Monthly Archives: June 2016

Concept Artists and Costumers

The concept art behind the Walden Media films is so beautifully rich that I wanted to share links to the Narnian works of the various concept artists and costume designer. Took a while for some of these artists to post their work online, but now a great deal is available to view.  Fair credit goes to NarniaWeb. who had researched and listed a number of these items on their forum.  Enjoy!

Note: Some of these sites may contain works not appropriate for younger viewers, though I have tried to make a note if questionable content is featured on the same page as the Narnian content.  Proceed with caution.

Concept Artists

Paul Tobin: concept artist for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, designer of most of the Gifts

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Justin Sweet: concept artist for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Trevor Goring: concept artist for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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Henrik Tamm: concept artist for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian

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Vance Kovacs: concept illustrator for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Dorotka Sapinska: concept illustrator for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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John Dickenson: concept artist for Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Brendan Heffernan: concept artist for Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Chris Rosewarne: concept artist for Prince Caspian

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Tim Holleyman: concept artist for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Jeremy Love: concept artist for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Anne Mackie: concept artist for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Gerhard Mozsi: concept artist for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Greg Spalenka: concept artist for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Weta Workshop

A great deal of concept art can be found here which may not have been posted by individual artists.

Costumers

Isis Mussenden: Costume Designer for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Oksana Nedavniaya: Costume Illustator for Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Storyboard Artists

Mat Brady: storyboard artist for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Tom Nelson: storyboard artist for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

David Russell: concept and storyboard artist for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Mike Vosburg: storyboard artist for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Pre-Viz

Andy Cadiz

The Question of the White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle: The Northern Witches

by always narnian

It seems like often times the White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle have been connected in some way. In the BBC adaptations, the same actress, Barbara Kellerman, portrays both the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as the Lady of the Green Kirtle in The Silver Chair. However, this could be a coincidence, as Barbara Kellerman also played the Hag in Prince Caspian. When a newer Silver Chair film was being discussed, it seemed that often times people wondered if Tilda Swinton would return, starring as the Green Lady of Underland. But why? How has this become a popular idea? Could the White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle be one and the same enchantress? Why do these two villains seem so often associated with one another?

Our first and most obvious argument against this idea may be that Aslan killed the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

“The battle was all over a few minutes after their arrival. Most of the enemy had been killed in the first charge of Aslan and his companions; and when those who were still living saw that the Witch was dead they either gave themselves up or took to flight.”

She was dead, no doubt, for even her armies saw her as dead. The only possible explanation around this would be that she only appeared dead, but then Aslan would have made a huge mistake.

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Pauline Baynes’ illustration of the Lady of the Green Kirtle

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Pauline Baynes’ illustration of the White Witch

In Prince Caspian there is thought toward calling the White Witch back from the dead, but this is hastily stopped by Caspian and a few of his friends in the chapter Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance. But let us theorize that, later on, someone did call the White Witch back and she resurfaces as the Lady of the Green Kirtle. She certainly has changed. Pauline Baynes’ illustrations of the White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle are distinctly different. In the illustrations of Jadis (in both The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) she is portrayed as a dark-haired and stern woman, whereas in the illustrations of the Queen of Underland, she appears more fair and almost gentle. Wouldn’t Lewis point out to Baynes that the two Witches were drawn so differently, if, in fact, they were the same person? Lewis was in contact with Pauline Baynes about certain illustrations in the series and it seems Lewis would most likely note this. [1]

These two arguments are valid, but let’s find the passage where this whole theory very possibly originated. Toward the end of The Silver Chair book, we see these two characters mentioned together.

“And while they [Eustace and Jill] slept Prince Rilian was talking over the whole adventure with the older and wiser Beasts and Dwarfs. And now they all saw what it meant; how a wicked Witch (doubtless the same kind as that White Witch who had brought the Great Winter on Narnia long ago) had contrived the whole thing, first killing Rilian’s mother and enchanting Rilian himself. And they saw how she had dug right under Narnia and was going to break out and rule it through Rilian: and how he had never dreamed that the country of which she would make him king (king in name, but really her slave) was his own country.”

This passage is soon followed by a statement from one of the dwarfs:

“‘And the lesson of it all is, your Highness,’ said the oldest Dwarf, ‘that those Northern Witches always mean the same thing, but in every age they have a different plan for getting it.’”

Having debunked the theory of these two ladies being the same enchantress, what does this quote from The Silver Chair actually mean? We know that the Queen of Underland and Jadis were of the same kind. As far as we know, Jadis didn’t have any descendants. We know that nearly all the people in the Witch’s original country, Charn, were killed. What might the old Dwarf in The Silver Chair mean by the Northern Witches? Of course, this could mean that the Lady of the Green Kirtle was a Jinn, as Jadis was. But how did the Green Lady of Underland get into Narnia? We are not told her story and unfortunately I do not have an answer for you.

This statement about the White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle is one of several instances where C.S. Lewis seemed to leave much to the reader’s imagination. It makes you wonder if he himself had any idea who these Northern Witches were and how Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle both fell under this category. What are your thoughts? Has this mystery in Narnia ever stuck out to you?
[1] Examples of Lewis and Baynes’ correspondence can be seen in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge and Joy 1950-1963

Narnian Afternoons #1: Ten Things to Do This Summer

Feeling a bit glum that you’re stuck on this side of the Wardrobe on a hot summer’s day?  Here are ten ideas to perk up a free afternoon.

