The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Movie Poster Image

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

A classic tale of good vs. evil.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1988
  • Running Time: 171 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film has religious overtones.

Violence & scariness

Some battles between the kids and the White Witch's army.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film features little, if anything, to worry about. The battle scenes and the White Witch might scare younger viewers. And some parents might also find the religious overtones of the film objectionable.

What's the story?

Originally aired as a made-for-TV movie, this BBC adaptation of C.S. Lewis's popular story is a classic, quasi-religious story of good versus evil, four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy wander into the magical world of Narnia through the back of an old wardrobe. Because of the evil White Witch's reign, Narnia has been kept in a state of perpetual winter, and its inhabitants are in a constant state of fear. Help comes in the form of Aslan, the good lion king. The children must fulfill their destiny by battling the White Witch, taking their places on the four thrones, and turning Narnia back into the paradise it once was.

Is it any good?


This BBC adaptation of Lewis's story has stood the test of time; it's an enduring and engaging story with a moral. Despite some truly appalling special effects that might look a cheap by today's standards, the movie still brings to life the magical world of Narnia and the classic battle of good versus evil. The film is likely to appeal to a wide range of ages, but at nearly three hours long, parents might need to break the movie down into smaller chunks for younger viewers.


The Chronicles of Narnia is highly recommended for family viewing. Families who enjoy this version of the story will want to check out the big-budget version of the story, released in December 2005.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this film compares to the book. Is it a faithful adaptation? Is this better or worse than other movies you've seen adapted from books? What would you have included or left out if you were making the movie? What are some of the challenges of adapting a book for cinema? Families could also compare this adaptation to the new version of the film.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 13, 1988
DVD/Streaming release date:November 12, 1999
Cast:Barbara Kellerman, Richard Dempsey, Sophie Wilcox
Director:Marilyn Fox
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:171 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:general audiences

This review of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe was written by

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Kid, 11 years old March 2, 2015

Awesome movie!:)

This movie is really great!! I highly recommend it to anyone 9 and up, a couple of scenes younger kids might find scary, but I loved it! It's not scary for older kids, and it follows the book as closely as any movie can, in my opinion. I recommend you READ THE BOOK FIRST! I don't think I would have understood it if I had not read the book first. A GREAT movie!! I HIGHLY recommend it!! I must disagree VERY strongly with everybody who says it is SO stupid! IT IS NOT! yes, the animation is not up to today's movie standards, it is drawings, but, if you are a fan of old time, feel good movies, watch it, as for the beavers, yeah, sure, they were humans in costumes. but it is a fun movie about Narnia! I loved it, and I recommend it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byDodds April 9, 2008

A classic story for all ages.

Teen, 14 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

If i lived in 1988....awful special effects

This, if it were more real, would be rated PG. However, everything looks fake and in battle scenes you can hardly tell people are fighting. There are no, but if it was made good there would be, intnse action. I think this would be appropriate yet very hard to understand for a 4 year old. The unicorns and other animals are either people in a bad costume or a cartoon animated creature. (For example beavers look like bears, since there people in costumes). BOTTOM LINE: appropriate for 4 and up with terrible special effects. Watch the new one in cenima's now.