Narnia, Christianity, and Movie Magic

Posted March 1, 2011 8:56 am by DiGoRyKiRkE

The Movieguide Faith and Values Awards, which was founded by theologian Ted Baehr may not be an award ceremony as prestigious as the Oscars; however, these awards only go to films noted for their Christian message, morality, or “family-friendliness.”  This year’s top rated film at the awards, was The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Other notable films, which were honoured at the event were Toy Story 3, Secretariat, and Mao’s Last Dancer.

Winning the title of “Most Inspiring Movie of 2010,” The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader takes home a 100,000 dollar prize, which was raised by the awards themselves (as tickets for the event are 1,000 dollars each!)

In the article announcing Narnia’s success, David Weil (CEO of the Anschutz Film Group, which is the parent company of Walden Media) is quoted as saying the following:

“We are hoping to do another Narnia film.  We are in discussions right now with our studio partner Fox about a fourth one which would probably be Magician’s Nephew. In addition to that, our mandate as a film company is to continue to do family friendly films with uplifting messages.”

Whatever the reasoning, it seems as if a fourth Narnia film would do well at the box office due to it’s Christian morals.  This article, which also mentions Narnia’s victory, includes several interesting statistics concerning modern films, and has found that Christian-Themed films are doing better at the box office than films with heavy language, and with atheistic views.

As the glittering award season draws to an end, Narnia may not have won the prestige of the press or the Oscars, but it has won for it’s Christian values.  Along those lines, fans of the franchise have won as another exciting installment of the Narnia films, prepares to “set-sail”

You can read more by clicking here.

112 Comments For This Story

  • Aslan's Meadow says:

    That’s very cool. Those are sure expensive tickets 🙂
    ON TO MN!

    • stephen says:

      Well Voyage of the Dawn Treader may not have gotten any Oscars or even Golden Globes, but at least it’s getting some recognition.

      • narniafan#1 says:

        Yes, yes! And these are the kinds of awards that COUNT. A movie may win Oscars and other such praise, but I wouldn’t give a hoot if that movie is filled with crass jokes, profanities, and obscenities. Narnia was not only filmed with QUALITY, but it’s also SQUEAKY-CLEAN! And that aspect deserves some much needed spotlight.

  • realjillpole says:

    If the studio gets the 100 G, then does that makes up for their advertising? AND puts the "total" money collected at about 500G (NOT including the percent of money that they have taken away)? However way to go Dawn Treader! It was without a doubt one of the best 🙂

    -Sail On Dawn Treader!

  • Brisa says:

    Magician’s Nephew . . . that honestly makes no sense to me. I know they want to include the Witch (of course), but Tilda Swinton will age much less (looks-wise) in a few years then Will Poulter will. I’d much rather have Silver Chair now and Magician’s Nephew after that.

    • Avra says:

      I agree.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      a studio is more concerned with the bottom line than the storyline. the MOOLAH. luckily for us, they love narnia too. but ya gotta be real in this evil age and make a few concessions to get things done.

  • narnian says:

    NARNIA 4 HERE U COME!!!! YES!!!!!

  • Not Of This World says:

    I would have rather won this over an Oscar. This is great!

  • Starlily says:

    That’s great. If Narnia should win any award, it should be a Christian themes one. Although of course it would be fantastic if the next movie wins more awards–here’s hoping!

  • American Eagle says:

    It’s time for Narnia 4 to be announced! Woohoo!

  • Narnian Meerkat says:

    Glorious! ^_^ Christian films really ARE better then all those pointless films. 🙂 Like Harry Potter for an example. . .

  • Writergirl says:

    YES! So much better than an OSCAR!

  • Kelly says:

    I agree with everyone else- more films rather than Oscars. 🙂 Bring on MN. 🙂

  • NarniaFreak says:

    make way for NARNIA 4!!!!!

  • Fireflower says:

    As long as we eventually get all the books made into movies, I don’t care what order that they come out in!

