Wow. Amazing. Wonderful.
Just saw The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with the family. It was really, really good. Highly recommended, and the kids loved it.
OK - first of all - there are a couple of scenes where the CGI was not as seemless as it was in The Lord of the Rings. But if you can get beyond that, the movie is well made, faithful to the story, and quite entertaining.
The lack of blood was in the death scene of Aslan and in the battle was almost comical. But it gave the movie a kid-friendliness that is worthy of CS Lewis. These stories are children's stories, and they easily could have been made unsuitable for kids with a ton of blood. As appropriately bloody as The Passion of the Christ was, this movie is as appropriately bloodless.
The major themes are all there - the need for faith in the unseen, the power of a word bigger than ourselves, and the love found when one sacrifices himself for another. As far as some of the criticisms from the CT article that I had posted on the Grenz, the lack of mention of Aslan's father did not bother me, nor did the lack of frantic fear by the White Witch. She had a much more Martha Stewart-esque quality that made her mask her fear in icy coldness. I liked it.
A couple of things I missed from the book. ***Spoiler Alert*** Well, maybe not a spoiler, but if you want to be completely surprised, don't read this paragraph. I missed the laughing and leaping that Aslan does with the girls after his resurrection. That part of the book brings out an aspect of the joy of Easter that I think is missing in so much of our emotionless Jesus images. I missed it in the movie. I also missed the second lion that is part of the book. He is a great character, confused for Aslan by Edmund in the beginning, and then joining Aslan in the battle at the end. He is one of my favorites, and I missed him.
I also thought that I was going to be deeply disappointed by the ommission of my favorite line about Aslan, "He's certainly not safe, but he's good." The wait was worth it.