The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (1988) parents guide

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (1988) Parent Guide

Overall B+

Although sometimes an awkward mix of live action, costumed characters and animation, this BBC made-for-TV movie captures the magic of C.S. Lewis' tale. All you need is a little imagination.

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity A-
Substance Use A

Why is The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (1988) rated NA? The MPAA rated The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (1988) NA

Parent Movie Review

The MPAA has not rated the 1988 BBC production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is one of seven stories C.S. Lewis wrote in his Chronicles of Narnia series. In this made-for-TV adaptation of his novel, four siblings are sequestered in the relative safety of the countryside to avoid the WWII bombing blitz on London. During their separation from home, the youngsters amuse themselves by exploring their new surroundings. But they find more excitement than they bargain for in a small attic room furnished with only an old wardrobe.

While hiding between the hanging coats, Lucy (Sophie Wilcox) discovers the back of the closet opens into another world. Full of mythical creatures and talking animals, the land of Narnia looks like a winter wonderland, until the children learn the inclement weather is the result of an evil enchantment. The frightened residents see the foursome as a fulfillment of prophecy and urge them to join with the lion Aslan, to overthrow the wicked White Witch (Barbara Kellerman).

The quest is complicated by the desertion of their maverick brother Edmond (Jonathan R. Scott) who is beguiled with promises of princely power (and all the “Turkish Delight” he can eat) by the monarch-stealing sorceress. Rescuing him from the clutches of his misguided judgment and freeing the oppressed inhabitants (while avoiding being turned into stone by the wand-wielding queen), will require a little magic from Aslan… and result in a few battles between good and evil.

Although the BBC production is an awkward mix of costumed characters and animation, the spirit of C.S. Lewis’ story prevails—one just has to use their imagination. Appearing as a simple adventure tale on the surface, anyone familiar with the life of Jesus Christ will recognize deeper allegorical elements. Illustrating the rewards of self-sacrifice versus the emptiness of personal gratification, it offers an important message that all may appreciate.

Talk about the movie with your family…

When trying to make sense out of Lucy’s discovery of Narnia, her older siblings consider her reputation for being honest. Is past performance a fair representation to judge another on? What do your former actions say about you?

Edmond’s greed causes him to make some foolish decisions, yet Aslan is willing to make great personal sacrifice to rescue him from the impending consequences. Why?

Video alternatives…

A world of fantasy is presented in The NeverEnding Story and talking animals are featured in Babe. The life of author C.S. Lewis has been made into the film Shadowlands. This story was adapted again in 2005 under the title, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The original story and the rest of the series can be found at your local library.

DVD Notes…

DVD Release Date: 27 August 2002
If you seek into the wardrobe of wonders included with this DVD release of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, you’ll find an interactive game, a Bookworm excerpt on C.S. Lewis from the BBC, a stills gallery, and a recipe for Turkish Delight. Audio track are available in English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono).

Donna Gustafson
Donna Gustafson


Starring C.S. Lewis BBC. Updated

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (1988) movie is August 26, 2002. Here are some details…