  • Mark Sommer says:

    I noticed something funny in the original article. In quoting Weil, it actually says,"…Musician’s Nephew…" Time to educate the general public. 🙂
    http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/30308-the-voyage-of-the-dawn-treader-most-inspiring-faith-family-and-values-movie-of-2011

    • The Inscrutable Rutabaga says:

      HaHa!! Am I completely making this up or did it say somewhere in the book that Uncle Andrew played piano? 😉

  • chris says:

    What exactly is a movie with "an atheist view"? For that matter, what is an "atheist view"?

    By definition, atheists don’t have a doctrine. Atheists are individuals, they all have their own views, the only thing they have in common is a lack of belief in god. So "Atheist views" are a total misnoma.

    Regular movies don’t push some sort of atheistic morality doctrine on people, they’re just movies. They’re simply there to entertain as a whole, and reflect whatever the writer wanted them to be about. Sometimes the subject matter necessitates a character who uses bad language, like in this year’s "The Fighter" for example, which also has characters using drugs, and who fight. This doesn’t mean the film is encouraging people to take drugs, swear or become boxers.

    People can be so oddly manicheistic sometimes…

    • Gandalfs Beard says:

      I tend to agree Chris.

      Indeed, while I don’t have any issues in particular with a Christian organization handing out awards to films with messages and values they like, it seems incorrect to me to suggest that Lewis intended the books (and therefore movies based on the books) to have purely "Christian" values.

      Anyone who has read Lewis’s The Abolition of Man would come to realize that Lewis believed in a Universal moral code that is at the core of most religions.

      Something else sort of struck me in the article as odd. I wondered why Maria Canals-Barrera (who plays the mother on Wizards of Waverly Place and presented at the awards), would even take a role on WoWP. That programme (like a number of shows on the Disney Channel) has some of the shallowest values on TV. WoWP promotes a very consumerist greed and pride based set of values which seem very non-"Christian" (or generally non-Spiritual/Religious) to me. I doubt CS Lewis himself would have approved of that sort of programming.

      • Fire Fairy says:

        But WoWP is on Disney Channel, and Disney Channel is completely family-friendly!!! (I’m being sarcastic, by the way. I hate Disney Channel).

      • Not Of This World says:

        I can not stand that show. A subect like that is evil. And WoWP’s not the only show on Disney Chanel. There’s Phineas & Ferb. All the sister wants to do is get her brothers in trouble. I don’t thinks that’s a good message to be sending out to kids.

      • Christ's girl(once known as Writergirl) says:

        Of course he meant for it to be Christian! I just watched a documentary(excuse me if spelling is wrong, I’m not thinking clearly today) which read a letter to a dear freind of Lewis’. He had a dream in which, a talking lion appeared, (perhaps God or Jesus was speaking through dreams) and talked to him. I’m not sure what it was about(didn’t stick with me) but that lead to him knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Plus don’t you notice how the stone table is very closely related to the cross?

      • Christ's girl(once known as Writergirl) says:

        P.S. I agree with Not Of This World, WoWP is EVIL!!!

  • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

    this is all great, but an Oscar would’ve been better for publicity, and it would’ve given Narnia a better future too.

    • Writergirl says:

      True but this is soo great! 🙂 😀

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        yes…..
        but still, an Oscar is more prestigious. Just look at how far Lord of the Rings got, it won an oscar, if i am correct.

      • Arvan says:

        Nope, LOTR didn’t win an Oscar. The Return of the King alone won eleven. 😀

      • Christ's girl says:

        To tell you the trust, never saw LOTR!

      • Christ's girl says:

        That was supposed to say:

        To tell you the truth, never saw LOTR.

      • Gandalfs Beard says:

        The Oscars for Return of the King were intended for the entire trilogy…not RotK alone.

      • Gandalfs Beard says:

        PS: The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the only Fantasy Film franchise to ever win the Best Picture Oscar.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Harry Potter DH pt 2 got an Oscar nod for its entire franchise.

        So far, if any Narnia film truly deserves an Oscar, it would have to be LWW. I’m hoping that if they ever finish the entire series, that at least the last film would get a nod for best picture to cover the entire franchise.

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      Whereas I’m ever so glad that VDT won this award which should shut up those not necessarily humanistic or atheist critics – and there were quite a few of those, also – who still insist that the VDT movie was too humanistic.

