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How are you feeling about Netflix running Narnia? Poll was created on Nov 14, 2020

  
  
  
Poll results: How are you feeling about Netflix running Narnia?
Voter(s): 43
Poll was created on Nov 14, 2020
My opinion hasn't changed.  -  votes: 19 / 44.2%
19
44.2%
I'm feeling more optimistic.  -  votes: 6 / 14%
6
14%
I'm feeling less optimistic.  -  votes: 18 / 41.9%
18
41.9%

How's everyone feeling about Netflix?

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Anfinwen
(@anfinwen)
NarniaWeb Nut

I honestly don't expect to hear anything about Narnia till Amazon's LotR show airs. I think Netflix is holding on to this potential show until they see how it does. That gives us double the reason to hope LotR is good. What's scary about that is that Narnia and the second age material from Tolkien are vastly different. If Netflix is doing what I think they're doing, it shows they really don't understand the material they're working with.

At this point I'm sick of the talk of epic-ness and battles, drama and suspense. I just want a clean, sweet, deep, and thoughtful series in a very classic style and actually suitable for kids to watch. Something artistic, fresh, and refreshing. It feels like we're drowning in stale, over-done, re-booted, drama-vomit, that are all just a big money grab, trying to make a buck off of a name.  

Screen-Shot-2018-10-13-at-1-35-56-PM

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Posted : August 17, 2021 6:09 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb
Posted by: @anfinwen

I just want a clean, sweet, deep, and thoughtful series in a very classic style and actually suitable for kids to watch.

Now there's something the old BBC series COULD have been, if only they'd had the money and the imagination!! Tongue (As I remarked somewhere else recently, back when it was made, I knew very well they weren't going to attempt The Magician's Nephew or The Last Battle. Apart from those having the most explicit and unavoidable Christian themes — which I don't think the Beeb would have been happy to include, even back in the late '80s / early '90s — there was no way that they could have done justice to the creation of Narnia or to the end of the "old" Narnia and the wonders of Aslan's country. Technology simply hadn't advanced far enough back then.)

I would also love a series that really captures the spirit of the books — I think your description is spot on, Anfinwen! But unfortunately, I suspect profit will be Netflix's bottom line and I've a nasty feeling they will go for whatever is seen to be "popular" and most likely to sell, like epic battles and overblown drama and so on. Unless the adaptation is done by someone who is genuinely in love with the books themselves (and preferably because of, not in spite of, the underlying Christian meaning)... But we won't know and won't be able to judge until the series finally comes out, so I'm trying to keep an open mind until then.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : August 19, 2021 10:24 am
coracle liked
icarus
(@icarus)
NarniaWeb Junkie

There's a half-demolished Shopping Centre in the middle of my home town. Recently they hired a world famous architect to come up with a plan to renovate the entire site. (most people want them to knock it all down and build a public park). When interviewed recently, the designer said some interesting things which I think are surprisingly relevant to the conversation here:

 

"it is easy to make a list of all the things that would be great, but it's important to juggle how those things would be paid for.

I'm idealistic, and there are a lot of great people really wanting to be ambitious, but the bit that usually ruins visions is the money... so how can we find a way to make the money bit work so it can pay for the vision? Balance the two.

It is easy to say 'knock it all down and build a park', but there is no money to build that, so you do need things that will be income generating. That's where the real complexity comes in. That's the juggle."

 

Part of me can imagine that's the exact same struggle they are having at Netflix.

Its easy to say "Just make an adaptation that's incredibly truthful to the books and family friendly", and yet at the same time we all knock the BBC Narnia for being too low budget to do the stories justice, and we baulk at the idea of the show being animated.

At some point those two viewpoints aren't compatible.

We all know that if you want to do a big budget production, you need the big audiences - broad appeal across a wide demographic, and ideally with significant appeal in the highest spending demographic - 18 to 35 year olds.

Eventually people are going to have to decide on what they are willing to compromise on.

