Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The

1. UK tv series (1967). ATV. Pr Pamela Lonsdale. Writer Trevor Preston. Based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C S Lewis. Starring Elizabeth Crowther, Edward McMurray, Preston, Zuleika Robson, Elizabeth Wallace, Paul Waller. 10 episodes. Colour.

This was a modest but admirable attempt to capture the essence of Lewis's novel; it was restricted by the fact that it was assumed to be merely children's fodder, and the budget was calculated accordingly – which was unfair to Preston's lovingly crafted screenplay. This version has been eclipsed by the BBC's much more ambitious The Chronicles of Narnia (1988-1990). [JG]

2. UK/US Animated Movie (1979 tvm). Children's Television Workshop/Bill Melendez Productions/ Episcopal Radio-TV Foundation/Pegbar. Pr Steven Cuitlahuac Melendez. Exec pr David D Connell. Dir Bill Melendez. Screenplay Connell, Melendez. Voice actors Simon Adams (Edmund), Beth Porter (Jadis, the White Witch), Susan Sokol (Susan), Stephen Thorne (Aslan), Rachel Warren (Lucy), Reg Williams (Peter). 96 mins. Colour.

Lucy emerges from the wardrobe after first discovering Narnia; her epic journey is depicted in flashback. There are various further legitimate distortions and contortions of the plot: other failings are less forgivable. The ubiquitous US accents for this quintessentially English tale are an immediate act of vandalism: the effect is akin to giving Dorothy (of The Wizard of Oz [1939]) a Cockney twang. The animation is of Saturday-morning tv standard. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.