  • John Freeman says:

    So stinkin awesome!!!!

  • Twinimage says:

    Huh, that’s cool. Glad to hear that Christian morals are being awarded. Though I don’t know if I want another Narnia movie. If they make one more Narnia movie, they better just make the entire series. VDT made a close to the Pevensies story. If they make another, letting audiences know there is more to tell, I’d hate to see them not finish the chronicles. However, MN is a prequel, so it doesn’t exactly make you think there’s more to tell after the Pevensies stories. Oh well. *shrugs*

  • Shastafan says:

    Sweet! I am glad that Christian movies are being made! 🙂

    Onto Narnia 4! 😀

  • Bob says:

    Religion is something the world needs less of. All it causes is hurt and suffering and hate and prejudice. Narnia is great without bringing that rubbish into it. Yes it is possible to read and enjoy without being a believe in falsities.

    • Andrew says:

      Good thing Christianity isn’t a religion then.

    • Starlily says:

      Don’t forget that atheism can be a religion…

      • simplyphilly says:

        Yes, a religion is an organized way of thinking, belief, and/or way of life. People who believe in atheism make it a religion.
        P.S. I don’t want to be controversial or anything. I’m just saying.

      • WiterFreak101 says:

        I don’t want to create controversy either, but I think I must speak to inform my fellow Christians. Atheism is not a religion. It can and never will be. The reason why is because there is nothing that unites atheists when it comes to belief. They have their own separate views. Sure some of them will have many beliefs in common, but there is nothing that unites them. For instance, some mostly go by Buddism or Daoism. Others go by Hinduism. Some go by the beliefs of the people of ancient Greece. I myself went along with Native American spirituals. (Think of the network of energy in "Avatar.") The only thing that could possibly unite atheists is the belief in no god whatsoever. And even that isn’t enough to make it a religion.

        The reason why I know this is because I was a former atheist myself. I’m back on the Christian path now of course, but I know and understand how atheists/agnosts think. And I wish only to help my fellow Christians understand. I hope I don’t stir up any controversy in my quest to help. I’ll probably go away now and wait to see what will happen. Hoping there’s no blood bath going on.

    • Arvan says:

      I see the atheistic Communist countries of history and think you are talking about atheism, not religion. Yeah, atheism doesn’t cause hate, hurt or suffering. All I ever hear from atheists is hate. (If I offend someone, I’m sorry, but this is emotional for me.) Now, Christians aren’t perfect (certainly not!!!), but Christianity is a faith that teaches us to love our enemies. While I agree that we don’t do that enough, that kind of teaching doesn’t lead us to hate or suffering.

    • commonlogic says:

      True Christianity is not a religion but a relationship which I hope you will come into someday.

      To your point "religion is something the world needs less of": Granted there has been much evil committed "in the name of religion". Dig deeper and it is evident that the conflicts and atrocities were more about power, resources and riches than religion. However, much more evil, genocide and atrocities have occurred under atheistic rule than what could be rightly or wrongly ascribed to religeous purposes. Thinking "religion is something the world need less of" implies the world needs more atheism. Be careful what you wish for. By the way, atheism is really it’s own religion.

  • yeswelovenarnia says:

    WOW soooooo cool!!!! I was so afraid it hadn’t been recognized anywhere but I see differently. I LOVE it that Christian movies were actually made well. :D:D

  • narnian resident says:

    awesome! VDT did have alot of beautiful christian messages (which most of them came from Reepicheep 😉 ) and i especially loved that. Secretariat was an AMAZING movie! i absolutely LOVED it! so inspiring and powerful. i nearly cried at the end

  • -centaur- says:

    well, that’s very good news, I suppose. I’m sure C.S. Lewis would have been proud that the film crew kept the family-friendly and Christian themes present (although an Oscar may have been better for the franchise as a whole 😛 )

    • glumPuddle says:

      I have no idea what it is that is supposed to make this a "Christian" film. It’s more like Philip Pullman’s version of VDT than anything else.

      • Mark Sommer says:

        Even the ending???