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Posted : August 19, 2021 4:50 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @icarus

Its easy to say "Just make an adaptation that's incredibly truthful to the books and family friendly", and yet at the same time we all knock the BBC Narnia for being too low budget to do the stories justice, and we baulk at the idea of the show being animated.

I actually have a lot of criticisms of the BBC Narnia series that don't have to do with visuals. (If you bother to read what I've written about it recently, you'll find that.) And while I don't like the animated LWW from the 70s, it's not so much because it's animated as because its animation style clashes with the material and the voice acting is generally bad.

As long as I'm still posting in this thread, I might as well admit something. I liked anfinwen's post because (a) it's nice when I can like the posts of newcomers to the forum and (b) I generally agree with it. But honestly I don't mind if Netflix wants to include "epicness and dramas, battles and suspense." I think the Narnia books include all those things. (One of the books even has "battle" in the title.) They don't have as much of them as Netflix (or Walden Media) might prefer. But an adaptation without them would be untrue to the spirit of the books. ("But there were battles and adventures battles and adventures in those days.") That's why I'm interested in big budget adaptations even though it means (shudder) compromises.

This post was modified 4 months ago by Col Klink

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : August 19, 2021 5:27 pm
coracle liked
KingEdTheJust
(@kingedthejust)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @icarus

Eventually people are going to have to decide on what they are willing to compromise on.

I think what people are initially deciding now is not what they want as an adaptation, but the choices they have now. It's those choices that will make an adaptation possible. Right now, those choices appear to be : 1.  Making an incredibly  maybe too faithful adaptation, (BBC Narnia), or 2. Making a big-budget, dramatic action movie (Walden Media Narnia)

So what's the better adaptation? For most Narnia-fans, none seems the right fit. I think that's because everyone, in their mind, has their own 'adaptation' of Narnia. It's what they imagine Narnia to be in their mind. What I'm trying to say is, you can never satisfy everyone. Everyone is going to have their own opinions and their own thoughts on whatever adaptation you do. Some people are going to hate it, some are going to love it.  Some, maybe more then some, will not even know what Narnia is and decide that this adaptation either inspired them or discouraged them to read the Narnia books. It's the director's job to make sure more people will be satisfied by the adaptation, rather than discouraged. To make sure that the scale between a good and bad adaptation is even tipped, the slightest bit towards a good adaptation. That will be a success, not because the director created a perfect adaptation, as none is, but a good one. So which option is the one that makes a 'good adaptation'?  Totally faithful or maybe a little exaggerated?  Or is there a middle, a balance between the two options? I certainly hope there is, because that would make for an almost-perfect film, and almost-perfect is good enough for me. Grin  

 

"But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did." - (King Edmund the Just, Horse and his Boy)

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Posted : August 19, 2021 7:30 pm
Narnian78 liked
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

@col-klink 

The problem with much of the criticism of the BBC Narnia series is that is all or mostly negative. The people who are negative do not always mention that it has a fine musical score and also the locations were excellent such as the castles and landscapes in Wales and some of the old fashioned looking sets. More technology would have been better, but they did not have it at the time or the budget for it. The acting may not have been great, but it was at least acceptable. They were normal children, and that is fine. I would rather have the kids being themselves than trying to pretend to be great actors. It is more natural and believable.  The best criticism of the series comes from those who have something positive to say about it.  If it is old fashioned and campy I don’t think that is entirely bad, and it may even add to its unsophisticated charm.  The series at least has no snobbishness about it, which makes it quite appealing to ordinary people.  I hope the Netflix series will attract that kind of audience too. 🙂

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Posted : August 22, 2021 7:57 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @narnian78

The problem with much of the criticism of the BBC Narnia series is that is all or mostly negative.

Well, one of the definitions of criticism is pointing out flaws, so that's always going to be a problem of criticism of anything. LOL  

Posted by: @narnian78

More technology would have been better, but they did not have it at the time or the budget for it.

I've heard that the Narniaweb podcast, which I know you listen to and comment on, is going to do some episodes about the BBC VDT and I intend to comment saying that in some ways I prefer its visuals to those of the VDT movie. (I won't comment about this now because (a) this thread isn't about the BBC or the Walden adaptations and (b) then no one will need to read my future podcast comments.) 

