Yesterday Movieweb had the opportunity of attending a panel discussion of Walt Disney Pictures' The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. In attendance were the film’s executive Producer Perry Moore and via satellite from London was director Andrew Adamson and producer Mark Johnson. Currently they are doing some final voice work on the film.
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, a spectacular live-action/CGI motion picture adaptation of C.S. Lewis' beloved literary classic. Lewis' timeless adventure follows the exploits of the four Pevensie siblings - Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter - in World War II England who enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of 'hide-and-seek' in the rural country home of an elderly professor. Once there, the children discover a charming, peaceful land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs and giants that has become a world cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. Under the guidance of a nobel and mystical ruler, the lion Aslan, the children fight to overcome the White Witch's powerful hold over Narnia in a spectacular, climactic battle that will free Narnia from Jadis' icy spell forever.
After showing us the trailer, effects supervisor Howard Berger, Richard Taylor and Ben Wooten, who designed the different creatures for the film, as well as another visual effects supervisor joined Moore on stage. Richard and Ben discussed the design of the creatures, and they showed us different pictures of them as they talked. Adamson further explained why he decided to show the battle that ends the film, because in the book it seems to be mentioned more as an afterthought.
Berger also took out a few costumes and mechanical heads that were in the film, and then he showed us the mechanical heads for a Boggle and the head for Minotaur. Berger then went on to explain why he felt that James McAvoy was the best person to play, Mr. Tumnus.
Next they started fielding questions from the enthusiastic audience, who were given special souvenirs if they asked the best questions. When asked if the religious parts of C.S. Lewis books were going to be major themes of the filmed adaptation, Adamson said, "These days, people either read it with the spiritual meaning that C.S. Lewis intended or they read it as a great adventure story.” He then went on to say that if in reading the books the message you got was “spiritual” then that is most likely what you would get from this movie. If you read it as an “adventure story” then that is what you would take from it as well.
Shortly after this, we were treated to some clips to the film that Adamson described as a “work in progress”. It began with a scene of children being told the story of Aslan's return. After some more clips revealing other characters from the film, there was a shot of a battle in which large birds dropped rocks on soldiers as the battle started taking foot.
Lastly, the panel concluded with the director confirming that Liam Neeson will be doing the voice for Aslan and he has already recorded all of his parts for the film.
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe opens December 9th, 2005 from Walt Disney Pictures.