      • Narniapinoy says:

        Really GP, it seems that you really never understood the movie your more into, how they (film makers) got it right from the book, such a shame, maybe you should read this really great review, although she hate the changes she did a great job analyzing the christian theme http://www.aslanscountry.com/2011/02/dawn-treader-movie-review-living-in-another%E2%80%99s-shadow/

      • Twinimage says:

        I think I agree with glumPuddle, the Narnia films have at least tried to be "Christian", but failed to convey Aslan’s deity properly as well as get the themes right. The script writers always seem to go back to this default message about, "you just have to have faith about these sort of things". Obviously they must not have any real understanding of Christianity, or they’re just afraid to write anything of real substance for fear people will bash the film for being too preachy.

        All you who disagree, it’s probably because you’ve read the books and you know what certain scenes are supposed to convey, but the common movie goer is not going to get the same message, because it’s just not implemented right.

        I think what Narnia needs is better script writers who actually understand the books, that’s probably where a lot of the issues start.

      • glumPuddle says:

        An interview is an interview. A movie is a movie. Whatever the filmmakers intended, the film that resulted is more humanistic than Christian.

        In the movie, Aslan’s line "there I have another name" could mean anything. In the book, Aslan takes the form of a lamb, and gives Eustace a kind of baptism to undragon him. In the book, it is also Aslan who destroys the Dark Island (in the movie, all the credit is given to Eustace). In the book, it is Aslan who enables Caspian and Edmund to resist Deathwater; in the movie it was Lucy.

        Aslan in the VDT movie is little more than a sidekick.

        In the book, the crew must rely on Aslan. In the movie, Aslan encourages them to rely on themselves ("don’t run from who you are") and they listen: "WE did it. I knew WE would."

      • Not Of This World says:

        You’re still missing the point, GlumPuddle. If you ask people what Aslan ment by "There I have a different name" and they would probobly say Jesus. And the Undragoning showed that we need to ask God for help. This movie was Christian.

      • Mark Sommer says:

        Twinimage does actually make a couple good points. I agree that having scriptwriters who understand what Lewis was up to would make for better movies, but this applies not only to the Christian themes, but the allusions to literature, and his opinions of society in general.
        "All you who disagree, it’s probably because you’ve read the books and you know what certain scenes are supposed to convey, but the common movie goer is not going to get the same message, because it’s just not implemented right."
        Actually, it’s not that we’ve read the books, but that we have the background in Christianity that helps us bridge that gap. There are those who have read the books and did not realize they were meant to have Christian themes. So, that argument seems rather weak to me.

      • Twinimage says:

        Good point. If it weren’t for my own Christian background, the Narnia series would just be another fantasy series to me.
        I’ve watched secular movies and got some spiritual stuff out of them because of my Christian point of view. So, I guess you could say it’s in the eye of the beholder as well as your definition of a "Christian movie".
        I guess a good question is: should a Christian movie get it’s message across to Christian and non-Christians?
        You see the Christian themes there because of your point of view and your own beliefs. You know they should be there, thus you interpret it that way. But what will an Atheist get from this movie?
        Will he see that the point of the scene was for the charactersto depend on Aslan to help them?
        Does he see that Eustace must rely solely on Aslan to deliver him from his dragon form?

      • Arvan says:

        Not of This World, I think you’re missing the point. Did you even read glumPuddle’s post?

        As for the Undragoning, I thought it was the lamest portrayal of "asking for help". To me it looked like Aslan was rewarding him for fighting the Sea Serpent.

      • Not Of This World says:

        What i’m saying is Narnia is Christian. In some ways it might not be clear to unbelivers but in other ways it usually is. I don’t care what people belive. They have probobly heard of Christians and what we belive. They’ve probobly heard the story of Christ (weather they choose to belive it or not is another matter). So when they see things like Aslan dieing on the Stone Table and rising again, they most likley will related that to what they’ve heard in Christianity (I’m not saying they will accept Christ because of it. I’ve heard things in movies that I’ve in other religions, but I’ve not changed my belifes). So people can see Christ in Narnia.

