Christian organisations have been keen to make the most of opportunities offered by the forthcoming Narnia film the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (US website / UK website which on my computer does nothing but rotate a door handle).
In the UK Christianity Magazine has produced a comprehensive set of resources for churches, including ’10 Narnia-linked Ideas’, ‘A Christmas Carol Service with a Narnia Theme’ and a list of web resources. Premier also invites you to ‘explore the opportunity‘.
But not everyone is so enthusiastic. I came across an article on ‘Leadership blog’ entitled ‘Marketing Narnia: Is the Church Being Used?‘ which may well have a good point.
In the last couple of days a letter written by CS Lewis in 1959 has been published in which he makes it clear that he would be unhappy with a TV version of the Narnia stories and the implication is that he would therefore have been unhappy about the film. I’m not so sure. If you read the letter I think it is the prospect of a human Aslan in a costume to which he would be so strongly opposed. My own feeling is that could he have seen the special effects that are used these days he might well have approved, a view shared by a number of commenters on TallSkinnyKiwi’s blog.
The aspect which he might have found the most unpalatable, one suspects, is all the associated merchandising. As the Guardian reports in its article ‘CS Lewis feared film would ruin Narnia’:
Disney has signed a string of tie-in deals with companies from Kodak to McDonald’s, and more than 60 licences have been granted to manufacture everything from board games to replica swords.
Update: A few more resources:
ReelIssues from the Bible Society has a worksheet-type thing you can download as a free sample.
I was contacted about a Narnia Wiki here. To quote ‘R’ who told me about it:
We already have a lot of content up there (it’s all free) and the wiki can be edited by anyone. We are trying to create a community where Narnia fans can come and share information. If you can help us get the word out, we could get TONS of people to add their thoughts about Narnia!
I’ve reposted another post I did here so it’s all on one page for those who’ve surfed in via Google and places:
Rejesus has quite a number of articles, for example:
What’s the link between Narnia’s world of fauns, witches and magic, and our world? How did CS Lewis want his books to be read?
The Catholic Enquiry Office have this extensive page as part of their life4seekers site.
There’s also Into the Wardrobe, a C.S. Lewis website. There are many I’m sure, but this is the one recommended by Douglas Gresham, step-son of C. S. Lewis.