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Disney pull-out from Narnia films

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  • Steve Hayes
    (Im indebted to Iambic Admonit for the following, reprinted from The C. S. Lewis society of California s email newsletter Logos: The C.S. Lewis Society
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26 8:53 PM
      (Im indebted to Iambic Admonit for the following, reprinted from The C. S.
      Lewis society of California's email newsletter "Logos: The C.S. Lewis Society
      Update" (January 2009).


      Disney Pulls Out of Narnia Films, but Walden Media Remains Committed:

      Numerous articles have recently appeared announcing the decision announced on
      Christmas Eve by Walt Disney Pictures not to co-finance The Voyage of the
      Dawn Treader, the third of the films based on C.S. Lewis's beloved, 7-volume
      book series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Disney officials point to "budget
      considerations" during the economic downturn and poorer performance of the
      film version of Prince Caspian. In this regard, the first film, The Lion, the
      Witch, and the Wardrobe, received $745 million internationally at the box
      office, while Prince Caspian received $419 million. However, some of this
      decline resulted from a weak and mangled script by director Andrew Adamson,
      who refused to embrace the full story and theme of the book, as Yahoo! Movies
      notes in its review:

      "As a result, the movie edits out or severely compromises much of the
      real character development and interesting story lines in the original story
      and replaces them with Hollywood’s usual bag of tricks: gratuitous amounts of
      violence, overtly sentimental moments that fail to resonate, and romance that
      in this case seems disturbingly like mental statutory rape."

      In addition, as NewsMax reports:

      "Unlike the first 'Narnia' which had a holiday release, the sequel came
      out in the spring, and it was up against superhero summer fare like 'Iron
      Man' and 'Indiana Jones.' Disney tried to market it as an action flick, with
      limited success. Thankfully, Walden remains committed to C.S. Lewis’
      remaining books."

      Furthermore, Disney flatly refused to have any pre-screenings of Prince
      Caspian and would not pursue any special marketing of the film to churches
      and other Christian markets. In direct contrast, for the first film an
      extensive and highly effective marketing campaign directed by Motive
      Entertainment (the marketing experts from Passion of the Christ fame)
      produced an enormous response from Christian movie goers. Disney however
      presented Prince Caspian as a strictly secular and violent,
      fantasy/adventure/romance, and the result was all too predictable.

      Meanwhile, interest in the Narnia book series and Lewis's work overall
      continues to grow unabated among the public worldwide. And here in her
      January 1st column entitled "A 'Chronicles of Narnia' voyage Disney should
      take," Los Angeles Times critic Mary McNamara gives Disney a well-deserved
      scolding for being so short-sighted. The most likely new partner for Walden
      Media is Fox, which already markets and distributes Walden films using the
      Fox Walden banner.

      Posted by Iambic Admonit at 3:10 PM

      Steve Hayes
      E-mail: shayes@...
      Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
      Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
      Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
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