Film Analysis: The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the witch, and the Wardrobe

Critical Essay (3-page max)*This field is required.
The critical essay is your analysis of a film or television program. This essay is NOT a review. You should
assume the reader has seen the work you are discussing; do not include a plot summary. This essay is similar to
what you would write in an English literature or film history course. It is your analysis of any aspect(s) of the
work you have selected: the use of design, composition, colour, lighting, sound, etc. as it relates to social
observation or commentary, moral or philosophical elements, psychological aspects or relationships of the
characters, dramatic structure, etc.
Feedback (Please follow this to rewrite the analysis):
For the film analysis, check out of the videos on Like Tales of Old:
That sort of analysis is what they’re looking for intellectually when the prompt requests you analyze film content
in order to comment on the deeper: “social observation or commentary, moral or philosophical elements,
psychological aspects or relationships of the characters, dramatic structure, etc.” At the moment the analysis of
Narnia reads a bit like a play by play.
Also remember that in your analysis you can also critique, criticise and offer alternatives that may have more
effectively executed on the director’s vision.
For example, if I were going to write a film analysis about the use of wardrobe in Narnia, I’d draw parallel
references to how Christianity sees itself as a religion of creed (which is made up of a diverse cacophony of
people of different races and ethnicities), i.e. people are baptised into the faith to be confirmed. whereas faiths of
racial lineage, that people are born into like Judaism, are such that if a child’s mother is Jewish, the child is
considered Jewish. Then I’d analyze the use of wardrobe to portray the diversity in the film Narnia. Note: I
haven’t seen the movie, but from watching a scene on Youtube of the final battle scene, I would ascertain that the
Christian side (i.e. the medieval, shining knights) pull from civilized western heritage whereas the evil side is
depicted as more ethnic, pagan, disfigured, beastly, etc. Hence the lighthearted overtone is undercut by, what
some might call, a racial undertone as the only signs of diversity on the good side I saw in the final battle scene
were majestic African animals and polar bears (exoticism) rather than any real people of colour portrayed on the
good side.
Then I’d go into historical references of how victors rewrite history and villanize the loser/other with details that
depict them as horrid with distasteful ethnic features. For example, the hook-nosed Aran or Jewish stereotype.
And then I’d return to Narnia and explain how the wardrobe, make up, etc. creates subliminal cues about cultural
superiority etc (which then tie into more intellectual anthropological concepts and ideas)
In other words, use the film Narnia as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to veer from it so you can flex your
creative juices. If it helps, think of it this way: your film analysis should have a fast pace feel to it, the way a
mind jumps from thought to thought when naturally excited—making split-second connections and racing with
energy. If you can channel that spirit, and geek out about your analysis in that way, you’ll write up an analysis
that teaches your reader about topics much more profound than Narnia. Narnia is just a vehicle for a deeper,
more profound conversation here. So get hold and feel free to roam

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