Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lion of the Tribe!

The upcoming movie adaptation of CS Lewis's book, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, is expected to set a new precedent (http://www.narniaweb.com). Far from sitting back and watching, publisher HarperCollins is working closely with filmmaker Walden Media, unleashing a massive, worldwide marketing drive for the books, timed to coincide with the film. Even Florida’s Gov. Jeb Bush is encouraging schoolchildren to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for a contest timed with the release of the movie version. This makes a few folks uneasy!

It turns out that some people are afraid that Narnia - book and movie - is an attack on the wall between church and state (check this out). The movie is being co-produced by Disney and Walden Media, which is owned by Philip Anschutz, a Colorado billionaire. Anschutz, his family, his foundation and his company have donated nearly $100,000 to Republican candidates and causes in the past three elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Of course we are talking about a book that has been read for decades by schoolchildren (and out of school children) across the nation and in many, many parts of the world. The Narnia books are classics packed with moral absolutes and strong religious symbols.

As for me, I particularly want to know if Aslan comes off as the Christ-figure, or just some warm and fuzzy magic lion. I do hope that Aslan will be utterly discernible as a figure of Jesus - for those who have eyes to see.

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