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Why did Disney ever think they could pull off The Chronicles Of Narnia?


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So The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe has been on HBO the past week and I've watched it here and there. With rumors of Tri Star Pictures looking to "reboot" the series with "The Silver Chair", it got me thinking about why Disney thought they could ever pull off the Narnia series.

 

Obviously every studio bought into some form of book franchise with hopes of cashing in. Not every franchise was LOTR or Harry Potter however. Hell even The Hobbit series suffered for various reasons. The young adult series took the biggest hits. The Hunger Games limped across the finish line. The Divergent series probably won't get finished. Narnia, even for Disney, was a weird choice to bank on. If you're going to commit to a series of movies, why base them off of books in which the main characters are gone half way through the series(though this is what the reboot must be counting on)? Not just the main characters, the secondary characters change greatly from book to book. Should we even mention that the story doesn't even read chronologically? There was never a chance for success was there?

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  • 2 months later...

You gotta remember, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a massive success. Believe it or not, it actually did better than the Harry Potter movie that was released a few weeks earlier domestically. If they'd stopped after one movie, it would have been great for them.

 

Really, of the three Narnia movies, only can be considered a financial failure. Disney made their mistake was in upping the budget on Prince Caspian when they should have realized that the franchise had diminishing returns and cut it a bit. Fox was smart enough to cut the budget for Voyage of the Dawn Treader and it did decent business.

 

And Fox then realized that the rest of the series was a lot more iffy to adapt and just quit while they were ahead.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I liked the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. They definitely should have just made that one only. I don't even think I saw the other two movies.

 

It is always difficult to capture the magic of the books in movies in my opinion. I don't think I've ever seen a movie where it surpassed the book.

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The big difficulty is that LWW is the only one of the (early) books to have a huge, epic storyline. Prince Caspian had the closest to it, but still small scale in comparison and a considerably more straight forward story, from what I remember. After that, they become very different sorts of stories that don't lend well to being the same type of movie. They made so many changes to Caspian and Dawn Treader to try to force them into being bigger epics. If I recall correctly, Dawn Treader had a lighthearted exploration story in the book, albeit with darker portions with the slavery plot line. The movie just felt so different to me.

 

I enjoyed all three, too, Jacob, but the first two especially. I still listen to the Caspian soundtrack from time to time, too.

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