"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 noble 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."

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The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

movie trailer (apple.com)

NOTE: This Spoiler was sent in by Spiritflare who says..."This movie is a masterpiece of cinematography and musical score, blending beautiful visuals seamelessly together with fantastic characters and a wonderful plot. Although the Christian allegories are evident, if one goes into the theatre without any preconceived notions, this movie can be enjoyed by all, and certainly is on equal footing with the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, and may even surpass them for superb direction. The casting is also wonderful, and all the lead actors deliver wonderful performances and the voice overs are well done. The animations will surely achieve technical excellence awards. I can only hope the sequels will live up to expectations delivered by this film."

The movie starts against the backdrop of the Second World War - it is nighttime air raid on London by German aircraft, and we see a fleet of them releasing their bombs on the city and the flashes of the explosions. We are taken to a house where a mother is desperately calling out to her children to run to the air raid shelter, and as each of them makes it out of the house, one of them runs back to fetch a photo of his father. Later we will understand that the father has gone off to fight the war and the children are left in the company of their mother. Just as the boy gets his fathers photo, a bomb explodes nearby and shatters the frame, but the youngest boy Edmund (played by Skandar Keynes) is rescued in the nick of time by his older brother Peter (played by William Moseley) and both boys soon join their two sisters, the youngest Lucy (played by adorable Georgie Henley) and the older Susan (played by Anna Popplewell) including their mother. After scolding Edmund about nearly getting them both killed, we observe Peter seems to be playing the father figure to the family.

The next morning, we see the mother dropping the kids off at the train station. It was typical in the Second World War for families in England to send their children to the countryside to protect them from the devastation by the air raids and rocket attacks on London, and we see each of the kids getting a name tag pinned on them, and bidding a tearful farewell to their mother. The mother makes each of the older kids (Susan & Peter) to promise to take care of their younger siblings. When it comes time for Edmund to say goodbye, he really doesn't seem too emotional and his mother forces a hug. From this point we can tell that Edmund really isn't the favored son.

As the train makes its way through the beautiful countryside, we have nice background music score, I believe the vocalist is Lisbeth Scott, and it is a beautiful theme. When the children arrive at the train station in the countryside, they are greeted by the housekeeper of the professor they will be staying with, who arrives to fetch them in a horse and buggy. They eventually reach the manor where they will be staying. The housekeeper warns them not to touch anything in the house nor disturb the professor.

The first night is spent missing their mother and wondering if the war will ever end and if they will see their father once again.

The next day, the kids decide to play hide-and-seek out of boredom and we see Lucy, the youngest, run off along with Susan and Edmund. Peter stays behind and starts counting. Eventually each of them finds a hiding place, and Lucy stumbles upon a room upstairs which houses a single wardrobe covered by a white sheet. She pulls off the sheet and steps into the wardrobe, and we continue to hear Peter counting in the background as she stumbles her way through fur coats hanging from the sides. After a few seconds the wardrobe doesn't seem to end, but suddenly Lucy emerges into some snow-covered trees. It is a serene winter wonderland with snowflakes gently falling through the forest. Much to her amazement, she wanders over to a lamppost which happens to be lit, and the entire scene is beautiful. Suddenly something hiding behind the trees catches the attention of Lucy and after a few moments of suspense, a faun appears who is actually a pan - that is the torso of a human but the legs of goat. Lucy screams, and the faun (played by James McAvoy) is equally scared and stays hidden behind a tree. Eventually Lucy walks over to him and asks him if he was hiding from her. The faun is surprised to see a little girl, and introduces himself as Mr Tumnus. The faun asks Lucy if she is a “daughter of Eve”. He is very friendly and Lucy is immediately attracted to him, and he invites her back to his home for a hot cup of tea, to which she reluctantly agrees because she realizes she has been gone for quite some time and doesn't want to worry her siblings who are probably looking for her by now. However, Mr Tumnus is quite persistent, and they wander through the forest over to his home in a cave. Lucy is quite enthralled by all this, and she sees pictures of his father who Mr.Tumnus sadly explains has gone off to fight a war. Lucy tells him her father is fighting a war as well. After sipping the hot tea, Tumnus takes out his flute and starts playing a haunting melody, and Lucy sees sprites appear in the fireplace showing some sort of battle scene, and she is getting drowsier and drowsier until she closes her eyes and suddenly out of the fire a figurine of a Lion appears and roars.

