Report: C.S. Lewis’s ‘Boxen’ Animated Series in Development

It seems that the screen adaptations of C.S. Lewis’s works may extend beyond ‘Chronicles of Narnia’.

Vincent Sieber, Director of the C.S. Lewis Company and producer for Gerwig’s Narnia adaptations, is currently in the process of developing a children’s animated series based on Boxen.

First published in 1985, Boxen was written by C.S. Lewis at 8 years old with his older brother Warnie. The hero of the Boxen stories was a brave mouse named Peter who lived in a medieval country called Animal Land, where animals dressed and spoke like people.

Lewis created a detailed history of Animal Land, their politics and government, and he drew pictures of the main characters along with detailed illustrations of ships and maps of the land. 

Although it’s easy to draw comparisons between Boxen and his later writings, Lewis insisted that it and Narnia were two very different places “except the anthropomorphic beasts. Animal-Land, by its whole quality, excluded the least hint of wonder… there was no poetry, even no romance, in it.” 

Vincent Sieber was also involved with all 3 Narnia adaptations from Walden Media.

At this time, there is no information about a possible creative team or potential distribution partner for the project.

15 Responses

  1. Impending Doom says:

    I’d say the Lewis Estate is anticipating renewed interest in Narnia and Lewis with Netflix’s upcoming adaptations! But adapting a tv series based on the writings of an 8-year-old?

    Comes across as a bit desperate for story ideas. That being said, I’m all for more works that highlight Lewis so I’ll be interested to see where this goes…

  2. It sounds interesting and exciting. I’ve never read Boxen but it would be illuminating to.

    Although …this information is only told in 13 words with no source or other reference. So to me it could be well be fake news! I’m not familiar with that site Deadline so I am not aware how trustworthy their reporting is. But it’s much more likely we’ll get Netflix’s Narnia shows, than that we’ll get a Boxen series too.

    At the very least, they are allowing Gerwig to talk about Narnia quite often in interviews.

  3. @Impending Doom.
    … An 8-year-old that grew up to be C.S. Lewis! 🙂

  4. Cleander says:

    I’m not opposed to more Lewis stuff, but considering the source material for this, it’s kind of a weird choice.

  5. Col Klink says:

    That’s…interesting. I’m kind of interested in it just because it’s so unusual to adapt something an author wrote when they were an eight-year-old even if they did become famous later. From what I understand, including C. S. Lewis’s own words, the Boxen saga wasn’t actually that good, which I mean as no shame to the author. After all, how many of us could write something really great at that age? But I imagine they’ll really have to take some artistic license to make compelling television out of it.

    As long as we’re talking about Netflix adapting other stuff by Lewis, I’m still annoyed that Greta Gerwig is adapting the Narnia books and not Till We Have Faces. The latter just seems like it would resonate with her a lot more than Narnia. Of course, she’s the one who knows what resonates with her and what doesn’t. To suggest that what I or anyone else thinks would resonate with her is more important than that would be ridiculous. But…come on! Seriously? LOL

  6. Icarus says:

    Honestly knowing nothing about Boxen beyond the illustration style presented in the photo, I feel like this would make the perfect animated short to charm audiences at Christmas with – something like “The Snowman” or the more recent “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” – things which don’t need to be technically complex storytelling to entertain, just whimsical and delightful in their sensibilities.

  7. Impending Doom says:

    An 8 year old who grew up to be C.S. Lewis is still adapting work from an 8 years old child.

    That’s not saying it can’t be good, but it’ll require a complete revamp given the lack of source material. The only appeal to adapting Boxen, is because it was written by Lewis… Which gives it an air of being cash-grab.

    But I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing more of its progress.

  8. Moonwood the hare says:

    @ Col Klink I love the idea of Greta Gerwig adapting Till We Have Faces! But I guess it would be a lot harder to advertise it, and I’m not sure Netflix would undertake that (not well enough known)… But who knows, if Gerwig’s Narnia goes well… Maybe??

  9. HTP says:

    Is this the first non-Narnia adaptation from Lewis in the works? I’ve never heard of any rights ever being available. Or is it just because the C.S. Lewis Company developing this themselves?

  10. Bolton says:

    Interesting… this could go either way in terms of quality, but Narnia fans are likely to be more forgiving given how few have read this book!

  11. Since I was, myself, an 8-year-old who wanted to be an author, because of Narnia and Roald Dahl, the dreamer in me likes to believe that children are capable of writing wonderfully brilliant stories. But alas, it may be the biased dreamer in me only.

  12. Narnian78 says:

    The movie might look more like The Wind in the Willows than Narnia with animals in human clothing. But I don’t think it is a bad idea to make a film from Boxen if it is done tastefully and made to appeal to children. After all, we know that Lewis was only eight years old when he wrote the book. Hopefully, they can have artists that will create the animation which would look like Lewis’ own drawings.

  13. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    I have have heard of Boxen, but never read it. An animated series might be interesting.

    The drawings there almost makes me think of Disney’s animated adaptation of Robin Hood, where they used animphoric animals (with Robin Hood as a fox, Little John as a bear, Friar Tuck as a badger, Prince John as a lion).

    So I would be interested in how an animated series of Boxen turns out.

  14. Anna says:

    Having never heard about it, nevermind read Boxen, I don’t have much to say about the adaptation or what to expect. I’m going to have to find a copy and brush up!

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