      • Arvan says:

        I can see Christ in the Narnia series. I can see him in the first two films. This one? NO. That’s what I’m saying. People (who haven’t read the books) will get the idea that Aslan is Jesus, and it will be confirmed by "I have another name". Does that this mean this movie is "Christian"? Absolutely not. There is no "Christian" world-view in this film.

      • simplyphilly says:

        The Narnia Chronicles has very strong christian allegory, but the movie-makers have the responsibility to make the movie viewable for people of all religions. Even though it has been reduced greatly by the script-writers, the presence of Christian themes still exists.
        p.s. Once again, I am not hoping to make a controversial statement but trying to clarify matters. Please excuse me if I am wrong in any aspect.

  • Braden Woodburn says:

    I love how everyone is saying "On way for Narnia 4" whenever The Magician’s Nephew is Narnia 1, but instead The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was Narnia 1 (movie wise of course) instead of being Narnia 2 (which it is). Suppose though when people are mentioning numbers they are going just by the number of what film it is of a Narnia novel. I really hope they know what they are doing by making The Magicians Nephew next instead of The Silver Chair. I swear if The Magicians Nephew doesn’t make expectations on what Walden Media and FOX want, I don’t want to hear them complain.

    • Arvan says:

      You’re a bit confused. LWW was the first Narnia book ever written or published. The Magician’s Nephew was the sixth. The entire series was re-ordered "chronologically" in 1994 by HarperCollins. Up to this point, the films have been released in the same order as the books were.

  • Narniadreamer says:

    Yay! I am glad they won the award. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader really was an awesoe movie. I love Narnia!

  • Swordebrithil12 says:

    This makes me happy beyond words. The Magician’s Nephew! I never doubted they would make The Silver Chair next. I love that book so much… but I understand the need to make MN next. It’ll probably attract more people to Narnia if it’s explained how everything started and all. This will finally be a movie where people will be happy to see the White Witch. 😀 SC can wait for now. Now I’ve got to go back and reread MN to get myself back into the story. Narnia, I await you!!!!

  • brandon says:

    I was reading Magicians Nephewm today and I swear I caught a vivid glimspe in my head on what the Hall of Images in Charn will possibly look like. weird huh? anyways. Further up and Further In,Inspiring beautiful line

  • StephanieTheFaithful says:

    Get ready to go Further up and Further In!!!

  • Michael says:

    I had wanted SC to be made first, but I’ll be happy with this. I’m just glad that they want to continue the series.

  • Dancinginrain says:

    Yay!

  • Swordebrithil12 says:

    Still waiting on news for the movie to be green lit! I’m hoping you guys will let us know *immediately*. 🙂

  • claireyy says:

    yay!!

  • sachin says:

    ONE THING FOR SURE

    IN VODT ASLAN HAD BEEN REALLY REALLY SIDELINED I MEAN HE WAS THERE FOR JUS 3 % FILM

    JUST KICK THIS MORON michael apted out of narnia

    • commonlogic says:

      Not sure Aslan would think much of your name calling. Have you seen "Amazing Grace" that Apted directed? In it (and is historically true) it becomes quite evident that it was Christians who were at the forefront of the abolishment of slavery. Remember in VODT; I believe is the first time you hear Aslan say something to the effect / like "in your world you know me by a different name". Good for Apted to leave this in; not sure other directors would have. From what I understand every additional minute of Aslan, done right, was very expensive.

      • Arvan says:

        That line was only there because it had to be. Doug Gresham made them do it, and they knew if they didn’t the fans would literally flame the film.

        As for "Amazing Grace", that was a good film, but it wasn’t evident at all that Christians were at the forefront. Nothing in the main character’s actions or speech gave me the feeling that he was a devout Christian. And, that film had several historical inaccuracies. I agree that Apted should be banned from our beloved franchise.

