Upon their release The Chronicles of Narnia movies captivated audiences around the world. The movies also reignited a fandom surrounding the books the films are based on. This article will be your ultimate guide on everything within this film franchise and how to watch the Chronicles of Narnia movies in order.
In addition to explaining how you should watch the movies, we will also divulge all we know about any future installments within this popular franchise. It doesn’t matter whether you have never watched the movies before, or are looking for a dose of nostalgia with a rewatch. Keep reading to find out more about the Chronicles of Narnia movies in order.
What is The Chronicles of Narnia?
Firstly, let’s go into a bit more detail about the books the Narnia movies are based on. If you’re looking for more information on the books you can check out a dedicated article here. While this article will only offer a brief overview of the books, the linked article will explain how to read the Narnia books in order.
The Chronicles of Narnia was first published in the 1950s by British author C.S. Lewis. At the time the immediate success of the novels was unexpected. Then, the popular series experienced a significant revival in the early 2000s with the release of the Disney live-action adaptation.
There are seven books within the series: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy; The Magician’s Nephew; and The Last Battle.
The Chronicles of Narnia has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. It has also been translated into more than 47 languages.
The appeal of these books is in part Lewis’s imaginative world-building. In the world of Narnia Lewis created a land that was intriguing, appealing, and captivating. From friendly fauns, bickering beavers, and wicked witches, the series depicts a mystical land that had readers and movie-goers hooked.
Another element that has made The Chronicles of Narnia such a steadfast classic is its depiction of good vs. evil and the realistic character portrayal. While Aslan and the White Witch are effectively black or white characters with their representation of good and evil respectively, Lewis imbued grey into his main cast of characters with Edmund’s struggle and subsequent redemption arc.
Success of the Film Franchise
While there were previous adaptations of the popular book series in the 1970s and 1980s with a made-for-television movie and two TV mini-series, its adaptations never received worldwide success and fame until the mid-2000s. This is when The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe appeared in cinemas and captured the hearts of millions.
The commercial success of the franchise diminished slightly with each subsequent film, but the movies are still an undeniable success. Collectively, the franchise made $1.5 billion from the box office.
However, the first installment brought in a whooping $745 million. That’s right — nearly half of the franchise’s profits came from the first movie alone. It was the third-biggest film worldwide in 2005.
The first film seemingly did have it all. While the actors portraying the Pevensie siblings were relatively unknown the cast had added star power with Liam Neeson voicing Aslan and Tilda Swinton starring as the White Witch. It was also an adaptation of the Chronicles book that most people have read and a good introduction to the world of Narnia.
The film opens with the four siblings being sent to live with their uncle in the English countryside during the Second World War. While there the youngest, Lucy, stumbles across a door at the back of a wardrobe that transports her from the mothball-filled cupboard to the wintery landscape of Narnia.
Upon her return her older siblings don’t believe her at first. But soon Peter, Susan, and Edmund find themselves in the magical land too.
Will There Be Any More Chronicles of Narnia Movies?
It has been more than a decade now since the last film hit theatres. While there are still four books that remain to be adapted, most fans have given up on another theatrical release.
The third film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, had a change in producer, director, composer, and cinematographer from the first two films. Then, while an adaptation of The Silver Chair seemed likely once upon a time, with rumors swirling about potential castings, it was eventually cancelled. Allegedly co-producer of the films and C.S. Lewis’s stepson Douglas Gresham did not agree with the direction of the movie.
Even more upsetting for fans of the original franchise is that so much time has elapsed now since the previous films. Therefore, a recast would be necessary.
While the books follow the characters as they grow up, with more than a decade since the last film it’s just not realistic to imagine the original cast fulfilling their roles as children when they are now all adults.
However, the original cast appears to have remained close. In 2017, they engaged in adorable banter on Twitter reminiscing about their time together. To the delight of fans Georgie Henley, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter, and Skandar Keynes went on a public stroll down memory lane. They shared old pictures of one another that had fans squealing and reminiscing alongside them.
Is There a New Narnia Netflix Deal?
However, while a theatrical release or return of the original cast seems unlikely, there has been relatively recent movement on the adaptation front. In 2018 Netflix acquired the rights to the series. It is the first time the rights to all seven books have been held by the same company.
Details since the announcement have been sparse. But Netflix allegedly plans to adapt the books into both series and films with Matthew Aldrich overseeing all creative adaptations.
The Chronicles of Narnia Movies in Order
OK now let’s finally dive into the Narnia movies in order. These are the live-action films starring William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley that we all likely think about first when we think of the Narnia movies.