 

Posted by: @narnian78

The acting may not have been great, but it was at least acceptable.

In a comment on the Talking Beasts Facebook page, I actually praised the cast for their VDT, particularly Edmund and Lucy. When the episode comes out, I'll admit though that when the episode comes out, I'm probably going to leave a comment criticizing Reepicheep's actor. However, he's actually kind of famous, so I imagine there'll be other comments defending him. You can look forward to that. Smile  

 

Posted by: @narnian78

If it is old fashioned and campy I don’t think that is entirely bad, and it may even add to its unsophisticated charm.  The series at least has no snobbishness about it, which makes it quite appealing to ordinary people.

Would you describe the books as "snobbish?" Because I honestly don't feel like they're campy or unsophisticated. Quite the contrary. For the record, I really enjoy the 80s show, Faerie Tale Theatre, which has similar effects and costumes to the BBC Narnia series, and is actually less "realistic" looking, since it generally doesn't use real locations. But I feel like the writing meshes with the campiness whereas the writing for the BBC Narnia, trying to evoke the books as it does, clashes with it. (I also prefer the acting and music of Faerie Tale Theater, but I'd better not go down that path. The first is unfair since FTT had all those Big Name Stars in it and the second is a losing battle since the music is something even detractors of the BBC Narnia will praise.)

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : August 22, 2021 6:09 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

@col-klink 

The Narnia books are not generally campy or unsophisticated.  I was actually referring to the BBC TV series, which may be somewhat that way, but I don’t think that trait is always bad. By “snobbish” I was not specifically referring to the books either, but rather to people who will criticize a movie or TV series just because it was made without modern technology, which makes it look old. It should not be beneath us to love something old even if it is for nostalgic reasons. One thing the books and TV series have in common is that they are both old fashioned. The TV series actually simplifies the books somewhat, which may have some advantages. It was in a simpler time that the books take place, and the BBC did quite a good job of showing the time of the 1940’s.  With the CGI animation that the movies had there was the temptation to make the series look like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. The BBC series was able to avoid that out of necessity with the lower budget. People said it looked cheap, and I guess they were right, but the thrifty budget helped to simply things, which wasn’t all bad.

Criticism can be positive, and it should be more than just pointing out flaws.  I meant that the criticism of the BBC series should be more positive because there are many good things it has to offer. Besides the excellent performance of Warwick Davis as Reepicheep (which you had mentioned) there was also Tom Baker’s wonderful acting as Puddleglum. The scenes that they created for the series were really memorable. Let’s hope that Netflix will offer something that doesn’t overdo the modern technology and creates a legitimate portrayal of Narnia.

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Posted : August 22, 2021 7:54 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator
Posted by: @col-klink

 

Posted by: @narnian78

If it is old fashioned and campy I don’t think that is entirely bad, and it may even add to its unsophisticated charm.  The series at least has no snobbishness about it, which makes it quite appealing to ordinary people.

Would you describe the books as "snobbish?" Because I honestly don't feel like they're campy or unsophisticated. Quite the contrary. For the record, I really enjoy the 80s show, Faerie Tale Theatre, which has similar effects and costumes to the BBC Narnia series, and is actually less "realistic" looking, since it generally doesn't use real locations. But I feel like the writing meshes with the campiness whereas the writing for the BBC Narnia, trying to evoke the books as it does, clashes with it.

I have a problem with the word "campy", as in British English it means something different* from the way you seem to be using it. [*sort of like effeminate behaviour].

Do I understand that you mean it is sending up or satirizing the material?