    • Swordebrithil12 says:

      I really don’t mean to be rude but I totally have to agree with you. Everytime I look at MA he looks like Narnia is a pain in his butt. It’s like "Oh this childish story I’m stuck with, I’ve done much better". Andrew Adamson really understood the stories much better. I want him back. 🙁

  • Aslan's Girl says:

    As a Christian who loves the Christian themes in the Chronicles of Narnia, it warms my heart to know that the movies have conveyed those themes to the viewers! CS Lewis would be proud. Thank you, God, for using these movies for your good! And thank you so much that the next movie is *likely* on its way! We pray that you’d smooth out the process and help all the people involved with the greenlighting and later (hopefully) moviemaking to understand and convey the Christian themes in the movie! Amen! 🙂

    Ah, yes, and I was very interested to find that (studies show) Christian movies are doing better than heavy-language movies! Hmm…

    Long live Narnia! And long live Aslan!

    • Writergirl says:

      DITTO! 😉 🙂 😀

    • Bookwyrm says:

      What studies would these be? And which "Christian" movies are you talking about? Fireproof and the like? Or are you labeling "Christian" films that happen to have a few themes common to the religion within them? If so, then you would have to include "heavier language" films in that label as well since there are many films that do not fit the squeaky clean sanitized mold that have spiritual truths present within their stories.

  • Farsight-msngr. says:

    YEAh! This is a great news. Even thou NArnia 3 didn’t won any oscars or golden globe (It’s better if they won those nominations), it was still given many awards such like this. So Narnia is also an inspiring film (for it should really be like in the books-series) Narnia gives us inspiration in our life for our faith and family. Oh, really longing for MAgician’s Nephew!

  • Aunt Letty says:

    $100,000.00 divided by $1,000.00 per ticket equals 100 people in attendance? Did I get that right? Hmmm. I guess at first I had pictured a bigger population of christian "voters" contributing to the prize and it sounded like this heartwarming sort of grassroots groundswell of approval for VDT. Doing the math sort of changed the picture a bit. Maybe not all the ticket money went into the prize?

    Although, at 1,000.00 a pop, I guess "grassroots" isn’t really the right word, anyway…come to think of it. Still, it’s nice of them to give the franchise their seal of approval. Especially if it helps propel the next book onto the screen.

  • lysander says:

    "These awards only go to films noted for their Christian message, morality, or ‘family-friendliness.’"

    Does anyone dislike this Christianity = family-friendly paradigm as much as I do?

    • Arvan says:

      Well, a family film isn’t always Christian, but Christian films should be family-friendly. Unless they’re violent.

  • commonlogic says:

    Hollywood Reporter is reporting 14+ million already in Japan; total international is about 293.6 million;
    link: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/rango-nabs-no-1-at-164819

    Plus about 104 million domestic = almost 398 million worldwide. Will easily break 400 million and just might surpass PC in worldwide sales.

  • NathanSpellman says:

    To the people here commenting how the movie was not obviously Christian, you most remember that producers aimed for a movie that non Christians could enjoy as well. They sat that the message wouldn’t be the "In your face" one.
    You really should consider that some people don’t want to have bibles thrown at their face. You may not like it, then keep reading the books, they won’t change the message.
    Don’t see how can it be surprising to have Christian films as the most popular when Christianity is the most numerous belief
    On a personal level… The amazing grace film and Christian delivery of slaves cracks me up a little since the bible endorses it

    • commonlogic says:

      It may crack you up, but it is a historical fact that Christians were at the forefront of the abolishment of slavery. There are many things in the Bible I don’t understand and that must be taken within the cultural context. One thing is clear throughout the Bible and especially in the New Testament, is that they were supposed to be treated well and that to have and give freedom is much more desirable.

    • Arvan says:

      I believe that Old Testament slaves were freed after seven years of service. They also were usually captured enemies.

    • Bookwyrm says:

      Slavery in ancient Israel was not even remotely similar to American slavery. Please get your facts straight before accusing the Bible of endorsing things.

  • Christ's girl says:

    Bring on MN! Or SC! I don’t care which! 😀 😉 😛

  • Christ's girl says:

    I heard someone say they hate Narnia today! So sad.*sob* 🙁

  • Swordebrithil12 says:

    Sometimes I really wish the filmakers would read our posts on Narniaweb and see what we really want in the movies.

  • Praying Pevensie says:

    = ]

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