Oh, goodie. An excuse to pontificate

I am entirely of two minds about Disney's decision to keel-haul the latest Narnia adaptation for the big screen. Via The Plank:

While declining to elaborate, Disney and Walden Media confirmed Tuesday that for budgetary and logistical reasons the Burbank-based studio is not exercising its option to co-produce and co-finance the next "Narnia" movie with Walden.
I feel about The Chronicles of Narnia roughly the same way that Elizabeth feels about Jane Austen. Since there have been a great many more stabs at Austen adaptations than Narnia adaptions, she has had to put up with more literary blasphemy than I have. And I have mixed emotions knowing that Voyage of the Dawn Treader may not make it to the a theater near me.

On the one hand, there is disappointment. Dawn Treader is one of my favorites, for a variety of reasons. There was potential for some amazing cinematography, considering how magical some of the islands the travelers encounter on their voyage. Plus, the allegory isn't so heavy-handed, the theology is more expansive, and there are no big battle scenes. The transformation of Eustace from an insufferable prat to a noble young man is very moving, and provides a wonderful depiction of God's reconciling love for humanity and the difficulty of transcending sin. I could go on and on, but I'll stop here.

On the other hand, Walden did a fair job of lousing up the first two adaptations. They were particularly bad at handling Peter, who they portray as being far more of a jerk than he's meant to be. (Fist fights in underground stations? No. And he would never, ever, ever even begin to think of making a deal with the White Witch. Ever.) They also totally glossed over the redemption of Edmund, making his reunion with his siblings more awkward than solemn. While they didn't totally mess up Prince Caspian the way they came close to with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, neither did they really make the most of it.

So, while I'm sorry that I won't get to see Ramandu's Island or Coriakin's house realized on the big screen, neither will I see them ruined.

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