This forum has been archived. Please visit the new forum at https://community.narniaweb.com/

Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Talk about any aspect of the films.

Moderators: The Rose-Tree Dryad, daughter of the King

Overall, would you say Aslan was too tame in Walden's Narnia movies?

Yes
17
65%
No
9
35%
 
Total votes : 26

Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Glumpuddle » Mar 09, 2012 10:07 pm

In our interview with Darren Jacobs (The Lion Awakes co-screenwriter), he gave some thoughts on the way Aslan was portrayed in the PC movie:

Darren Jacobs wrote:On a personal note CASPIAN missed it completely when Lucy first encountered Aslan. They changed the scene into a dream montage. In the book during all Lucy’s excuses not to follow Aslan, even though she clearly saw him, he GROWLS AT HER. The movie shows a softer side of Aslan, and I think that was its mistake. As a screenwriter I would have not only had him growl, but extend his claws, impale the turf, and pull Lucy closer. The problem is so obvious it shouldn’t even be stated: Aslan is a lion. Lions have claws and fangs and know how to use them.


For reference, here is the excerpt from the book:

"Lucy," he said, "we must not lie here for long. You have work in hand, and much time has been lost today."
"Yes, wasn't it a shame?" said Lucy. "I saw you all right. They wouldn't believe me. They're all so -"
From somewhere deep inside Aslan's body there came the faintest suggestion of a growl.
"I'm sorry," said Lucy, who understood some of his moods. "I didn't mean to start slanging the others. But it wasn't my fault anyway, was it?"
The Lion looked straight into her eyes.


What do you think? Was Aslan too tame in this scene? Was he too tame in general in the movies?
Image
YouTube.com/gpuddle | Facebook.com/gpuddle | Twitter.com/glumpuddle
User avatar
Glumpuddle
NarniaWeb Zealot
Multimedia Producer, News Poster, Social Media Manager
 
Posts: 5080
Joined: May 14, 2004
Location: United States
Gender: Male

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Nic5 » Mar 09, 2012 10:43 pm

To me, that dream is a candidate for the best sequence in all of the three movies, & also is great in the beat of the PC movie narrative.

:-\
User avatar
Nic5
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 54
Joined: May 18, 2011
Gender: Male

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby icarus » Mar 10, 2012 5:13 am

glumPuddle wrote:Was he too tame in general in the movies?


I would say yes. And if one single scene sums it up for me, it would be Aslan's first appearance in LWW. I am sure i have ranted about it here many many times before, but for such a pivotal character introduction they got it so completely wrong, and it just sets up Aslan's character in completely the wrong manner for the rest of the film.

The Pevensies have just tracked all the way across Narnia to meet Aslan, yet when they get there they have to wait for Aslan to come out of his Tent! I get that the film-makers wanted some sort of way to "reveal" Aslan for the first time, but having him in a tent when they get there sends out completely the wrong message. For a start, he is a Lion (and as the title of this thread reminds us, he is not supposed to be a tame lion) so having him slowly emerge from his Tent like he has just woken up from a nap does nothing to convey the sort of raw power he is supposed to display.

It also makes Aslan seem somewhat aloof having him in a Tent all by himself, like he's too important to be outside mingling with the rest of the common Narnians. Again i've said it before, but they really really should have stuck to this piece of concept art here. Yes Aslan is still above everyone else in a position of superiority (perhaps looking a bit Lion King-esque) but he is surrounded by his people, and importantly he is outside doing what Lions do, which is not chilling out in brightly coloured circus tents.
User avatar
icarus
NarniaWeb Fanatic
 
Posts: 2653
Joined: Feb 05, 2006
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Louloudi the Centaur » Mar 10, 2012 7:20 am

Aslan did a a few moments of His not tame self, like when He roared at the White Witch in LWW, but yes, Aslan seemed a bit too soft at times.

It was especially in Walden's VDT during the undragoning sequence that I did not exactly appreciate how Aslan was portrayed. The scene had to show Him physically ripping in my opinion to capture the emotion of the scene.

