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Turkish Despair.
December 11, 2001 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Turkish Despair. Aslan, please help us! Narnia is being overtaken by people in monochromatic outfits. Oh well, I suppose it was bound to happen. $$$ (I'm sure it's all Edmund's fault.)
posted by jacknose (29 comments total)

 
Damn, turkish delights. They'll get you every time. Speaking of Edmund, I'm sure the part will go to . . . Haley Joel Osment.
posted by jacknose at 1:00 PM on December 11, 2001


walden media appears to be a dull-as-dirt edutainment company. this should really suck.
posted by patricking at 1:04 PM on December 11, 2001


Not only are the rights-holders as boring as possible, but the film probably won't make it to the big screen. Think about it; it'll be the third fantasy epic adapted for screen in recent memory, it's VERY christian, and it's already been done quite well (at least I thought so, though I haven't seen it since I was about 13).

I guess it depends on the fanbase's interest, but this one is really shaping up to be a direct-to-video "classic" in the style of a di$ney sequel.
posted by phalkin at 1:15 PM on December 11, 2001


Actually I don't think people in edutainment companies wear monochromatic outfits (my fault). phalkin, if you're talking about the animated version, I agree. BBC came up with a live version a while back that was just dismal. I turned it off when a man and woman in big beaver costumes greeted Lucy. (Of course, it may have been entertaining from a Freudian perspective.)
posted by jacknose at 1:21 PM on December 11, 2001


Not to be a negative Nancy, but ...

This sounds like it's going to be a movie of the week on the PAX channel.

Ask any American kid under age 16 about Narnia, and I guarantee you'll get a big fat blank stare.
posted by redshifter at 1:33 PM on December 11, 2001


Ask any American kid under age 16 about Narnia, and I guarantee you'll get a big fat blank stare.

Huh? "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was required reading in my elementary school/jr. high. That was only 7 years ago. And, as far as I know, it still is required reading.
posted by gd779 at 1:50 PM on December 11, 2001


Yes, jacknose, the BBC one was really bad. It was full of posh theatre school kids and desperate special effects.
posted by Summer at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2001


No! You know nothing! (add more exclamation marks to taste) The BBC one was a highlight of my childhood. I still have all the Video's. Look I'm going to watch them now just to spite you.

But the characters were posh theatre school kids, an inspired piece of casting. And the special effects were great for BBC childrens TV. Ok, you win that one.
posted by nedrichards at 2:02 PM on December 11, 2001


Dream Cast would include:
"Aslan"- Marlon Brando
"Witch"- Parker Posey
"Mr. Tumnus"- Chris Rock
posted by Ty Webb at 2:09 PM on December 11, 2001


This might even turn out to be a boon for Christian filmmaking after the positively dismal "Bless the Child" (which combined the worst satanic panic urban legends into a single film) "Left Behind" (a movie that lost money in spite of charitable efforts to pay for it showing in many theaters) and "Megiddo" (hailed by local critics as just plain unwatchable as opposed to funny-unwatchable).
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:23 PM on December 11, 2001


Wasn't there a recent movie called Extreme Days about cool snowboarding Christian kids? I'm sure that did pretty wretchedly as well.
posted by rks404 at 2:38 PM on December 11, 2001


Cue dreary bitching about Calormenes. Nice tie-in with the current situationTM .
posted by Catch at 2:39 PM on December 11, 2001


The Narnia books are still read. Virtually every child in my classroom has picked up at least one of them at some point (5th - 6th grade), and this is true of the other classrooms in the school. The advanced readers tend to tackle them in 3rd or 4th grade, while the average readers are the ones picking them up in 5th and 6th.

Not every kid has read them, of course, but I doubt I'd get a universal blank stare if I said something about Aslan or Prince Caspian.
posted by Chanther at 2:47 PM on December 11, 2001


A set of movies based on the "Dark is Rising" books by Susan Cooper might be cool. Narnia as a movie doesn't really float my boat.
posted by cps at 3:04 PM on December 11, 2001


They could get some Mexican Aslan to take care of allll their guilty shameful needs. Just like they did in this.
posted by hellinskira at 3:16 PM on December 11, 2001


screw narnia. i still want a film version of "a wrinkle in time."
posted by patricking at 3:34 PM on December 11, 2001


this was one of the funnier link descriptions i've read on here... gotta love these somehwat-inside jokes. and i remember the bbc videos i think, especially Prince Caspian, which i rented from the library when I had just started reading the books and was all hyped about it (i was 11, i think.). we have a saying back in the hood, that i feel rightfully describes the series. simply put, it was "wack as hell."
posted by lotsofno at 4:07 PM on December 11, 2001


Ask any American kid under age 16 about Narnia, and I guarantee you'll get a big fat blank stare.