When Lucy opens her eyes again, Tumnus is sprawled across the opposite side of the room and looks very disturbed by what he has seen. The significance of the lion will become apparent soon enough. Lucy wanders over and asks him what is wrong, and he answers that he is supposed to kidnap her on orders of the White Witch of Narnia. Lucy is shocked by this and tells Tumnus that he won't do this because he is her friend. Tumnus realizes that he can't betray Lucy and tells her that she must return home immediately before the White Witch arrives to get her.

Tumnus helps Lucy back through the forest, warning her that the Trees in the forest are spies for the White Witch and she should be quiet. Tumnus takes her back to the lampost we saw in the beginning and asks her if she can find her way back to which Lucy nods. Tumnus starts crying and Lucy gives him her hanky and tells him to keep it and that it will be okay.

She wanders back and finds the entrance to the wardrobe and suddenly she is going through the closet again and comes back on the other side only to find her siblings in the room and Peter still counting! It seems that no time has passed since Lucy has been gone, even though it has been hours in Narnia.

By this time everyone is confused as to why Lucy isn't hiding, and they think she doesn't want to play hide and seek. She tries explaining that she has been gone for a long time, but none of them believe her, and when she starts explaining where she has been, they ask her to stop misbehaving and telling untruths, to which Lucy starts crying. Edmund speaks up and initially says he believes her, and then admits he is just teasing her.

We can now see there is a mean streak in Edmund. He is the dark child. That night, Edmund sees Lucy get up from her sleep and walk upstairs with a candle towards the room with the wardrobe. He follows her, and she steps through. After a minute, so does he.

When he emerges, this time it is daytime, and the lamppost is only dimly lit. We also hear a different more sinister background musical score, indicating that Edmund's introduction to Narnia will not be as pleasant as his sister's. After he wanders around for a few minutes, we see a herd of reindeer appearing down a path directly towards him - it is the White Witch of Narnia's carriage, the Ice Queen. It suddenly stops beside him, and an evil looking dwarf jumps down and starts chasing Edmund, who tries to run off but is caught by the whip of the dwarf. The dwarf demands to know who he is, and Edmund blurts out he is just looking for his sister and the dwarf is about to stab Edmund when the White Witch (played by Tilda Swinton) intervenes and asks Edmund to sit with her in the carriage and explain everything.

The White Witch offers him a hot drink and is very manipulative and gets Edmund to admit that he has four siblings, and that he really doesn't get along with them or think too highly of them. The Witch convinces him that she can grant his any desire, and he asks for candy. After stuffing his face with a few, Edmund loosens up and asks the Witch what else she can do. She tells him that if he brings his four siblings to her, she will make him a Prince of Narnia and that his siblings can be his servants. This makes Edmund really happy and he agrees to lure his siblings to the White Witch's Ice castle between two mountains which she points out. She asks him what else he knows, and Edmund admits that his sister Lucy told him about a faun called Tumnus who let Lucy escape instead of capturing her for the White Witch. This is the 1st betrayal by Edmund and the White Witch is delighted by this information. She warns Edmund to live up to his promise and then rides off.

Edmund starts walking back and suddenly bumps into Lucy who asks him where he has been. He starts to think of an answer, and doesn't tell her anything about his meeting with the White Witch, but that he was instead looking for her! Lucy, innocent and believing, accepts this answer and they both head back through the wardrobe.