Ay, I guess Walden Media did not want to make children frightened of Aslan, though indeed we should have fear and respect for Him in this world. 8-|
Louloudi the Centaur
NarniaWeb Junkie
 
Posts: 955
Joined: Jun 09, 2011
Gender: Female

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Liberty Hoffman » Mar 10, 2012 9:59 am

ya'll probably know where I stand in all of this, but I'll say it anyway -
I thought Aslan was brilliant in the movies. he had great lines and I honestly had no problems with the movie Aslan at all :D
Image
NW sister - wild rose ~ NW big sis - ramagut
Born in the water
Take quick to the trees
I want all that You are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADBC57vKfQ
User avatar
Liberty Hoffman
NarniaWeb Master
Libby the Epic; sub in the WC
 
Posts: 11761
Joined: Aug 22, 2008
Location: Where the gully's deep in green and golden glades
Gender: Female

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Narnia-and-the-North » Mar 22, 2012 4:30 pm

Yes, Aslan is defanged, especially in the Dawn Treader. Note how he claws the sand not Eustace in the crucial scene of the latter's healing. For a fuller discussion of this and other issues, see my post and link to a longer article on "Narnia at the Movies" in the Narnia and Christianity forum. The sad thing about all of this is that by softening the story as it appears in the book, the movie loses the very nerve and edge that have made the books so famous in the first place. Lewis's friend, J. R. R. Tolkien, argued (in his essay on fairy tales) that the trend in modern literature to soften the moral edge of fairy tales (in order to appeal to children) is a fundamental mistake. As one reviewer of the Dawn Treader put it: Without the danger and moral intensity of the story, the wee ones will be asleep by page two.
User avatar
Narnia-and-the-North
NarniaWeb Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Gender: Male

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Lion's Emblem » Mar 23, 2012 10:07 pm

When putting Aslan's two side qualities on the scale, I believe I have to go with yes on his being too tame... overall. However, I am glad that it wasn't taken in the other direction either, with Aslan being fierce and powerful all the time rather than gentle and caring when needing to be.

My main gripe is with VDT and the undragoning scene. I can only imagine what sort of steps would have been taken in the scene with Aslan and Aravis in HHB. True, I think it would be a bad route to take Aslan's fiercer moments to a more graphic/intense sense (a more PG-13 view, I suppose you could say), but I still think the fierceness could have been more present, and still keep it in a PG world. I agree about the scene with Lucy and Aslan in PC, in hearing Aslan growl at Lucy. It would have been nice to have more of Aslan's lion qualities present (from HHB, "I am a true beast"). Having him growl, in the case of Lucy meeting him in PC, would not have Aslan be scary or angry, but give a sense to Lucy that it's a time to think and be serious (still fits the PG world, does it not? :) ).

I do agree with Liberty Hoffman though. The film Aslan is a character I can believe in, a great CGI accomplishment. Overall, I am satisified by how Aslan looks and sounds.
Image
Sig by Dernhelm_of_Rohan
NWsis to eves_daughter & ForeverFan
User avatar
Lion's Emblem
NarniaWeb Fanatic
 
Posts: 4667
Joined: Apr 27, 2007
Location: Narnia

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Balin » Mar 25, 2012 7:03 pm

I remember one of the visual effects artists commenting about how they developed the Aslan model after a real lion even further in VDT. I think the deviation from the original design caused a weakening of Aslan's sense of presence in the films in addition to screenwriting changes.

icarus makes a good point about the Aslan's camp scene not capturing the interaction between Aslan and the Narnian's, but I don't think it's an unjustified change to isolate him before the Pevensies arrive. I think it adds an extra sense of grandeur and sovereignty. Also, if we think about it in an allegorical sense, the tent generally separates Aslan from the people like the tabernacle in the Old Testament. Aslan stays outdoors from then onward, if I'm not mistaken. (I realize this parallel breaks down quickly.) Adamson's rendition of the first meeting does deviate from Lewis' writing, but the overall sense of the scene remains consistent with Aslan's character throughout the series.
"DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so" - John Donne

A Better Love Story: Dante and the American Teenager
Balin
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2462
Joined: Nov 07, 2006
Location: United States
Gender: Male

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby fantasia » Apr 09, 2012 7:45 am

I've been thinking about this thread ever since gP posted it a month ago.

The simple answer is 'yes' I don't think they completely captured Aslan's 'not safe' qualities. But having said that, I don't think any movie is ever going to completely 100% capture everything that Aslan is.... not his dangerous side, nor his goodness.
But I felt like Walden came the closest to getting the 'not safe' side of Aslan compared to other LWW versions we've seen.
One scene in particular comes to mind, and that's where Aslan kills the White Witch. I mean he actually clearly kills her as opposed to the cartoon where he sits on her and the BBC where he roars her off the cliff.

