Friday, May 23, 2008

Prince Caspian Sanitized

Despite Doug Phillips of Vision Forum having denounced C.S.Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series as promoting worship of pagan gods, Lewis' writings in this series oozes Christ. By oozing I mean that every page, scene, theme, and creature or person points to Christ--His dominion, rule, presence, and importance in every day life. If it is not portraying one of these aspects it is revealing the antithesis. When you read the books, you can see Christ and His centrality to each part of the story. The Narnia stories are about Christ and the Christian life, both the simplicity that is in Christ and also the deep, rich, layers of truth that is waiting to be mined. Lewis wanted to write in such a way that children, in particular, would be learning Scriptural truths, doctrines, and the lessons of Christian living without having to be whacked on the head with it.

Yet now we have conservative Christians saying that we cannot and should not read any story that might have magic, witches, classical characters, and so forth. Which would include the Bible if they actually stopped to think about it: for example, the Witch of Endor, the sun standing still or someone being raised from the dead. After all, if you had seen Christ perform a miracle would that not have seemed pretty "magical" to you in person??? But let's consider: a newborn baby, hummingbirds, the sunrise, the sounds of the ocean, and an endless number of other magical, wonderful, amazing, startling things in our King's world.

My main point, however, is that while the books are fabulous, the new Prince Caspian movie has taken all the Christianity of the book and sanitized it. Disney Studios and Walden Media wiped all the Christianity contained in the books out and replaced it with a "faith is nice" action story filled with a teenage girl playing he-woman and killing grown male warriors with out flinching. They had to fabricate teenage angst and pride in Peter who is in competition with Caspian. And to really make it a lame story they HAD to put some knowing looks and romance between Susan and Caspian and add a pathetic, totally out of place kiss between them. Basically they took what was an incredible story and rewrote it entirely only keeping a few of the threads and scenes for interest. Ultimately, Prince Caspian the movie, is not the same story at all. They are accurate in saying at the beginning that the movie is BASED on the book by C.S.Lewis. The names are the same, but the story lines have been altered to influence the innocent to deny God and Christianity.

Granted, there might be interesting special effects and graphics. But many of the elements in the movie are repeats of previous ones. For instance: does everyone have to have an Indiana Jones style oil trough that lights up with a torch????

The conservative Christian community has been in an uproar over the "Golden Compass" books and movie and that author's declared motive to teach children to hate God. Hopefully there will be an uproar over how the Prince Caspian movie denies Him too, but I doubt it. Especially since the movie version of Prince Caspian reflects the watered down gospel which modern American Christians are glad to adopt because it is so inoffensive and makes every one have that "feel good" sensation. They look for the entertainment value, instead of searching for "the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (See Romans 11:33) Christians need to start to develop a taste for the rich, endlessly powerful gospel feast and to exert themselves to live it, day in and day out with fervor.
In excerpts from the book:
"--the feast came into existence--sides of roasted meat that filled the grove with delicious smell, and wheaten cakes and oaten cakes, honey and many-colored sugars and cream as thick as porridge and as smooth as still water, peaches, nectarines, pomegranates, pears, grapes, strawberries, raspberries--pyramids and cataracts of fruit. Then, in great wooden cups and bowls and mazers, wreathed with ivy, came the wines; dark, thick ones like syrups of mulberry juice, and clear red ones like red jellies liquefied, and yellow wines and green wines and yellow-green and greenish-yellow....thus Aslan feasted the Narnians till long after the sunset had died away, and the stars had come out; and the great fire, now hotter but less noisy, shone like a beacon in the dark woods, and the frightened Telmarines saw it from far away and wondered what it might mean. The best thing of all about this feast was that there was no breaking up or going away..."
This passage shows the feast Aslan provides us: rich with endless delights and joys never ending. Yet we tend to settle for watery products of the world's imagination (like the Prince Caspian movie) instead of holding fast to Aslan and the rich gifts of truth He wants us to grasp.

Perhaps someday we will see the real Prince Caspian, the true Kings and Queens of Narnia, and Aslan himself portrayed accurately on screen. Meanwhile, I and my children will keep re-reading the books.

posted by--Queen Lucy


Anonymous said...

Disney...of course! What would one expect?!?!!!!! In their dark and dead spiritual state,the Gospel is just a plain story, like any other story, no glory, no power, no true light. In fact, the darkness wants to cover and extinguish the Light, so they try their best! But of course we who DO know the Gospel as a story that is so alive and true and glorious, can see the grandeur pictured in various "types" and "pictures" in God's creation and in stories written by others who do know, only in part here on earth, the incredible wonder of our Triune God and His Gospel. Hollywood can not possibly put together a movie that will reflect a story that really shows the Gospel as it is in Truth. At least at this point! but being post-mil, there will be a day when God will take dominion and subdue all that is not holy and all that is not true, even in the godless - God-hating movie making world!

Anonymous said...

P.S. Thanks for the great movie review - hopefully it will educate a lot of people!

lindafay said...

I think when He returns most folks will be shocked about many misconceptions we have had concerning Truth and Grace. C.S.Lewis alluded to this in The Final Battle.

Enjoyed your review and agree with that the Truth was once again watered down.