Friday, December 16, 2005

Narnia: Why I'm boycotting

I don't plan on seeing the new movie version of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." In fact, I'm planning to boycott the whole series.

The reason is because I don't like that type of movie to begin with (which makes a boycott really easy), but also because CS Lewis, the author of the children's books, specifically expressed his opinion that a live-action version of the books would be all wrong, and he even more explicitly expressed his distaste for Disney films, calling them vulgar. (I agree).

Here is Lewis in a letter to a colleague in 1959:

"I am absolutely opposed--adamant isn't it!--to a TV version. Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. At least, with photography. Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) would be another matter. A human, pantomime, Aslan would be to me blasphemy."

I'm not going to support the film version of a book that's not at all in line with the vision and wishes of its author, particularly one who is deceased and who can't speak up to object. His words here are perfectly clear: No to live action and no to Disney. No thanks.


Blogger Adam said...

I wouldn't dream of suggesting you see it since you've already stated it isn't your kind of movie. But, for the sake of argument, don't you suppose that--during the time of his objections--the special effects were laughably inadequate to handle the weight of the subject matter? If his concern was vulgarity and buffoonery, I'm not sure he'd remain unconvinced a live-action adaptation were impossible. Also, the Disney today isn't quite what the Disney was then.

10:06 AM  
Blogger FilmStocker said...

I see what you're saying, and it's not unreasonable to imagine that Lewis might have changed his mind.

But for me, I find the letter is worded so strongly that I'm still stubbornly of the opinion that he wouldn't have been happy. Plenty of people still don't like the new computer effects, and plenty of people still think that the ick factor on Disney products is pretty high. So it's also reasonable to imagine that Lewis would have felt the same. Who knows? He might have been more strongly opposed.

I definitely don't hold anything against someone that concludes differently, but, imho, Lewis would have stuck to his guns. So I will too.

11:32 AM  

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