Saturday, October 08, 2005

birthday shopping

Sometimes it pays to be as stubborn as all get-out.

The children's birthdays are coming up in just a few weeks, and we've been looking around for suitable presents. Suitable meaning presents they'll enjoy that we can afford and won't mind having after the first ten minutes. Earlier this year, we read E the entire Chronicles of Narnia and she, not surprisingly, loved them. We had rented the animated "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" from Blockbuster a year ago, and I thought that might count, especially since she remembers it fondly.

So Friday night I started the task of trying to find a copy of it for sale someplace. CBD, which has carried the movie in the past, is now selling it on DVD for $18, plus an additional $3.50 in shipping. We have a $3 discount with them, but that's still $18.50 for an 95-minute movie. Chances are the movie coming out in December will be cheaper than $18.50 when it comes out on DVD six months from now.

The fellow I talked to at Barnes & Noble knew immediately which version I was talking about -- he also hated the BBC adaptation, which left me falling asleep when I tried to watch it with the girls a few months ago -- but from what he told me, they not only don't have it in stock, none of their distributors carries it. A similar problem arose when I called Border's.

I have to admit, I was kind of surprised. With the new movie coming out in two months, this seems like the perfect time to cash in on the name recognition. I'm barely aware of what's going on with the Christian media, but even so, I'm aware they've been building to a crescendo over this, probably even bigger than with "The Lord of the Rings." (Although both men were devout Christians, Lewis was also an apologist for the faith, and his Narnia books contain some blatant allegorical meanings. Tolkien's work is deeper, but it also requires more effort to see his meanings.)

I would think someone in the movie industry would realize this, and would market the animated movie. After all, it beats the socks off the live-action version from the 1990s, and for about 20 years, it was the only movie version of any of the Narnia books. If Ralph Bakshi's best-forgotten "Lord of the Rings" disaster could be reissued in order to cash in on New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson's trilogy, why couldn't someone pull out the Bill Melendez movie?

Well, as it is, I'm not the only visionary. According to, the campy, cheesy and totally worth buying DVD will be available for purchase on Oct. 11, this Tuesday, for only $10.49. The site doesn't say if it'll be in the stores, but even if it's not, that's still going to be the best price I'm going to find.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Ooooh, I remember that cartoon! And you're right, it was so much better than the BBC version. I read the books to a class I taught in Belize, and showed them the BBC movies afterwards. They did like them, but the cartoon would have been better. I just wish I'd been able to find it!

Maybe I'll try and find it now, just for old time's sake. I remember liking it... when I was 9 or so...