I think the part of Aslan that I missed the most in regards to the quote gP posted, was the just side of Aslan. Many of the children, especially Lucy, were often corrected when they did the wrong thing. But I can't recall Aslan ever once correcting them in the movie.
~Lucy wanting to stay by Edmund's side on the battlefield instead of healing the other Narnians.
~Lucy not following Aslan when she saw him on the cliff, and then blaming the others.
~Susan for listening to her own fears rather than having faith in Aslan.
~Lucy for wanting to read the spell to make her beautiful and eavesdropping on her friends.
~Caspian when he wants to abdicate and sail to the edge of the world.
~I don't even want to talk about Eustace and the dragon... 8-|
Etc etc etc.

I guess telling a child that they've done something wrong isn't popular with the movie industry (unless it's an anti-smoking message), so I suspect that's why all of the above was cut or drastically watered down. But even so, I feel like you lost a key part of Aslan because of those changes.
User avatar
fantasia
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18908
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Narnia-and-the-North » Apr 10, 2012 10:52 am

Thanks to Fantasy Kitty for pointing to the matter of justice as one of the deeper underlying issues at stake in the whole discussion of Aslan's violent or "resistant" side. For the point isn't simply that Aslan can be scarey or violent; but that he does these things with a specific purpose in view: to save, correct, heal, set right, and finally to make whole. His love is inexorable (G. MacDonald). That's why he can be so scarey at times.

On the question of keeping the films in the range of the PG rating (as raised by Lion's Emblem), I wonder why the books have to be "softened" in order to make them fit for children. For of course, the stories evoke by means of words all of the images and scenes that are in question. Yet the books have become famous with children and adults with all of those scarey and difficult scenes left in. Imagine the books without these scenes.

Tolkien argues (in his essay on Fairy Tale) that Andrew Lang's program a century ago to soften fairy tales actually ignored what children were most interested in. Perhaps we are working with a modern notion of what is appropriate for children that neither Lewis nor Tolkien would have endorsed. Of course the motion picture rating association will do its work as it sees fit, and it would be a shame if a harsher rating caused parents to avoid the movies with their children of reading age. But the books are still there with all of the images and scenes in tact.

Perhaps some think that the visual, cinematic image is more powerful than the inward mental image of one's imagination? In the spoken or read format the imagination of the reader or listener (including children) is free to supply from memory images of claws and peeling skin and painful sensation. Perhaps we overestimate the power of film, even as we underestimate the role of imagination in conveying the sense of conflict, pain, moral gravity and consequence in the story.

I'm not suggesting that future productions should try to keep pace with something like we find in video games; but it seems they could stay a lot closer to Lewis's stories without sinking into that kind of gratutious violence or gore.
User avatar
Narnia-and-the-North
NarniaWeb Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Gender: Male

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Glumpuddle » Apr 12, 2012 7:38 am

I just came across this video. I think this is how the kids feel in the book when they meet Aslan.

Image
YouTube.com/gpuddle | Facebook.com/gpuddle | Twitter.com/glumpuddle
User avatar
Glumpuddle
NarniaWeb Zealot
Multimedia Producer, News Poster, Social Media Manager
 
Posts: 5080
Joined: May 14, 2004
Location: United States
Gender: Male

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Valiant » Apr 20, 2012 2:16 pm

I think one thing that should be considered is the fact that film and print are very different mediums. While children may be able to cope with certain scenes in the books they might not tolerate when they can visually see it. That's not to say that I don't think Aslan could have been potrayed better, but I can understand the prespectives of the film makers and where they were coming from.
Image
Signature by daughter of the King; Avatar by Adeona
-Thanks :]

Keeper of the Secret Magic
User avatar
Valiant
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1503
Joined: Jul 31, 2010
Location: In Narnia of course
Gender: Female

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby twinimage » Apr 25, 2012 2:02 pm

fantasia_kitty made a really good point. He is not a tame lion just for the sake of being wild, but because he is a just king. The films seemed to have reduced Aslan's wild nature down to the fact that he comes and goes where and when he pleases and that he can roar really loud.

