My first impression? This isn’t how I imagined it. As I read Narnia and the Lord of the Rings as a child and later I always had the impression that Narnia was a small world befitting the rather simpler narrative of C.S. Lewis while the Lord of the Rings was large and deep – like trying to grasp all of China’s history.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie bothered me partly because it seemed to be trying to be bigger than Narnia ever was. It also bothered me that Peter was reduced to a kind of whining, insecure oldest brother which is not what he was in the books. When Lucy pulled the cloth off the wardrobe at the beginning, I thought for a moment that the movie was going to be great. I was wrong.
This latest trailer tries to make Narnia as big as Lord of the Rings and in doing so loses me. I want to see Narnia as I imagined it, not in a steroid and pyrotechnic extravaganza with bits stolen from Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and LOR. An exploding train station? Please! And what’s with the twenty-year-old Prince Caspian? He might not even have been a teenager in the book.
It may be because of the incredible art work of Alan Lee and John Howe that when I saw the LOR movies I thought “this is exactly how I expected it to be.” But then again, I hadn’t seen a lot of LOR art before seeing the movies and everything just fit so perfectly.