That night, Lucy tells Susan and Peter that she was in Narnia again, and this time she says Edmund was there too to witness it all. However, Edmund says he wasn't there…and Lucy innocently believes he meant he wasn't with her (which is true), and she asks him..where exactly were you? Instead of answering, Edmund lies and says that he doesn't know what Lucy is talking about and that she is playing kids games and that he was just agreeing with her for fun. This gets Lucy crying again and Peter and Susan now think she is seeing things. Lucy runs out of the room in a fit of tears and suddenly bumps into Professor Kirke (played by Jim Broadbent) and she hugs him for comfort. We can tell by Lucy's actions by now that she is able to discern between good and bad in people, so it's plausible the professor is good. He sends Lucy off with the housekeeper for some hot-chocolate and asks Peter & Susan privately what is going on. They tell the professor that they think Lucy is crazy with these stories about Narnia, but the professor asks them not to judge her, telling them that if she hasn't lied before, there should be no reason to doubt her. This gets Susan and Peter thinking, but they still aren't convinced.

The next scene is the next morning in the afternoon sunshine, the kids are all playing a game of cricket and suddenly Edmund smacks the ball into a glass window in the house and the kids run inside scared of the consequences. This time the housekeeper is chasing them, and the frightened kids all rush upstairs into the room with the wardrobe and enter it. They move past all the furs, and sure enough, find themselves on the other side in wintery Narnia.

This is a moment of redemption for Lucy, and everyone says sorry to her, except Edmund who is forced to by Peter, and they apologize for doubting her. However Lucy is the all-forgiving, trusting, innocent child and she forgives them in a heartbeat. This moment also reveals that Edmund has been lying when Lucy said earlier he was with her, and Peter admonishes him for it, but Edmund doesn't care - he has more sinister plans for his siblings, and they are playing right into his plans to surrender them to the White Witch.

Lucy insists that they go visit the faun Mr Tumnus, and when they get there, they find his home ransacked with a notice pinned up stating that he has been arrested by the Secret Police for treason against the White Witch for allowing the human to escape. Hmmmm.. I wonder who is responsible for betraying Tumnus.

Poor Lucy is shattered by this scene, and of course Edmund is gloating in the background, and even states “he was a criminal” which gets everyone's attention. Eventually they leave this sad scene and are confronted outside by a talking beaver!

The friendly beaver introduces himself to the kids and tells them they must all follow him immediately and to be quiet (again for the spying Trees). They follow him to his Den and are introduced to his wife Mrs. Beaver. Mr & Mrs Beaver then try to explain to the four siblings about a prophecy that they will fulfill in order to save Narnia from the White Witch who has taken away Christmas and made Narnia the land of eternal winter. The kids are having a hard time understanding their role in this, and they just want to go back home, but Mrs. Beaver convinces them they are part of a much grander scheme and that if they leave, Mr. Tumnus will probably be executed. Brave Lucy won't allow this to happen, and she says she wants to stay, even if Peter & Susan want to return. Peter states it's his sworn duty to his mother to protect his siblings, but Lucy tells him that the fate of Narnia rests on them, and they can't abandon Mr. Tumnus.

Finally Peter relents and somewhere in this conversation, the name Aslan is mentioned. Aslan is the true good Lion-King of Narnia, and the prophecy states that two sons of Adam (Peter & Edmund) and two daughters of Eve (Lucy & Susan) will save Narnia fighting alongside Aslan in an epic battle of good vs. evil. When Aslan's name is mentioned, Edmund has a bad reaction (hmmm) and silently vanishes. When the siblings realize he is gone, they rush outside to look for him, and they finally see him wandering off in the distance towards the White Witch's castle. This is the 2nd betrayal.

The remaining siblings are desperate to rescue him, but Mr. Beaver warns against it, telling Peter, Susan & Lucy that it is all a plot by Edmund to lure them into the traps of the White Witch to prevent the prophecy from fulfilling itself. Mr. Beaver convinces them that the only person who can save Edmund now is Aslan, and that they must try to find him immediately before the White Witch catches them and kills them all. Sadly the kids resign themselves to Edmund's fate, and they set off with Mr & Mrs Beaver to go find Aslan.

In the meantime, Edmund goes into the Ice Castle and comes across all these frozen figurines (who we will later find out have been frozen or petrified by the White Witch) - it is an eerie scene and there is only death and stillness around him. Suddenly Edmund is confronted by a huge savage wolf with evil eyes. The wolf takes him to the White Witch, and again we see her and her evil dwarf sidekick. Edmund thinks he's going to get more candy, but instead the White Witch demands to know why he hasn't delivered his three other siblings into her hands and she shows her true colors and her planned fate for Edmund. Instead of candy, she extorts information from him that his siblings are with Mr and Mrs Beaver.