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : August 24, 2021 1:01 am
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

@coracle 

Being an American I tend to see our own definition of “campy”, but I also remember the British definition of the word as “effeminate”. I don’t know if you have ever seen the 1960’s TV show Lost in Space. People often regard that as “campy” because it was so dated and had artificial monsters.  Maybe people would think of the BBC Narnia in the same way with some of the animals’ costumes.  Campy may also mean exaggerated and artificial as certainly was the case with the BBC’s White Witch. There was also some artificiality in the series with the animated figures in the battle to save Narnia from the Witch.  But some other things worked well for adding realism such as the landscapes and castles with the beautiful country of Wales and Scotland.   So you could say it was partially campy but not all bad. I think they were intending to be serious with the material, but some of it does seem kind of unintentionally funny now, e.g. the special effects.  The modern technology sometimes makes the old effects look ridiculous. But that’s often the way these old television shows look many years later. They still are very likable if you have a taste for nostalgia.

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Posted : August 24, 2021 3:57 am
Courtenay liked
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

@narnian78 

Thanks for the explanation. 

It seems to be a case of younger people looking back at the stuff I grew up on, and finding it laughable. Worried  

But we loved Lost In Space, and used to drive to our friends' place to see it each week, as we didn't own tv. We thought it was great, and we knew it was a set, but there was real jeopardy in the stories! 

As for BBC Narnia, it was exciting and compelling enough, as it told a good story. 

 

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : August 24, 2021 2:30 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

@coracle 

You’re very welcome, Coracle.

I have known people who have disliked and even hated campy TV shows like Lost in Space. The fake sets and unreal monsters are too much for them. However, I kind of liked the shows for their old fashioned charm even though I knew Star Trek was much better quality material. The BBC Narnia was for the most part faithful to its source material and that’s what made it have a good story.  Let’s hope that Netflix at least will show a similar regard for the books if that series ever reaches the screen.

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Posted : August 24, 2021 8:53 pm
Courtenay and coracle liked
LentenLands
(@lentenlands)
NarniaWeb Newbie

The fact is, Netflix spent so much money on the rights to books means that there is no chance they won't do something with it. The mentions of spinoffs and the fact that Matthew Aldrich is listed as the "creative architect" is a sign that they have very big plans. 

The thing about big plans though, is that they can take a very long time to set up. And that's not even counting the wrench that COVID and travel restrictions have thrown into proceedings. 

Netflix did a similar deal earlier in 2018, where they bought the rights to adapt most of Roald Dahl's books into either individual movies/tv-shows and as a cinematic/televisual universe and nothing has emerged from that yet*, either. 

Once they've fully decided on what their plan is, then I think it'll be full steam ahead in terms of getting directors, writers, actors, and filming locations together. 

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Posted : August 28, 2021 10:38 pm
KingEdTheJust
(@kingedthejust)
NarniaWeb Nut

@lentenlands 

I agree. Although Netflix has taken a long time to start it's Narnia adaptation, I feel like you're right. They may have a plan in mind or they may not be sure they know what they are going to do with the Narnia movies. But either way, it all takes time. It's also our jobs as Narnia fans to make sure we have the patience for the movies. After all, we are in the middle of a pandemic right now! Netflix may not seem active in making Narnia movies right now, but I'm sure they wouldn't just have the rights for Narnia so they can do nothing with it!  Also,  I'm ready to wait however many years for the movies because it's a Narnia Movie. Smile

"But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did." - (King Edmund the Just, Horse and his Boy)

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Posted : August 29, 2021 9:01 pm
Lady Jill the Loyal
(@lady-jill-the-loyal)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @coracle

It seems to be a case of younger people looking back at the stuff I grew up on, and finding it laughable. Worried  

For the record, I'm a young person, and I love the BBC's Narnia. I'm rewatching it again just to see if I still love it as much as I did when I was a kid. (Spoiler: I do.) Not a big fan of the actress who plays Lucy, but then again, I'm not a fan of the films' Lucy either (nothing against either of them: just they weren't Lucy). Otherwise, almost all of the casting is excellent. I prefer the BBC's Peter, Tumnus, Susan and Professor to the films, in fact.

So if I had a choice I would prefer Netflix to essentially give us an updated version of the BBC's Narnia, with better effects, et cetera. Still the same faithfulness to the books (and I don't mind an abundance of spinoffs just so long as we get the seven books).

(I can dream, can't I?)

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Posted : August 30, 2021 3:55 pm
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