We've just received word from the folks at Disney that they intend to release a new extended version of "Narnia" later this year. We'll try to talk them out of it, but we doubt we'll be successful.
It's not that it's a bad film - it's not - it's just that this new edition is, well, unnecessary. And its release will no doubt annoy many fans who have purchased one of two editions - including a 2-Disc Special Edition - that were released this April ("Narnia" has already become the top-selling DVD of the year, with more than 11 million units sold).
How many times do they intend to go back to the well before the lion, the witch and the wardrobe run dry?
It's a rhetorical question, but that won't stop us from answering it. The answer is, unfortunately, at least twice more.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment and Walden Media have announced that they will bring forth what they're calling the ultimate “Narnia” DVD collection: "C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe 4-Disc Extended Edition" on December 12th.
They say that this new edition will only be available for seven weeks - during the Christmas holiday season (probably just a coincidence) - before it gets tucked away into the Disney Vault.
The "Extended Edition" - which they refer to as an "EXTENDED EDITION" (they insist on using all caps, perhaps to distinguish this "new" edition from the virtually identical editions already available) - will feature a new, "extended" (duh!) version of the film with "enhanced special effects and an extended, climactic battle scene."
Also included will be “C.S. Lewis – The Dreamer Of Narnia” (an all-new feature-length film about the author of the original ‘Narnia’ tome) and “Visualizing the Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe: The Complete Production Experience" (an in-depth look at the process and technology of adapting the book into the motion picture.
But wait, as they say, there's more!
If you pre-order now, you'll also get a set of Ginsu Knives.
No, not really. Disney will, however, also be releasing "The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe 4-Disc Gift Set."
This "Limited Edition" offering will feature the 4-Disc Extended Edition, er, sorry, I mean EXTENDED EDITION... plus a pair of "heirloom-quality" bookends from the creative artists at Weta Ltd., the people who designed the creatures for the film (and the same folks who performed similar duties on "Kong" and are also responsible for the Kong figurine in the recently announced "King Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition Gift Set."
(You might want to look into whether Weta is a publicly-traded company; if so, I'd buy stock now.)
The Extended Edition will carry a Suggested Retail Price of $42.99 and the Gift Set will go for $79.99 (SRP).
Those "heirloom quality" bookends? Priceless.
(Gee, you think any of those will wind up on the Antiques Roadshow thirty or forty years from now?)
If you're interested in further details, we've included specs on both of the "new" "Narnia" releases after the jump.
"C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe 4-Disc Extended Edition" bonus features will include:
DISC 1: NEW EXTENDED VERSION
• FEATURE FILM: EXTENDED MOTION PICTURE
New Extended Version Of The Film With Enhanced Special Effects And Extended Battle Scene
• NARNIA FUN FACTS
With this feature engaged, viewers can access optional pop-up facts about C.S. Lewis, the creatures and lands of Narnia, and more. Plus, there is an introduction by author C.S. Lewis’s step-son Douglas Gresham.
• BLOOPERS OF NARNIA
The cast and crew are caught in hilarious moments and outtakes as they miss lines and make other
• KIDS AND DIRECTOR COMMENTARY
The delightful child stars Georgie Henley (Lucy), Skandar Keynes (Edmund), Anna Popplewell (Susan)
and William Moseley (Peter) had just screened the film for the first time when they recorded this audio commentary. The result is a fresh, witty and lively commentary track, joined by director Andrew Adamson.
• FILMMAKER’S COMMENTARY
This audio commentary features Director Andrew Adamson, Production Designer Roger Ford, and Producer Mark Johnson.
DISC 2: TWO WORLDS OF NARNIA
An in-depth look at this cinematic masterpiece.
• CHRONICLE OF A DIRECTOR
This personal diary takes viewers on a tour of the film from director Andrew Adamson’s point of view. Viewers can sit in the director’s chair with the director as he brings his skill, artistry and unique imagination to the film.
• THE CHILDREN'S MAGICAL JOURNEY
Viewers will be delighted with this “behind-the-scenes” tour, led by the film’s charming child stars
Georgie, Skandar, William and Anna. Here is a fresh and fun look at making the film, with wonderful
moments including the children’s surprise first look at the amazing ‘Narnia’ sets.