She then sets her entire pack of wolves out to search and destroy them all. Edmund is shackled and thrown into a dungeon on a bare icy floor, where he finds himself in the company of none other than Mr. Tumnus, who is still alive, but barely. It looks like the White Witch has tortured him and broken his legs. Edmund is chewing on a piece of burnt bread (a far cry from the candy he enjoyed earlier) and offers it to Mr.Tumnus. Tumnus asks about the fate of Lucy, and Edmund says he doesn't know.

Suddenly the Witch appears in their cell and tries to extort more information from Edmund, telling him that his life is useless to her and that she will kill him unless he confesses more information. Tumnus begs the Witch to leave Edmund alone, but the Witch tells Edmund that she will kill Tumnus unless he tells her more - to which Edmund finally confesses that the last thing he heard at the Beaver's residence was that they were going to see Aslan and his army.

Immediately the White Witch turns pale, and asks Tumnus if he knows why he is imprisoned. She then reveals that it was Edmund who betrayed him, and poor Tumnus is taken off to be killed much to the protests of Edmund who said she had promised him not to kill Tumnus if he told her more, but now Edmund realizes the White Witch is evil and that her promises mean nothing.

Poor Tumnus is taken outside and the White Witch pulls a Medusa on him and touches him with her wand which causes him to petrify with a tortured expression into ice.

In the meantime, the vicious wolf pack unleashed by the Witch has caught up to the Beaver's home, and they surround the den trying to break in. Inside, the Beaver's and Susan, Peter and Lucy are desperately trying to escape through a tunnel, and they manage to do so just in the nick of time as the wolves enter. When Mrs. Beaver asks where they are going, Mr. Beaver says they will take refuge at his mother's place.

They follow the tunnel through the other side and emerge into a forest. When they finally reach the safe house, they discover everyone has been petrified by the White Witch, including Mr. Beaver's mother. This is a sad scene. They discover a sly fox walking around, and they suspect his involvement in this - Mr. Beaver wants to kill him, but the fox says that he was not involved and that he will not betray them.

The wolf pack is now emerging from the tunnel and the kids and the beavers rush up a tree, and the fox is left on the ground. When the wolves confront the fox, they demand to know where the humans are, and one of the wolves grabs him by the back like a rag doll. Just as it looks like he is about to betray that they are in the tree above him, he says they headed North instead, and the wolf holding him releases him from its bloody grip. The wolf pack rushes away and the kids climb down and help the injured fox. They thank the fox, and immediately start a move to keep heading towards Aslan's location, eventually reaching a frozen lake. As they cross it, the White Witch appears in her sled and the chase is on. She almost catches up to them, but they manage to evade her at the last moment and when they emerge, they see Father Christmas (played by James Cosmo). Lucy asks how it is possible he exists when there is no Christmas in Narnia, but he replies that since the four kids have arrived, the evil in Narnia is slowly unwinding and Christmas will return. For Christmas presents, he gives each of them a weapon - telling them that they will eventually need to use it in the final battle against the White Witch and her army. Lucy gets a dagger and a magic potion to restore health for any injury; Susan gets a set of magical bows and a horn which she can blow at anytime to get help; and Peter gets a sword with the pommel in the shape of Aslan - a lion head, and a shield with the emblem of Aslan. With that, Father Christmas promises them the tide is turning, and they must reach Aslan and the forces of good soon.

After being on the run for some time, they finally reach a cliff, and they can see Aslan's kingdom in the distance, with a beautiful sunset over it - the land of light of warmth is contrasted against the frozen landscape they are trying to escape. Finally they determine the only way to get across is to leap on pieces of ice flows which are breaking from the cliff and ride them down the river. As they are walking onto the ice, the wolf pack suddenly appears and rushes down the Cliffside and one of them grabs Mr. Beaver, and another threatens Peter, who removes his sword, but doesn't seem quite sure what to do with it. Mr. Beaver encourages Peter to kill the wolf before he does the same to them, but Susan tells Peter that he shouldn't take the life of the wolf.