Luckily for you, it’s pretty easy to watch these movies in order. That’s because the chronological order is the same as the order of release.
However, the chronological order of the books varies from the film franchise. So, again, if you’d like to find out more about The Chronicles of Narnia books, make sure to check out this article all about The Chronicle of Narnia books in order.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Other Chronicles of Narnia Adaptations
But the above list of movies are not the only available Narnia adaptations to watch. As previously mentioned, the book series has been adapted in many different iterations. We’ve included the other screen adaptations below for your perusal.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1979)
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1988)
- Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989)
The first adaptation on this list was a TV animated movie which aired in two parts. The following two titles listed are BBC TV mini-series.
A Summary of the Chronicles of Narnia Movies in Order
If you’re now ready to settle in for a trip to Narnia, we’ve prepared summaries for each of the live-action Disney movie adaptations. Get ready for the first magical glimpse of the lamppost and to strangely crave Turkish delight as you watch the Chronicles of Narnia movies in order.
1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
During the World War II bombings of London, four English siblings are sent to their uncle’s country house where they will be safe. One day while playing hide-and-seek Lucy finds a wardrobe that transports her to a magical world called Narnia.
After coming back, she soon returns to Narnia with her brothers, Peter and Edmund, and her sister, Susan. There they join the magical lion, Aslan, in the fight against the evil White Witch, Jadis. They must attempt to save Narnia from a perpetual frosty winter that doesn’t even have the joy of Christmas.
The film stars Georgie Henley as Lucy, William Moseley as Peter, Skandar Keynes as Edmund and Anna Popplewell as Susan. As well it stars James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, Tilda Swinton as the White Witch, and Liam Neeson voices Aslan.
The director for this installment was Andrew Adamson and the writers were Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, and Christopher Markus using C.S. Lewis’s book of the same name as their inspiration.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup, as well as two other Oscar nominations in 2006 for Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. It also won a BAFTA that same year for Best Make Up/Hair and two other BAFTA nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects. Collectively it received 46 nominations and 18 award wins.
2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The next installment in this film franchise is Prince Caspian. It takes place one year after the previous adventure in Narnia.
The Pevensie children are waiting on a train platform when they are suddenly transported back to Narnia. However, when they return to the magical land, they find out that 1,300 years have passed there since they left.
War has come to Narnia once more, and the children join forces with Prince Caspian to overthrow the evil King Miraz and restore peace to the land.
In addition to the original cast of Georgie Henley, William Moseley, Skandar Keynes, and Anna Popplewell, Ben Barnes stars in this installment as Prince Caspian. Sergio Castellitto was cast as Miraz. As well, Peter Dinklage joined the cast as Trumpkin with Warwick Davis starring as Nikabrik.
Adam Adamson again directed this installment and worked on the screenplay with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Prince Caspian won two Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in the UK for Best Movie Actor and Best Movie Actress for William Moseley and Georgie Henley in 2008. Collectively it received 21 nominations and 4 award wins.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The final installment in this film franchise is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This installment had a shift in producer, director, composer, and cinematographer. It also is the first film in the franchise that does not feature the return of Peter and Susan. However, this is in keeping with the books.
The movie begins with Lucy and Edmund Pevensie visiting their annoying cousin Eustace. Meanwhile, their older siblings, Peter and Susan, are in America with their parents. As they are visiting they come across a painting of a majestic ship called the Dawn Treader.
Suddenly, the painting comes to life and draws the youths into Narnia, where they meet their old friend, King Caspian. He is on a quest to find the seven lost Lords of Telmar, whose swords will save Narnia from an evil green mist that enslaves men’s minds and bodies. Along they way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
In addition to Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, and Ben Barnes reprising their roles as Lucy, Edmund, and Caspian, Will Poulter joins the cast in this installment as Eustace.
The director is Michael Apted. Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and Michael Petroni wrote the screenplay.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader won two awards in 2011: The Lumiere People’s Choice Award from 3D Creative Arts Awards for Best 3D Feature – Live Action and the Epiphany Price from the MovieGuide Awards for Most Inspiring Movie. It received 18 other award nominations.
Final Thoughts on the Chronicles of Narnia Movies in Order
So, there you have all the Chronicles of Narnia movies in order. These films are the favorites of many for good reason and make for a great movie night that will delight the whole family.
Have you previously watched these movies? How do you think the adaptations hold up to the books? Let us know in the comments below.
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