When I read or listen to radio productions of The Chronicles of Narnia, I always feel that Aslan is not just a great being, but also an "experience", per say. Every character that comes in contact with Aslan has a unforgettable experience. Often in the films Aslan feels like just another character. A lot of his majesty and greatness isn't in the film version. In the books he is sometimes described as larger than a horse and very golden and radiant, with a perfume about him. I'd actually like to see something like that. This art here is a good example of what it should have been: http://www.narniaweb.com/wp-content/gal ... c/3816.jpg
Those qualities are not depicted well, if at all, in the films. The filmmakers appear to have striven for realism instead of accuracy. The audience should be left with wanting more of Aslan. Sadly, that is not the case.
User avatar
twinimage
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 275
Joined: Jan 30, 2009
Location: U.S.

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby King_Erlian » Apr 26, 2012 4:33 am

I agree with Valiant. There is no way they could have had Aslan digging his claws into Dragon-Eustace and tearing off the flesh - VDT wasn't Death Wish XXIII! It was fine in the book, where the reader doesn't have to imagine anything too gory if he/she doesn't want to (and in the book, the undragoning was described by Eustace in a flashback, not related as narrative happening in the present); but to be confronted by an image like that, outside of your control, is something else.

Having said that, it feels like the film censors are far less worried about graphic violence than about other things. I felt the battle scenes in The Fellowship Of The Ring were pretty horrific (even if orc blood is black rather than red), but that only got a PG rating in Britain. If my eight-year-old self had seen it, I would have been pretty upset. But a naughty word or two in an otherwise perfectly family-friendly film (such as Liar Liar) is enough to get it a 12 rating at least.
User avatar
King_Erlian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1663
Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Location: Northern England
Gender: Male

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Ithilwen » Jun 30, 2012 11:54 pm

I voted no. I'd say Aslan was a bit different in the movies than he was in the books, but I don't think it was a problem of him being too tame. There were multiple parts where he was shown as being not tame at all: the frightening scene where he's shown attacking the man that was after Lucy in PC, the moment where he kills Jadis, the awe everyone has of him, the reminders from characters such as Tumnus that he's "not a tame lion". I could go on longer.

Rather, I think the main problem with the adaptation of the character is that they made him out to be more of a wise sage than a God-like or Christ-like character. He doesn't seem as perfect or all-knowing as he should. For example, the "be-yourself-I-know-you-can-do-it" style encouragement in VDT. Also, the line in PC where he says, "We can never know what would have happened, Lucy." We can never know? I'm pretty sure Book!Aslan knows. ;) That line was worded differently in the book, and came across more like he did know, but that Lucy was not going to be told by him.


~Riella =:)
User avatar
Ithilwen
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 5885
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Location: Taking over the world while twirling my evil girlstache.
Gender: Female

Re: Movie-Aslan a Tame Lion?

Postby Narnian_Archer » Jul 02, 2012 7:18 am

I do think Aslan was a bit too tame in the movies. In LWW he was still a Lion whom I could see using his teeth and fangs very ferociously. He had a grace and peace about him, but there was still a fire in his eyes. In the scene where he speaks up to the Witch (do NOT recite the deep magic to Me, Witch - I was there when it was written) there is a definite growl in his voice and a flash in his eye. He is a bit calmer than in the book (I saw LWW before I read the book, and I was surprised by how much more wild he was in the book than the movie), but nevertheless ferocious and fearful. In PC, however, he seemed to turn into this pussy cat who couldn't do anything but roar - like a dog who's bark is worse than his bite. Yes, he does pounce at a soldier, but really, that's all he does. There's no 'wildness' about him - he just roars and roars. Even his eyes look a little dead (I fault the animators in this - I think Aslan was better animated in LWW than PC, because in PC there's practically no expression in his face - it's just the same the whole movie through) In the book PC, he growls, he looks ferociously at people, he rides through the city and causes an entire uproar, he throws Trumpkin up and down and all around, he dances with the fauns and Bacchus, he's unpredictable - he's not tame - he's wild! That's not to say he's not kind, gentle, and wise - but he is not tame, and I think that was something that was downplayed in the movies.
Image
sig by Sheroo of Stormness Head
avatar by me
Member of the Dragon club. PM Narnia Girl or FFJ to join.
RL sibling to De_De and wild rose
Narnian_Archer
NarniaWeb Junkie
 
Posts: 684
Joined: Feb 26, 2010
Location: On the Frontline!
Gender: Female

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests