July 4, 2005

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Movie

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 9:05 pm

My family and I went to see War of the Worlds this weekend (good movie, but tense – probably would be a lot better to see it on Ritalin 😉 ). Before the movie, they had a preview of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the new movie version of the second book of C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, in which he presents an allegory for the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After showing clips of the four kids, the magic wardrobe, the White Witch and lots of Narnia creatures, the preview showed a clip of the lion Aslan, the Christ-figure throughout the series. My reaction really surprised me.

I had never read the Narnia books as a child, and was first introduced to them when we bought the set for our kids. I started reading them with my kids, and soon had whipped through all seven, enjoying them thoroughly. Whenever Aslan appears in the books, he is loving, kind, wise, gentle, strong, and always just. His appearance in the books is always a turning point in the stories, where the unfolding of his loving plan for Narnia is revealed. After all, he is a symbol for Jesus, representing him not just during his incarnation, but before and after as well.

So here I was in this theatre watching the preview when Aslan appears. I felt this wave of love and reverence for…a lion. I felt as though I was looking at Jesus himself. I was wondering whether the rest of the audience knew who this was – not some circus animal, but God incarnate.

Of course, Aslan is just a symbol. But it’s amazing to me how completely C. S. Lewis transferred all the traits I attribute to Christ to a lion. It just shows the strength of the parable, the amazing ability of good story-telling to affect us.

I’m looking forward to this movie. It seems Disney is going for an entirely secular marketing campaign. I wonder if the fact it’s a re-telling of the Christ story will be commented upon. I also wonder how various conservative Christian media watchdog organizations will react to a Christian story marketed as secular entertainment by the evil Disney entertainment empire.

Should be fun.

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