Friday, February 25, 2005

Character: Aslan

You know that Disney Co. has been gnashing their teeth for missing the Harry Potter phenom. They have DESPERATELY wanted a franchise like Harry or Lord of the Rings.

They have chosen The Chronicles of Narnia to test the waters. This article in the NYTimes describes the alternating terror and interest they feel at handling the Christian symbolism of the stories.
That spirituality sets Aslan apart from most of the Disney pantheon and presents the company with a significant dilemma: whether to acknowledge the Christian symbolism and risk alienating a large part of the potential audience, or to play it down and possibly offend the many Christians who count among the books' fan base.

One good thing the movie has going for it is the involvement of Walden Media. They are the company behind the excellent movies: Because of Winn-Dixie and Holes.

Movie goers embrace movies with spiritual themes. Didn't Disney notice a movie called The Passion of the Christ that a guy named Mel brought out last year? Harry Potter (despite some groups that criticize the magic in the books) and Lord of the Rings have a very Christian basis. The Christian imagery in Rowling's books is hard to miss. Stories with themes of good against evil are timeless but especially timely now and audiences are hungry for them.

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