The wolf continues to taunt Peter and just as it is about to grab him, he sticks the sword into the ice, which causes a huge avalanche of rocks and snow to fall on the wolves, freeing them, and everyone falls into the river and they set off on a wild ride on top of the ice floe. After they almost drown, they finally reach the bank and everyone is accounted for except Lucy. Just when we suspect the worst, that she has drowned, she suddenly appears wet & cold, and they rush into the forest. They are in Aslan's kingdom now.

As the children pass through the forest, we can see for the first time, the frozen flowers are thawing and the buds magically emerge - symbolic of the goodness arriving. Finally they reach the camp of Aslan, and we are introduced to all the characters and creatures in Aslan's army. There are all sorts of interesting animals here, and I liked the cheetahs especially.

Finally at the end of the camp, they reach Aslan's tent, and as he steps out, the entire army bows, and so do the four children. Stepping out of his tent is this magnificent lion, it is Aslan, the true King of Narnia and symbol of all that is good. This is a very powerful scene, and again, the animation of the lion is truly superb. Aslan greets each one of the kids and they tell him of Edmund's fate in the hands of the White Witch and that they need Aslan's help to rescue him. Aslan tells them that they must prepare to do battle with the Witch, because she has massed an army which is coming soon. In the meantime, the kids must prepare for the battle by training.

One day, Susan and Lucy are playing by the river, and two of the wolves who have been stalking them suddenly appear. The girls are defenseless, but Susan reaches for her horn and blows it, and Peter, who has been discussing his fears about leading an army with Aslan, hears this and comes running with his sword drawn. The wolf again taunts Peter, telling him he doesn't have enough courage to kill him, and suddenly Aslan appears with a few of the creatures in his army, but stops them from attacking the wolves, saying that is is Peter's battle. Suddenly the wolf lunges at Peter and falls on his sword, killing him instantly.

After much shock, Aslan asks Peter to clean his sword and promotes him to King of Narnia, and the other wolf runs off. Aslan orders his commanders to follow it because it will lead them to Edmund. When it does, Edmund is rescued and brought back to camp, where we see him in somber discussion with Aslan. It is probably a discussion about the forgiveness of Edmund's actions, and sure enough, when Aslan brings him back to greet his siblings, he warns them to forgive Edmund's past actions, for they are of no consequence and not important anymore.

Edmund is a changed person now, and his sisters are overjoyed to see him and everyone showers him with love, including Peter. At this point, Edmund has changed from the dark son to the “saved” son.

During a brief respite of rest, the family again discusses whether they should really be fighting this war, or should just return home to England through the wardrobe, but again, noble Lucy reminds them that the entire fate of Narnia is on them, and they cannot abandon hope to all the inhabitants. This time it is Edmund who speaks up and says that he will stay and fight this battle to free Narnia, because he has seen what the White Witch can do from personal experience, and that they must avenge the death of Mr. Tumnus. Edmund really has changed.

As they practice battle tactics the next day, one of the commanders comes over and warns the kids that the White Witch is coming to see Aslan for a meeting to discuss something unrevealed. With great fear, everyone waits the next day and she appears in the Aslan camp and notices the four kids for the first time, giving Edmund a death-stare, which frightens him. Aslan walks out and she tells him that according to rules of Narnia, he gets all the good souls and she gets all the bad ones. She states that he has a traitor in his camp and that she wants Edmund's blood in her temple altar and that Aslan cannot deny this to her. Of course the truth of what is unfolding here soon becomes apparent to everyone, and terrifies poor Edmund and his siblings.

Aslan tells the White Witch he will discuss the matter with her privately. When they emerge from his tent hours later, the White Witch gets into her carriage and rides away without giving the kids a second glance, and Alsan announces that the White Witch has forsaken her demand for Edmund's blood, to the relief of everyone in the camp, but especially the four siblings. However, there is a price to be paid for everything, and Lucy is the first to notice this as Aslan sighs and walks back into his tent as everyone is celebrating.

