15th Anniversary of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” Movie

NarniaWeb is commemorating the 15th anniversary of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which first hit theaters in the United States on December 9, 2005.

This anniversary is particularly notable for Narnia nerds because, according to C.S. Lewis’s timeline, the four Pevensies reigned at Cair Paravel for 15 years.

Anna Popplewell Reflects

To reminisce about the movie, we interviewed Anna Popplewell (Susan) for an upcoming episode of Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast.

Here is a short clip from the conversation in which Anna recalls the pressure of living up to expectations:

Friends and Knights of NarniaWeb, you already have access to the full 18-minute interview with Anna.

Watch Party this Saturday

What better way to celebrate the 15th anniversary than watching and discussing the movie with fans around the world? The watch party begins this Saturday December 12 at 1:00pm EST. (More details)

Audio Commentary

If you haven’t already, you can listen to NarniaWeb’s audio commentary of the film (recorded in 2015) which primarily focuses on the adaptation from book to film.

When did you first see the movie? How has it held up over 15 years? Does it capture what you love about the book? Post a comment below.

33 Responses

  1. Larry W. says:

    I first saw the film in a theater and believed that it was a good adaptation of the book. It has held up well over the fifteen years since it came out. In fact it probably was the best of the three films for its faithfulness to the original story. Anna’s acting was really good, and she was very convincing as Susan. It is so good to hear her voice from the interview. 🙂

  2. Jennifer Avery says:

    I saw it as soon as it started playing on TV. I didn’t get to go see it in theaters, but I did start reading the books as the movies were being made or shortly after they were placed in theaters.

    Anna did such a good job. I love book and movie Susan (I like to think the last book is right before she changes. I think Susan’s personality and experiences stopped her from being like the rest and that she probably really sympathized with Edmund. I also really don’t like to remember the last book too. It was a different time then too.)

  3. JFG II says:

    Wardrobe – Christmas 2005
    Caspian – Summer 2008
    Dawn Treader – Christmas 2010

    If the movies hadn’t stopped, and were continued in the “every-2.5-years” pattern, we would been presented with the release of The Last Battle movie… today.

    But I would have only appreciated that if they were all GOOD to GREAT. So I’m glad they stopped being made after the third. I really didn’t like it when it was first released.

    The second film felt more like a war movie than a film about Narnia. I felt mixed.

    Wardrobe was a mostly satisfying experience in the movie theater, and it captured much of the books power.

    • JFG II says:

      Sorry, I know I’ve probably said this all before (and it’s all a bit off-topic from the movie we’re celebrating). Still, since we’re acknowledging the 15th anniversary to the one Narnia movie that everyone loves, also acknowledging the Narnia movie series (as a whole) that flew off the rails by its end – is worth a mention. So, today, remembering Wardrobe, it’s bitter sweet, for me at least.

    • TheeNarnianMeerkat says:

      Man..That would’ve been great. Agreed. On everything. *Applauds*

      • TheeNarnianMeerkat says:

        I wonder what’s going on with the whole “Netflix series/movies or whatever reboot”…I’m not putting a lot of hopes in it. That it will be any good or if they will even pull through with it.

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        I sorta lost hope when I heard the original Avatar the Last Airbender creators left the Netflix production due to Netflix not letting them have enough creative control. If they’re ready to ignore a the creators of a juggernaut franchise what are they ready to do Gresham and company?

        If it’s ever made… I mean yes I’ll probably at least try an episode

    • Just Queen, not High Queen says:

      The fact that we would have had the release of The Last Battle right now is a very sad statement. If only 🙁

    • Narnia1 says:

      Even when they announced they were making the 2005 movie I did not think The Last Battle movie would ever get made. However I prefer to look to the future and do hope Netflix makes a series which goes beyond their usual bland content which all looks and feels the same. Lets face it if Netflix can get Chris Columbus to make the dire Santa Claus Chronicles series why not employ him to helm the Narnia films. He would be as good as Andrew Adamson and knows how to make blockbuster films from blockbuster books.

  4. TheeNarnianMeerkat says:

    I was 10 years old…I am now 25. 3 months before turning 26. Till this day I still remember what 12/9 is and means to me. Without any reminders today. ^^ Narnia has been such a special and nostalgic part in my and my two older sisters’ life, and always will be. I thank C.S. Lewis for coming up with these beautiful and inspiring stories in the first place and sharing it with children and adults alike for many many years…Narnia will definitely be one of my top selections to encourage my future children to read. <3 And of course definitely watch!! I wonder if it will mean to them as much as it did me.

    And to Andrew, William, Georgie, Anna, Skandar, Ben and Will, and everyone else included in the making of these films, Narnia wouldn’t have been the same without their performances. Some being better than others (I think we all know which), but have made the stories amazing and rememberable all the same.