EVOLUTION OF AN EPIC
• ANATOMY OF THE SCENE: THE MELTING RIVER
This featurette goes in-depth to explore the making of the exciting and pivotal ‘waterfall’ scene. Viewers are taken to the set of a remarkable in-door river, where the children and crew make this complicated scene work. Viewers will learn how effects and shots from different countries are put together to get the final scene just right.
• CINEMATIC STORYTELLERS
Eight different film diaries, from eight different members of the film team, give viewers a personal and heartfelt look at every step of the film’s production. Recorded as the film was being made, the personal film diaries of ‘Cinematic Storytellers’ are fresh, candid and unique perspectives on an epic film.
Producer Mark Johnson, Production Designer Roger Ford, Costume Designer Isis Mussenden, Editor Sim Evan-Jones, Composer Harry Gregson-Williams, KNB Effects Group co-founder and Makeup Effects wizard Howard Berger, Weta Workshop Visualist and Creative Supervisor Richard Taylor, and Director of Photography Donald M. McAlpine each contribute their insights about the production.
• C.S. LEWIS: FROM ONE MAN'S MIND
This featurette is a fond look at C.S. Lewis, the creative dreamer and best-selling author who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia and created the world of Narnia.
• CREATING CREATURES
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE won the Academy Award® for Best Makeup (2005) and was Oscar®-nominated for Best Visual Effects (2005). Now, viewers can learn the movie effects secrets behind eleven creatures from the film, including Jadis the White Witch and Aslan.
From initial creative sketches to sculpting, molding, rendering, and final realization, each creature is showcased in an easy-access menu. Featured are: The White Witch, Aslan, Ginarrbrik, Mr. Tumnus, Wolves, Minotaurs, Goblins, Beavers, Satyrs, Ankle Slicers and Centaurs. This feature offers a special wardrobe icon which when accessed takes viewers to the real-life biographies of the creatures in the ‘Creatures of the World’ portion of the DVD.
CREATURES, LANDS & LEGENDS
Meet all the strange creatures that fill Narnia, and explore the wondrous landscapes of this far-off land.
• CREATURES OF THE WORLD
This is the companion feature to the “Creating Creatures” feature. Here viewers will discover fantastic biographies on The White Witch, Aslan, Ginarrbrik, Mr. Tumnus, Wolves, Minotaurs, Goblins, Beavers, Satyrs, Ankle Slicers and Centaurs.
• EXPLORE NARNIA (3D MAP)
Viewers can explore Narnia’s magical realms with this unique interactive map.
• LEGENDS IN TIME
This special timeline acts as a portal to take viewers through Narnia
DISC 3: ALL-NEW FEATURE-LENGTH FILM
• C.S. LEWIS – THE DREAMER OF NARNIA
Here is the never-before-seen feature-length film about C.S. Lewis, the man who created the land of
wonder and enchantment called Narnia. For fans of C.S. Lewis and for those who are experiencing his
wondrous works for the first time, this comprehensive feature shines a brilliant spotlight on this creative genius.
DISC 4: ALL-NEW IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF NARNIA
• VISUALIZING THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE: THE COMPLETE PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE
Fans will rejoice at this unique, exclusive tour of the film. Here is the ‘movie magic’ that results in the lavish final film. Adapting the book into the motion picture is a daunting task, and this featurette shows how it was done.
• ANATOMY OF A SCENE: BEHIND THE BATTLE
Viewers will be thrilled with this fascinating new look at a crucial battle scene. From pre-visualization computer images to storyboards, here is the exciting process of creating one of the key scenes in the film.
• ART OF NARNIA GALLERY
‘Narnia’ features stunning imagery, and here is a special museum full of superb images from the film. This new gallery is open for business, and fans will want to visit it again and again. A spectacular journey of imagination and one of Walt Disney Pictures’ most successful live-action films of all
Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2.35:1)
Sound: 5.1 Dolby® Digital Surround Sound
5.1 DTS Digital Home Theatre Mix
Languages: English, French, Spanish audio
French, Spanish subtitles
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, NARNIA and all book titles, characters and locales original thereto are trademarks of C.S. Lewis Pte Ltd. and are used with permission. © Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Walden Media, LLC. All rights reserved.