"Sometimes truth and light need darkness to be amplified, and I think that's clearly the case with this," Flaherty added.

Such a thought justifies Lewis' inclusion of a battle in the story. While the book merely mentions the battle, the movie plays it up to be "the apocalyptic battle, in reverse, of the entire world," Gresham said.

The movie battle is between 20,000 combatants: Aslan's noble warriors and the White Witch's evil creatures – many of which may be too scary for young children.

However, Gresham claimed it never loses sight of the personal involvement of the protagonists, which viewers can only hope stays true to Lewis' intentions of a "cushioned" violence, as referred to by Travers.

"The child should not see so much violence that it creates trauma," said Travers, paraphrasing Lewis. "But he should see enough violence to recognize that it's part of the world around us ... [And in a way] that it's controlled, and if I can say it theologically, by God's sovereignty."

Beliefs from the Wardrobe

Therefore, Travers views this story as a spiritual lesson about good and evil. As a guideline for viewing the movie, Flaherty tells parents that if their child can read or listen to the book without any qualms, then the child can see the film. Gresham noted that the PG-rated movie may be inappropriate for anyone under six years old due to the realistic imagery. However, if there is any question, parents are encouraged to view the movie first to determine if it is suitable for the maturity of their children.

"[This] magic, along with ... evil, should present opportunities for parents to talk with their children about moral and spiritual issues and help guide their thinking as they read the book or watch the movie," Travers encouraged.

Biblical parallels and symbolism taken from Travers' teachings, include:

  • Aslan:  a model of Christ
  • Battle:  struggle between good and evil
  • Pevensie siblings:  Christ's ambassadors
  • Statues brought to life by Aslan: salvation; Pentecost
  • Deep Magic:  Old Testament Law
  • Deeper Magic:  God's grace
  • Edmund's waywardness:  sin
  • White Witch:  evil

The symbolism can easily be identified in the context of the story and can be expanded upon as parents and children read the story and/or view the movie together.

"Reading the book with the child, answering questions and encouraging their right understanding before they see the movie will be helpful," Travers said.  "I advise [parents] to enter Narnia with their children," he added. "This is a parent's opportunity, not a stumbling block."

© 2005 AgapePress.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.