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Saturday, December 11, 2010

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA VERSUS THE GOLDEN COMPASS

Earlier this year I used two films representing opposite ends of the religious spectrum:  The Chronicles of Narnia (pro Catholic Church--Tilda Swinton and Liam Neeson) and The Golden Compass (anti Church--Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig).  It was like a boxing match, for the first Narnia appeared in 2005, followed by the first Compass in 2007, immediately answered by the second Narnia, Prince Caspian.  Narnia is ahead on points, for the earnings have been $1.2 billion to $400 million for Compass, where the American performance was mediocre.



Why?  Philip Pullman wrote Compass as a trilogy to expose the Catholic Church.  However, the script was diluted as to lose the soul of his first book, as Pullman has been quoted to say:  "I want to kill God in the minds of children."  Even then, as an atheist cannot be elected President in the U.S. anti-religion films also do not do well, especially if condemned by the Vatican.

The Chronicles of Narnia represent seven novels by C.S. Lewis, written for children with Christian themes.  They have sold 100 million copies in 47 languages.

The third of this series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, opened this week in 3D, and could well head to the top.  (By the way, the first Narnia is on ABC tonight at 7PM).


I've only viewed the first of each, and, save for the thematic differences, note that both films are very similar:  Swinton and Kidman play bad witches, animals talk (Lion above from Narnia and Armored Bear below from Compass) and the heroine is like a young Pauline (as in Perils).


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