Later that night, he walks out of camp, and is followed by Susan & Lucy, who ask him what is wrong. He says that he cannot explain, but that they should trust him and that he wants to spend a few minutes with them in comfort before he must go ahead alone. He wanders off into the dark forest alone, and eventually emerges on the other side back into the White Witch's temple of sorts, and he is surrounded on all sides by menacing animals and creatures which all look twisted and evil. This is the beginning of a very sad scene and the parallels here to the Christian allegories rapidly become evident.

The creatures taunt him and finally he steps onto the altar and he is tied up and shaved and further ridiculed. After some proclamations from the White Witch about her victory, she taunts Aslan stating that his sacrifice for Edmund is in vain, because she will still conquer Narnia tomorrow after Aslan is dead. Poor Aslan says nothing and resigns to his fate, and shortly after he is stabbed to death by the White Witch amongst the jeers from her followers. All this is being witnessed by Lucy & Susan in the distance, and it is a very powerful and moving scene, as they are both crying and so were a lot of people in the audience.

After Aslan dies, the Queen and her followers depart, and Lucy & Susan spend time with the body. Rats come along and chew the binds around his legs and paws, releasing the lion's body. The sisters send word through the trees of Aslan's death to Peter and Edmund, where they start preparing Aslan's army to fight the epic battle the next day.

When it does happen, the battle scene is truly remarkable; again the animation of the wide assortment of creatures, both human and non, is fascinating. The battle scene is very well rendered, and seems of epic proportion, with each side taking losses and Peter and Edmund leading their troops into battle. During the battle, it appears the White Witches' forces are winning and the Queen herself appears to face-off against Peter, but not before Peter's right hand man and commander sacrifices his life first realizing that Peter is perhaps not as strong or ready yet to confront the Queen directly. When they do duel it out, it is quite clear the Queen has the upper hand from experience, and she manages to severely wound Edmund.

In the meantime, as the sister's depart crying after attending Aslan's body overnight, they hear a huge crack. Turning around, they no longer spot Aslan on the altar. His body has disappeared. They are shocked, and go back up to investigate, when all of a sudden the sky turns bright and Aslan appears in all his splendor and glory. He has been resurrected!

Aslan explains to Lucy and Susan that this is all part of the prophecy, and that the White Witch miscalculated, because only a traitor can be sacrificed on the altar, and if someone with a true heart is, it breaks her magic and resurrects the killed person forever. Aslan warns Lucy & Susan that they must rush to go help Peter, because he is fighting a hard battle.

They jump on his back and he runs towards the battle, and not a moment too soon, for the White Witch is just about to deliver a death blow to Peter, and Aslan jumps on her and suddenly she vanishes along with all her forces.

Lucy rushes to the severely wounded Edmund and administers the healing potion which saves his life, and Aslan walks around breathing on everyone, which resurrects them from the dead, including Mr. Tumnus, much to the delight of Lucy.

The final scene is in the dwelling of Aslan, which looks like a heavenly city on a mountainside, and it is an award ceremony where each of the siblings is presented with a crown and a title in a victory celebration of good over evil, reminiscent of the awards ceremony ending of one of the early Star Wars trilogy.

Of course this happy scene is consistent with the Bible allegory, and Lucy, Peter, Edmund and Susan each receive a throne in Narnia forever alongside Aslan.

The next scene shows an older four siblings, in their twenties, as they are riding through the summertime Narnian Forest, when a much older Lucy stumbles across the original lampost, except this time none of them can really remember what it is, and they think they are witnessing a memory from a dream. Somehow they find their way back through the wardrobe and emerge on the other side as their original ages (teens) and the professor is staring at them. He asks them to tell him where they were, and each of them look at each other; telling him he would never believe them if they did. He responds “Try Me” and smiles.


NOTE: Brentage5000 adds the followng...
After the credits start rolling, we see Lucy sneaking back into the room with the wardrobe. She opens it up and is about to go in when we hear the professor say, "It won't work." He tells her that he's been trying to get back through for a long time with no luck. She asks if they'll ever be able to go back, and he says that they just need to keep their eyes open for the right door. As the two leave the room, the door starts to close by itself, but before it does we can see sunlight shining out and hear a lion's magnificent roar.

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