A few weeks ago I saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I have great respect for C.S. Lewis as a writer, and I’m a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. I really enjoyed the movie, and thought that it adequately captured the wonder of the book.
The one thing that stood out for me, and which I think could not be avoided, was the strong Christian symbolism in the story. The sacrificing of Aslan’s life in place of Edmund’s treachery is quite similar to the Christian story of Jesus sacrificing his life for our sin. The beating of Aslan as he walked to the alter (the beating of Jesus before the crucifixion), the approach of Susan and Lucy to his body just before dawn (the approach of the woman to Jesus’ tomb just before dawn), the splitting of the stone table (the splitting of the curtain in the Temple as Jesus died?), and the rebirth of Aslan are symbols that represent the story of Jesus.
In fact, C.S. Lewis’ decision to represent the character of Aslan as a lion was probably no accident either: in Revelation 5:5, the writer refers to Jesus as the Lion from Judah’s tribe, the root of David. At the end of The Voyage of the Dawntreader, the fifth book in the Narnia series, Aslan appears as a small lamb, and after the lamb slowly changes to his lion form, he says to the children that in their world (i.e., our world), he is known by a different name.
The symbolism linking Aslan to Jesus is quite obvious. Some reviews of the movie criticised the symbolism, but I honestly can’t see how anyone can make a movie of the book without this feature. It is an integral part of the story.
I hope that movies of the other books in the series will be made. I would love to see how they represent the other characters on screen, like Reepicheep, the Mouse (my favourite character); Bree, the talking horse; and Puddleglum, the Marsh-wiggle. We will just have to wait and see.