The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1979 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe 1979.jpg
VHS cover
Directed by Bill Melendez
Produced by Steven Cuitlahuac Melendez (producer)
David D. Connell (executive producer)
Written by David D. Connell (story adaptation)
C.S. Lewis (written by)
Bill Melendez (story adaptation)
Starring Simon Adams
Nicholas Barnes
Sheila Hancock
Arthur Lowe
Leo McKern
Don Parker
Leslie Phillips
Beth Porter
Liz Proud
Susan Sokol
Stephen Thorne
Music by Michael J. Lewis
Edited by Michael Crane
Mick Manning
José Pallejá
Children's Television Workshop
Bill Melendez Productions
Distinguished Productions
Episcopal Radio-TV Foundation
Distributed by CBS
Release date
April 1, 1979 (1979-04-01)
Running time
95 mins
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an animated television film that was broadcast on CBS in 1979, based on the novel of the same name by C. S. Lewis.


When four children Lucy, Susan, Edmund and Peter stumble into an old Wardrobe they find themselves in a magical land called Narnia with talking animals, fauns, hags, the Wicked White Witch and the great lion Aslan. There they meet the friendly Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, who help them on their quest to find Aslan the great lion. Only he can help save Lucy's friend Mr. Tumnus (the faun) from the White Witch. They have a fun mysterious time there, and ultimately end up ruling as kings and queens, until they end up back home.

Production notes[edit]

The rights to produce the television program were given to the Episcopal Radio TV Foundation in the mid-1950s when C.S. Lewis was recording the Episcopal Series of the Protestant Hour radio programs. Dr. Ted Baehr was elected President of the Episcopal Radio TV Foundation as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was preparing to be broadcast by CBS, and supervised the distribution of the subsequent video. The CBS program had 37 million viewers. It would win an Emmy Award.[1]


English Version[edit]

American Version[edit]

The only actor to appear in both versions was Stephen Thorne (who portrayed Aslan).

Differences between novel and cartoon[edit]

  • The meeting with Father Christmas, as well as the season's arrival, is omitted. Instead, Aslan gives the children their weapons.
  • There is a point in which eventually all four of the children enter the wardrobe (albeit two are still skeptical of Narnia). In the novel, this is in order to escape a housekeeper whom they do not like, but in the cartoon there is no specified reason.
  • The novel, and other adaptations, clearly portray the children as evacuees staying at the home of the Professor during World War II. In this cartoon, no particular reason is stated for them staying there.
  • No mention is made of World War II, and the clothing style of the children suggests a present-day setting.
  • Rather than ask Edmund what he would most like to eat (whereupon he chooses Turkish delight), as in the novel, The Witch simply offers him Turkish delight directly.
  • The wolf Captain of the White Witch's Secret Police is named "Fenris Ulf" (like in early American editions of the book) instead of "Maugrim".


  • Released on VHS in 1985 and 1991 and 1998.
  • Released on DVD on Region 1 and 2 in 2006.


  1. ^ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - Awards. "31st Primetime Emmy Awards - September 9, 1979". The Emmys. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 30 March 2016.

External links[edit]