    Here’s to the big *15th* Anniversary, and more future anniversaries to look back and reminisce on this what I consider as a true treasured classic!! (I feel old… ‘XD)

  5. Dante L says:

    I remember going to the store and seeing The Chronicles of Narnia DVD in the movie section. What really stood out to me was the lion (Aslan) and the polar bears that were pulling the White Witch’s sled. I was only like 6 years old and I begged my mom to buy it for me which she did. When I watched it, I was mesmerized. I watched it a lot. I’m not sure what happened after that. I kind of just forgot about it. About 12 years passed and here I am again obsessed with it and feeling the same way I did about it all those years ago. This movie will definitely be apart of my life forever. So happy I ended up watching it again. I also remember my great grandmom having this big wardrobe in her room and I would go to her house to try and find Narnia in it!

  6. Andy Harrelson says:

    Looking forward to the watch party/interview! This movie made me fall in love with Narnia and helped me discover the books! I also have a small door that leads to my attic above my bed, which I always checked for a snow covered forest, one of these days…

  7. Kevin Anderson says:

    Happy 15th Anniversary to my favorite movie ever and from my childhood! I’m so thankful that this movie exists. I remember seeing this movie as a fourth grader in theaters and I loved every minute of it. It brings back so many memories. Great story, characters, actors, music, writing, VFX, and the best battle scene in movie history!! Thank you to the director, producers, writers, crew members, C.S. Lewis, Disney, and Walden MEDIA for allowing this movie to happen. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you!

  8. The CGI Aslan holds up really well. I sometimes thought, “Oh, Narnia is not as popular as LOTR or Harry Potter, and it has a small niche audience of Christians, so it is kind of a small movie.” But I was wrong. It is no small movie. (After all, the budget was about $180m if I recall correctly.) The CGI Aslan emotes on his face and still seems realistic. It is something The Lion King remake could have learned from.
    The dialogue is very different from the book, so much so that my Narnia fan friend did not like the movie, and never ended up seeing the third film (After being disappointed with Prince Caspian too.)
    I really enjoy Walden’s TCoN:LWW. It really does make you feel excited. Even though, it doesn’t have the same joyous innocent feeling as the books.
    I’m glad we got such nice people at the actors of the children. I also hope that this movie brought some people to read Lewis’ other books and come to know Jesus as their friend and savior. I can’t wait for Netflix to (hopefully!) Make all seven stories.

    • Mrs. Beaver says:

      I must confess that I was also disappointed with all of the dialogue changes. When I was small, it was the cartoon version that captivated me (in addition to the book), and that old, somewhat-cheesily-animated adaption featured the original dialogue from the book. The book dialogue is fantastic! I’m sorry the writers felt like they just had to change it in order to leave their mark on the material, or something.

      That all being said, I found Narniaweb before the Walden movie came out, participated in the grassroots marketing campaign for the movie — I still have some posters! — and saw the Walden movie for the first time alongside most of the cast of a community theater production of “Narnia: The Musical,” in which I had just portrayed. . . (surprise!) . . . Mrs. Beaver.

      With regards to the Walden adaptation: I love the cinematography and “epicness”. The Pevensie children are spot on with their acting. Mr. Tumnus’ character finally makes it make sense as to why Lucy might feel comfortable hanging out with him. The Beavers are fun. The props and the costumes and the scenery are a visual feast. Etc.! It’s a well-made film, to be sure.

      The book outranks the film version (which is normal for many literary adaptations!) but I am very grateful that the Walden movie was made, since it helped start this community online, and inspired countless individuals to enjoy the wonder of Narnia.

  9. King Johnson says:

    For yours truly, King B. Johnson and family, in faith and magic,) my very first experience experiencing easily among the greatest of theatrical and cinematic stories brought to life ever throughout history is an exceptional and above-average one!) At 9 years Young;) blessed to live in a subdivision called the Highlands of Columbia South Carolina in Richland county, there was this one movie that definitely even 15 years later grabs everybody’s attention!) Out of all the great successes that managed to make it on the list and slate of our hopefully accurate calendar flow,) the larger-than-life and brought to life film edition of The Lion the witch and the wardrobe easily stands out of everything! I believe I was able to experience it and theaters and if we didn’t, we definitely have it on home video literally not that long after it’s release! Almost immediately afterwards, I leap and jump all over the novels, falling and rising in pure love over this biblically and spirit inspired Saga even that CS Lewis was blessed to write and breathe life into!) My parents Carolyn D. H. Johnson and Bruce F. Johnson I definitely indebted to this story and ongoing journey, as it is one of the notable and memorable times I can remember looking backward at my dad not falling asleep at all while it is playing!) The exact same can always be said for my mom, who definitely Love’s how much of an influence the books and literature along with the film positively impacted and empowered all of us. Even in our uncertain and historically challenging times presently and currently, the trilogy itself is still a masterpiece to behold and everybody that is involved near or far definitely hoping for more installments! With the pure magic and Majesty of Narnia’s universe definitely needed 4 our moral, spiritual, and even imaginative sakes, all of those who are inspired to walk the exact same path as the original author physically and the storytellers who continue to keep it alive and active growing more vibrant are blessed indeed!) May the roar and the deep magic live on truly forever and an everlasting always! ~King B. Johnson, a son of the first and second Adam!)

  10. Kimberly Andrews says:

    I have been watching Narnia as often as possible..but now its getting harder and harder to get anyof them on you tube inless u buy it..I absolutely LOVE this movie..

    • King Johnson says:

      Places like Disney Plus are there to solve this!) There’s always more still yet ahead!) An exceptional and above-average story like this makes even imperfect platforms that much better!)

  11. Jason Youngblood says:

    I almost can’t believe I’m seeing this post because I honestly watch this movie on a weekly basis. I love this movie so much that here recently… I’ve been watching it almost everyday. It’s SUCH a great movie!

  12. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    Definitely a film that’s far more than the sum of its parts. It’s pure movie magic that when people ask why it’s so important to me, besides mentioning the Christian themes, it can be hard to say why. It’s just that good and impacted me that much. Watching it now can be still the same as watching it back then.
    I saw it a week and a day after it’s release at a group screening with my church. I actually wrote an essay about seeing it in my application for graduate school, during which I had to write about a transformational moment in my life and its impact.

  13. aeryn watts says:

    Very informative.
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Cleander says:

    Happy birthday LWW!
    We definitely owe a big thanks to Andrew Adamson for his creative vision and enthusiasm in directing this film. His display of interest in every aspect of the storytelling, his hands on approach, and his love for the books made this (imo) the best Narnia film adaptation to date.
    And thanks to the amazing four Pevensie actors for their stunning performances! They were just four normal kids with almost no prior experience, but they came across as believable as a result.
    And special thanks to all the animators and Liam Neeson’s amazing growly voice for bringing Aslan to life!

  15. Icarus says:

    That’s an interesting detail about 15 years also being the length of time the Pevensie’s were on the throne for.

    I think the movies may have grossly over-estimated how much someone ages in 15 years, as the adult versions all look like they are in their late 40s, nothing like the actual actors currently do!

    • JFG II says:

      Thats an interesting take, because all four adult actors were (in 2005) younger than the Pevensie actors are right now (in 2020):

      (The Pevensies: A Young-to-Adult Comparison
      Peter: William Mosley is currently 33 years old; the adult actor was 30
      Susan: Anna Popplewell is currently 32; the adult actress was 24
      Edmund: Skander Keynes is currently 29: the adult actor was 24
      Lucy: Georgie Henley is currently 25; the adult actress was 16 – older sister Rachael Henley)

      Just geeking around right now. 🙂

      • Col Klink says:

        Maybe they found the secret of eternal youth. 😉

      • King Johnson says:

        We all hope for a greater Union on the scale that we would all love for it to be hopefully!)

      • icarus says:

        Oh wow. That’s really interesting. I don’t know if its just the long hair and beard on Adult Peter that really ages him up, compared to how William Mosely currently looks, but even the others all look way older to me than the kids currently do (based on how they looked in the recent Prop Culture episode they were in)

      • Silvia says:

        Interesting! thanks for sharing.

  16. Silvia says:

    I just rewatched the movie today, I definetely love the movie. It’s much better than some nowadays movies. The acting , the music, the scenes, the characters are great. It remains and will always be one of my all time favorite movies ever! So glad to share this feeling with the fans. Merry Christmas from Mexico!

  17. Tarcotti says:

    I grew up on Narnia because my dad was a huge CS Lewis fan. Although not Chronicles haha. But my mother read the 7 book series to me at night and I have fond memories of that. I also grew up with the BBC series version of the books and I still much prefer those to the big screen adaptation (although simply because of nostalgia). There was also a cartoon movie made in 1979 that I loved. I was very skeptical of when I heard it was being made into a big hollywood hit mainly over concern that the christian message would be warped or left out. I was very pleased and thankful they did it justice and I went out and bought it immediately. Not much to say that hasn’t already been said, those adorable kids, the acting, the directing, the location, music. Everything was spectacular. I still enjoy the movie to this day and my daughter loves it too. Its a truly wonderful thing that the story not just survives but excels through the generations. It certainly will in my family.

    I hear talks of the whole thing being remade yet again now that the rights keep passing hands. I’m even more worried now. I hope they keep the whole point of the series true to the message. Otherwise I won’t be watching.