More on the Old ‘Narnia’

As my wife was marveling at the latest “People of Walmart” on the ol’ computer, I couldn’t help asking, “Can I go back to Narnia now?”

The BBC treatment of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out in 1989. All right, some of the costumes are kind of hokey. But there is poetry here. It gets under your skin. It stirs the blood. When the voyagers come to Ramandu‘s island and meet the ancient, retired star–I mean a star brought down from heaven… This is among the most beautiful and emotionally moving scenes you will ever find on film. We have seen it many times, two tough old birds, and it never fails to bring up tears. Nor is it the only beauty in this movie. Best of all, it is all in the service of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

The new movie threw out all the poetry and underplayed the Christian theme. Fooey! Fools! Do you think beauty created by a human mind is cheap? Oh, we can create many things that seem to be beautiful… but they aren’t. The real thing is a gem of great rarity. And you threw it away. For all your gawdy special effects, for all the money that you spent, there was nothing–nothing!–in your Voyage that came within long miles of the poetry and beauty brought forth by C.S. Lewis and happily captured in this humble old BBC effort.

But then Christ is the fount of beauty. No one who is embarrassed to praise Him will ever create real beauty.


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