  1. Make yourself a daisy crown or braid a circlet from the hangings of a weeping willow, if one is handy.
  2. Grab a pencil and design your own Narnian or Archenlandish coat of arms.  What will be the symbol of your house?  The colors?  What about your motto?
  3. Make something nice from ice, like the Calormenes do.  Orange juice poured into a small cup or glass with a popsicle stick will come out of the freezer in an hour or two as the easiest treat imaginable. (Or, if you want something a bit fancier and more authentic, try one of the many sorbet recipes that can be found online.  This recipe for strawberry sorbet has only three ingredients.)
  4. Spend an afternoon composing a really lovely letter with your fanciest pen.  Write in calligraphy if you know how. (If you don’t know how, you can find a tutorial online for any alphabet that catches your eye.  Gothic and Uncial are two quite Narnian possibilities.)  Make the first letter of your note extra fancy by making it bigger than all the rest and then adding ivy, flowers, or other decorations to it.  When you have finished your letter, seal it in an envelope with sealing wax or a metallic sticker.
  5. Curl up with a really good fanfic or two.  (Narnian fanfiction can be a frightening place, so get recommendations from readers you trust.)  I highly recommend Becoming Brothers and Someone Else’s Story, both by Andi Horton.  You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped away for a moment after reading The Horse and His Boy and continued on with the stories of Cor, Corin and Aravis.  Her voice is so like Lewis it’s uncanny, without feeling at all forced.
  6. Color some pictures in your Chronicles of Narnia Colouring Book, due out next month.
  7. Make some hollyhock dolls.  They might be very small dryads, after all.
  8. Try some Medieval embroidery stitches.
  9. To keep your hair up during hot summer months, make yourself some archery arrow hair sticks.  If gluing feathers to dowels is too much trouble, try this approach to fletching.
  10. Build a catapult.

Have you ever tried any of these things?  Tell me how it went in the comments below!

The Popularity of The Chronicles of Narnia

by Tenethia South

Do you know how many languages The Chronicles of Narnia has been translated into? Are you aware that over 100 million copies of the series have been sold? For years, fans of Narnia have read the books, watched the films, and gone to see Narnia on stage. Do they realize how extensively popular Narnia is?

Over the years, certain books of the Chronicles have been translated into forty-six different languages. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the most translated book of the seven, having been translated into each of the forty-six languages. Although some might expect it to be far ahead of the others, it holds first place by a mere two languages, with, interestingly enough, The Magician’s Nephew coming in second place. The Last Battle and The Silver Chair are farthest behind by nine languages, having been translated into only thirty-seven languages. The most interesting language into which the entire Chronicles have been translated is Schwyzertütsch, or Swiss German, only available in audio book. In addition to the forty-six languages, all of the Chronicles have been translated into Braille, the system of dots used by the blind to read. [1]

Four of the Chronicles have been adapted to film: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; and The Silver Chair. Four versions of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe have been made, three live-actions and one animated. The oldest of these was a live-action, produced by the ABC Weekend Television in 1967. Only one or two clips from this ten part series are available anymore. Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader have both been made twice, and although The Silver Chair is currently in the works, it has previously been filmed only once.

In addition to the Chronicles being adapted for film, they have also been made into audio books: two “radio plays” by BBC (1996) and Focus on the Family’s Radio Theater (1998). Aside from these, there have been multiple stage plays based on Narnia including, remarkably, adaptions of The Magician’s Nephew and The Horse and His Boy. [2]

The making of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe film by Walden in 2006 brought plenty of Narnia collectibles. There are now posters, watches, paperweights, bookends, pop-up picture books, coloring books, learn-to-read books, t-shirts, and Halloween costumes for sale online, and that’s just a start. In addition, other items not associated with the Walden film have also been made.

When CS Lewis began writing the Chronicles of Narnia, he could not have imagined how widely-known his novels would become. [3] As you have seen, the Chronicles have not only been translated into forty-six languages, but have also been adapted into nine films, been written as multiple stage plays and audio books, and have inspired many different collectibles. These seven books have gripped the hearts of many, both young and old and will continue to endear themselves to the world as time goes on.

[1] http://inklingsfocus.com/translation_index.html
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Narnia
[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9694561/CS-Lewis-Chronicles-of-Narnia-author-honoured-in-Poets-corner.html

All Seven Narnia Films?

I’m sure, as a lover of all things Narnia, you wish to see all seven of The Chronicles of Narnia adapted for Film. When BBC took on the films the years of 1988-1990, they only brought the stories of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair to screen. In 2005, Walden and Disney released The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe followed by Prince Caspian in 2008. After that, we saw Walden and Fox’s adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 2010. Now as we await The Silver Chair’s release, it’s easy to wonder if we will ever see The Magician’s Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, or The Last Battle brought to Cinemas.

Listen to Douglas Gresham’s own wishes in this brief video at The Chronicles of Narnia Facebook page. Though he is also unsure where the series will go, it is refreshing to hear that someone is eager to make all the Narnia films sometime in the future.

(The Chronicles of Narnia Facebook page is in no way affiliated with The Lion’s Call. Caution is advised in following outgoing links.)