible to tell the story at all without doing at least some justice to the allegory.
I was concerned that the movie would be a bad movie – it’s a foregone conclusion that it won’t be a perfect rendition of Lewis’ vision. I was concerned about injustices to the story itself: the rhythms, the characters, the structure, and so forth. The changes would, I felt, detract from Lewis’ novel while failing to add anything helpful and new. For example, it was widely (and falsely) reported that the girls would fight in the battle. That doesn’t help the story at all. I shuddered to think what else might get changed, squished, and ruined. I didn’t want to see Aslan and hear Liam Neeson.
Some changes from books are helpful. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, for example, there’s a scene where Ron has to practise dancing with Prof. McGonagall. There’s no scene like it in the book, but there could have been. It was consistent with and didn’t detract from the book.
One last contrast between the LOTR films and the new Narnia flick that I want to bring into the discussion. All Hollywood movies are created to make money, but LOTR was a major gamble. If Fellowship had crashed into the side of a mountain instead of soaring over the peaks, the rest of the films would have been quietly released onto DVD, and Peter Jackson would have been written off. Peter Jackson made it because he wanted to, he dreamed to, not because anyone thought it would become a major hit. Heck, it barely got made in the first place. And because he succeeded, now we have Narnia. Narnia was the closest thing we have to a LOTR sequel. Would Disney have made this before the success of LOTR? Of course not. It is shameless profiteering.
Okay, tell me where else I’m being anal. Get it out of your system before I write anything about King Kong.