I just want to add to gd779's reply that this statement is just ridiculously false. Narnia books are perennial children's classics here, found in any bookstore with a kids' section. I don't think I even knew the characters were supposed to be English until I saw the cartoon and wondered why they were talking funny.
posted by bingo at 5:09 PM on December 11, 2001


I loved those book until I realized that they had that Christian theme running through them. That pretty much ruined it for me. From then on, I felt I knew what I wasn't supposed to know: that I was being manipulated.
posted by Poagao at 6:13 PM on December 11, 2001


I'm not a Christian either, but any well-constructed work of fiction is among other things an exercise in manipulation. And I think that Narnia works partly because the Christian archetypes aren't just Christian, they're ingrained into the human subconsciousness. I don't think Jesus came back from the dead, but I'll always believe that Aslan did.
posted by bingo at 7:03 PM on December 11, 2001


From then on, I felt I knew what I wasn't supposed to know: that I was being manipulated.

That's exactly why I stopped watching pokemon.

Please. Children's literature and television is manipulative. Almost anything aimed at children has an underlying agenda. We love shaping those little things..

If you loved the books, you liked them for the themes. Finding out that *gasp* those are Christian themes driving the plot shouldn't cause you to throw the book down in disgust. What a small minded tot you were.
posted by jheiz at 7:07 PM on December 11, 2001


Coincidentally, I dug out my old taped-from-PBS copy of the BBC TV adaptations the other night and re-watched Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Yes, the special effects are lame, and the obviousness of people-in-animal suits does make the whole suspension-of-disbelief thing a bit harder to sustain, BUT... Dawn Treader was still pretty charming as a low-budget affair.

I'd love to see a version with even a quarter of the LOTR budget, but it sounds like this new project is far less ambitious.
posted by nstop at 9:38 PM on December 11, 2001


come on jheiz..."small minded tot" a little harsh there don't you think? My apologies if you were being funny.

I agree though that the Christian allegories only make the tale richer, even though I am an agnostic. Biblical themes are prevalent throughout all literature. Master narratives make for great storytelling. I don't think CS Lewis was out to convert children to Christianity.

I agree with b-i-n-g-o here that the archtypes are pretty common, Bible notwithstanding. I think the Bible's just another way of telling a worthwhile story.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:44 PM on December 11, 2001


Hope the special effects won't be bad. But I tend to think that animation is the best way of doing what costs lots of money in live action, and usually end up looking cheesy, so ignore me if you please.
Also, if you want something by C.S. Lewis openly about Christianity, try the Screwtape letters. (and that "pushes" it more)
And of, course, if you want stories for more freethinking tots, try Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. (I suspect that part of his motivation for writing it was to write against C.S. Lewis, since Pullman has openly criticized him. Even if you don't like criticisms of literature on ideological grounds, it doesn't change the fact that Pullman's books are very good.)
posted by Charmian at 9:53 PM on December 11, 2001


I just today read the first in the children's series called "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket. Mock-Victorian children's comic tragedies; very strange, hugely irreverent and spooky stuff.

Kafka, you and I agree about the basics here. But I do think that Lewis was trying to make his readers Christian. He believed (wrongly, I think) that Christian ideas resonate in everyone's mind because everyone at heart wants to be a Christian. I get this from his non-fiction book, Mere Christianity.
posted by bingo at 1:48 AM on December 12, 2001


come on jheiz..."small minded tot" a little harsh there don't you think? My apologies if you were being funny.
Yes.. sorry, I was just being weird.

posted by jheiz at 2:42 AM on December 12, 2001


I knew there was a Christian agenda but it didn't bother me. If you don't know it's there, you take the story as being just fantasy. If you do know it's there, you ignore it. The stories are good enough on other levels for it not to matter. A heavily conservative, right-wing agenda never spoiled Enid Blyton for me either.
posted by Summer at 3:10 AM on December 12, 2001


bingo: if you like the Lemony Snicket books you should try the author's books under his real name, Daniel Handler: The Basic Eight and Watch Your Mouth. Just as twisted and irreverant but written for young adults. (I'm not putting them down — I'm 36 and I think they're brilliant — I'm just describing the writing style.)
posted by nicwolff at 12:33 PM on December 12, 2001


Hmm. I read four or so books into Series of Unfortunate Events (mood reminds me a bit of Gorey, though in fairness we should admit that the real Gorey illustrated kids books, with fantasy none the less, are Bellair's series. Though IIRC there were mentions of God, so sensitive types take note) , but they got a little repetitive for me. Do they get better?
posted by Charmian at 2:35 PM on December 12, 2001


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