Silver Chair [1990]

The Chronicles of Narnia, a seven-volume, Bible-based children's fantasy series written in the 1950s by British theologian C.S. Lewis, draws young readers into the magical, dangerous land of Narnia and plunges them into the age-old battle of good and evil. Lewis envisioned these stories as pictures before he wrote them, so it seems only proper that the books would eventually make it to the small screen. In the late 1980s and early '90s, three adventures in this series--The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (169 minutes), Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (168 minutes), and The Silver Chair (168 minutes)--were faithfully adapted into a TV series by the BBC and Home Vision Entertainment, then edited to feature-length productions. All three of these discs (nine hours of viewing!) are included in this boxed set of DVDs, along with interactive trivia games and more. Youngsters expecting special effects like those found in The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone may miss the subtler charms of these sweet but rather homespun productions, with humans dressed as woodland creatures and patched-in animation. And kids expecting fast-paced action adventures may snooze after a few hours of these relatively slow-moving scripts. But those who want a refresher course in all things Narnia will be thrilled to see these well-loved fantasies come to life in gorgeous snowy landscapes--the good lion Aslan (played by a large, talking stuffed animal), the horrible White Witch (performed with deliciously over-the-top zeal by actress Barbara Kellerman), the four siblings, fauns, dwarves, deadly sea monsters, and all. --Karin Snelson

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