Why Aslan is Hard to Get Right - Talking Beasts Podcast

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Why Aslan is Hard to Get Right - Talking Beasts Podcast

Postby fantasia_kitty » Dec 19, 2018 3:07 pm

I'm hijacking the podcast's latest discussion for the forum because eventually the news post will be off the front page and nobody will want to discuss it anymore... but I think it's an exceptional topic, so I have stolen it for the forum. Bwahahaha!
If you haven't listened yet, click below and do so. ;)

https://www.narniaweb.com/2018/12/why-a ... ng-beasts/

Right, so I'm basically going to start with my own thoughts on the discussion.(Also should note I'm not familiar with David Suchet, and I don't remember Stephen Thorne from the animated version very well at all.)
When it come to technical, nothing comes even close to the animation of Aslan in Walden LWW (I feel it degrades a bit with each movie, but even so, it's far and away better than the others). In fact, I have such high praise for Walden Aslan that I recently watched the movie trailer again, and I feel that current CGI has gone backwards from the days of Andrew Adamson and all the amazing computer animators who worked on that film. (Side note: As of right now, that's my biggest concern with the Netflix adaptation. The new trailer for Watership Down was like... :-o x_x and the trailer for Mowgli, while a lot better, still wasn't great. Gp touched on this in the podcast, more on that later.) In this day and age, appearance, while not everything, is very important because bad CGI jars you out of the moment.
When it comes to adaptation, BBC, hands down. I'm sorry! I'm not a story purist, but I am a character purist, and I HATE when lines are changed, especially favorite lines.
And lastly, when it comes to acting, I don't have one person that I can get fully behind. Different actors nailed different lines, so I mix and match.
My favorite Aslan probably has to go to BBC, solely based on adaptation, and honestly, there's probably an element there that he was the first Aslan I saw on screen, and I do think that makes a difference.

Part two of the discussion, what about Netflix? I appreciated Gp's point about the fact the budget probably won't be as high and the animation likely won't be as good, but that's going to force them to focus on the character instead. (Or ignore it... don't say that Rilian!)
One thing I think they could really focus on is the "not safe but good" bit. In the book the kids AND BEAVERS are really quite scared to approach Aslan and stand there arguing about it for a while.
People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time. If the children had ever thought so, they were cured of it now. For when they tried to look at Aslan's face, they just caught a glimpse of the golden mane and the great, royal, solemn, overwhelming eyes; and then they found they couldn't look at him and went all trembly.

The Lion shook his mane and clapped his paws together ("Terrible paws," thought Lucy, "if he didn't know how to velvet them!")

Could you imagine walking up to a lion just sitting there in a zoo, not in a cage? There's no way I would. But I think that's how it needs to be presented in the movie. And that's just LWW... think of HHB with the lion chases.
And of course his goodness needs to be shown too. Obviously there's the stone table scene, but nobody has done any of the shots of Aslan playing with other characters, and many of the scenes of Aslan rescuing Narnians are cut short.
I think that's why the BBC and Walden Aslans felt... boring? Get those juxtapositions going with the character and I think he'll be really solid! :)
As far as voice, that should be mostly discussed in the casting thread for Aslan, but I can't get Gp's idea out of my head of having a younger sounding voice. I really like that idea as Aslan is ageless. So nobody "old" sounding. And I like a deep rumbling voice. I actually like the way they did it in BBC where they had those lion rumbles mixed in with the speaking.

So, long post, sorry ;)) but lets get on with the discussion.
Who is your favorite Aslan so far and why?
And what should Netflix do with Aslan? (Besides make him awesome!)
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Re: Why Aslan is Hard to Get Right - Talking Beasts Podcast

Postby hiraeth » Dec 19, 2018 7:52 pm

I have to admit I haven’t watched or heard any other iterations of Aslan besides Liam Neeson’s portrayal, which I loved as a kid. I think I hear his voice when I read the books, but I can’t be entirely sure.

I absolutely agree with the ‘good not safe’ aspect. It’s one of the most unique qualities of Aslan, and if Netflix gets that right... :)

What do people think about a motion capture Aslan? My personal opinion is that this is a better route to take than a CG lion-the Walden animation was fantastic, but a motion capture performance could allow a more personal performance, and could better portray that good but not safe characteristic. Just check out Christian Bale as Bagheera in Mowgli-it’s actually Christian Bale’s face, emoting, not just his voice. It may not look as realistic as a CG lion could be, perhaps, but that’s something I wouldn’t mind if the motion capture allowed a great performance.

Side note:Netflix didn’t actually make Mowgli, they ended up distributing it after Warner Bros sold it to them, I think.
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Re: Why Aslan is Hard to Get Right - Talking Beasts Podcast

Postby Cleander » Dec 19, 2018 9:21 pm

I just want to take a minute to compare the roars of each Aslan that I've heard.
BBC- Pathetic. It sounds like he's violently burping.
Walden- Like Glumpuddle said on the podcast, not impressive.
It just wasn't very loud at all.
FOTF (David Suchet) THE BEST ROAR EVER. It has an earth shaking quality to it that I find totally awesome. It has the power of an artillery volley. Suchet may not have always known how to act as Aslan, but he sure knew how to roar! =))
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