Should the Narnia Extended Edition Stay in the Disney Vault? | Talking Beasts

In 2006, a four-disc extended edition of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was released… and then disappeared. In this episode, Glumpuddle, Rilian, and Gymfan dust off their DVDs and reevaluate the longer cut.

Post-Show Chatter: Podcasters discuss The Lord of the Rings extended editions.

15 Responses

  1. Randi S Briggs says:

    No, they should release it!

  2. HighKingPete says:

    I have the extended edition and love watching Children’s Magical Journey!

  3. Skilletdude says:

    I don’t mind either way. I rented the extended edition, and It was obviously released to try to duplicate the success of the LOTR EE’s. Unfortunately, it brought almost nothing to the table, besides the good documentary on C.S. Lewis. The actual “extended” cut is a waste of time.

  4. Andy Harrelson says:

    I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t know there WAS even an extended cut! But yea, I agree it seems a bit redundant. This extended cut could’ve definitely been used to expand on the spring transition and the De-Statueing. Their absence in the movie isn’t really a problem for me tbh, but their inclusion would’ve definitely been welcome. I still enjoy the theatrical cut nevertheless, as it was my introduction to Narnia.

    • Geekicheep says:

      I didn’t know there was an extended edition either! I’ll probably watch it now just cuz, but it sounds like I wasn’t missing much. But I do think adding a bit more of the spring transition and “de-statuing” (nice funny word btw) would definitely add to the sense of joy that Glumpuddle and others (myself included) love about Narnia. But even without those added details (and the hilarious thought of the dwarf getting a shave) I will always love the Walden Narnia movies.

      PS: Glumpuddle, you’re NOT the only one who likes the physical copies of movies! DVDs are awesome; streaming is like renting IMO. No internet, no movies; streaming services go bananas with price hikes, no movies. That’s okay for random new stuff, but for Narnia I totally use the DVDs. 🙂

  5. The Headmaster's Replacement says:

    As someone who truly appreciates the Lord of the Rings extended editions, I was deeply disappointed in Disney’s half-hearted, consumerist attempt at replicating their success. I think the extended edition could have been great if Disney had been willing to put some skin in the game to finish the special effects (especially for the dancing at Cair Paravel scene) and complete the music properly. But alas and alack. What do you expect from Disney? Boo.

    I agree with Puddleglum that the theatrical cut was the intended director’s cut. Adamson came from the world of animation and had storyboarded practically the entire story before lifting the camera. There wasn’t much on the cutting room floor because it had all been edited out in pre-production. Unlike Peter Jackson who had week’s worth of footage he was forced to edit out of the theatrical cut. If only he had as good of an editor on The Hobbit…………

  6. Col Klink says:

    I think the bit with the dog was supposed to be a pet-the-dog moment for Lucy as well as a kick-the-dog moment for Edmund. (No pun intended. Just using the TV Tropes terms.) The fact that she doesn’t object to her toy being given away to these sad kids shows that she’s a generous person. Cutting it was the right idea, IMO, because I don’t buy that Lucy would expect Edmund to want to play with the dog. I know she’s young and naïve but she’s generally not that clueless. I like the way the theatrical cut shows Lucy’s kindness subtly by having the kid leaving the train with the dog without us seeing her give it to him.

    An extended bit that stands out to me, unmentioned in this episode, is when the Pevensies are trying to avoid Mrs. Macready (before they all go to Narnia.) They hear footsteps in front of them and Peter says, “She’s faster than she looks!” They all laugh and run in the other direction. Then they stop laughing when they hear footsteps coming from that way too. I like that they were implying that, as the book says, “some magic in the house had come to life and was chasing them into Narnia.” But this cut moment feels really awkward. The characters are really scared, then they laugh for a few seconds, then they go back to being scared. Maybe when it was scripted, this scene was supposed to be more comedic. But in the actual movie, it’s clearly meant to be relatively intense, especially with the dramatic music. (I’m not criticizing the music in this scene. I actually really like it.) The line just doesn’t fit. And you still get the implication I wrote about above without it. (Unless my memory’s crazy, the exact shot of Susan frowning when she hears the new footsteps is in the theatrical cut.)

    One of the additions to the extended edition I consider an improvement is the spring shots and not just because this part was disappointingly quick in the theatrical version. In that one, the characters say they’re going to meet Aslan at the Stone Table, but we don’t see the Table until Aslan’s death. Here we see them walking past it on their way. The other addition I prefer is the bit with the incubi (aren’t they harpies though?) though not the part where they fight the phoenix. (That just slowed down the pacing.) I don’t have any particular reason for this. It just seems like a waste for the Witch to have flying creatures in her army and not use them.

    As awkward as the bit with Ginarrbrik is, it actually does make the scene closer to the book in a way. There it says Edmund “fought his way through three ogres” to get to the Witch’s wand. Normally, I like it when little details from the book are included in the movie but here it just slows things down.

    I really hesitate to say this but a lot of the bonus material on the extended edition, including “C. S. Lewis: Dreamer of Narnia” can be watched on YouTube at the moment. Enjoying it that way is more or less stealing from the distributor since you’re not paying them. But this edition is so rare that it seems a shame for people not to see any of the great special features. (I actually can get it from my local library.) If it Disney was making an effort to really sell the thing right now, I wouldn’t say anything.

    I have to give credit to the podcasters for making the discussion of both the deleted material from LWW and VDT so entertaining. I wouldn’t have believed it could be done. Next season, I’d like them to talk about the scenes deleted from Prince Caspian. There were more of them that were actually interesting.

  7. EJH says:

    To be honest I have been enjoying finally buying a blu-ray player and being able to watch Narnia in HD these past years and haven’t even thought ask my sister to let me borrow our Extended Edition copy. I did enjoy the added scenes, and the documentary was interesting, but I do agree that if I had not been the Narnia fan that I am, that paying $40 for the extended edition would have been too much.
    The thing that I’m still confused about is why it has a label on the box that says that it might not be appropriate for people under age 17. I don’t remember anything risque in the extended edition at all.

    As for a re-release, it may be that when they completed the digital effects, that they may have only done it to DVD quality instead of Blu-ray quality. Possibly that would prevent a re-release.

    • Cleander says:

      I was confused by the age label as well; did they maybe just slap it on there just to be sure?
      I’d probably be down for a rerelease. The more Narnia products on the market the better.

    • Col Klink says:

      I assume the warning was because of the extra violence in the battle scene, mainly the burning soldiers. For the record though, when I watched that bit I thought it was oddly not that gruesome. Maybe that was because the effects weren’t as polished as the non-extended parts.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      Low key think the age warning might also be so they could try to market it as like the “adult cut” of the movie or some other nonsense.

  8. Cleander says:

    I got this on Ebay a couple years ago, and given the amount of bonus material, it’s definitely not a total waste of money. I especially loved the BTS stuff- particularly the Weta Workshop bits!
    The extended film itself is fine imo. The stuffed dog scene felt a little unnecessary and weird, as did the extra chasing scenes, but I did like the extra Narnia landscapes, both in winter and spring; the frozen fish helped add depth and atmosphere as well.
    The incubus-gryphon dogfight actually was kind of interesting to watch, and I had wondered previously why the weird winged creature which had taunted Aslan the night before had somehow disappeared.
    The Phoenix part, I agree, was unnecessary, but I did like seeing Edmund face-off ( or should I say “beard-off”?) with Ginarrbrik. It’s a great payback for Ginarrbrik’s attempt to knife Edmund when they first meet.
    Great podcast! Get well soon Rilian!

  9. Jess Roberts says:

    This 4 disc box set is a prized possession of mine, I love all of the bts on disc 2, and how they talk through the making of the film on disc 4. However, the extra scenes in the extended film were rightfully cut from the main release in my opinion.

  10. Larry W. says:

    I just have blu-ray editions of all three movies and a regular full screen DVD of the first film. The extended edition sounds interesting. Wasn’t it sold with Narnia bookends? I think it was included with those as a gift edition. Items like these occasionally turn up eBay since they are now vintage. I think it’s good to buy physical media in case if the digital versions are no longer available. For your favorite films an actual disc is better for your own preservation— especially if you want to own the movie for many years.

  11. Col Klink says:

    On the subject of DVDs (and other video formats) vs streaming, I’d probably prefer the former. While I may love a movie or a show, I’m not going to watch it every month, so I’d rather just it buy it once and then be able to watch it whenever I feel like it than have to pay for it every month whether I’m going to be watching it or not. (There’s the option of subscribing to the streaming service, watching the thing, unsubscribing when I’m tired of it and then re-subscribing whenever I feel like watching it some more, but that strikes me as tiresome.) Of course, if the DVD is rare and expensive, I can see the appeal of the streaming format.