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Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, The (1979)

This 1979 animated made-for-television movie was a UK/US co-production based on the 1950 novel by C. S. Lewis.

Four English children – Lucy, Susan, Edmund and Peter – stumble through the back of an old wardrobe and find themselves in a magical land called Narnia with talking animals, fauns, hags and a White Witch who brought eternal winter to the land and turned her enemies into stone.

There they meet the friendly Mr and Mrs Beaver, who help them on their quest to find Aslan the great and noble lion. Only he can help save Lucy’s friend Mr Tumnus (the faun) from the White Witch.

The children ultimately defeat the Witch and end up ruling Narnia as kings and queens, before magic returns them to their home.

The somewhat lacklustre production – created by the Children’s Television Workshop (who created Sesame Street) but animated largely in Britain and Spain – had a childlike look of cut-out trees and Smarties colours (Lucy had buttercup hair, cornflower eyes and fuchsia socks).

A different voice cast was used for the US broadcast – featuring Rachel Warren, Susan Sokol, Reg Williams, Simon Adams, Victor Spinetti, Dick Vosburgh, Don Parker, Liz Proud, Beth Porter and Stephen Thorne – with the cast listed below dubbed in for the British release.

Lucy (voice)
Lisa Moss
Susan (voice)
Shelley Crowhurst
Peter (voice)
Stephen Garlick
Edmund (voice)
Nicholas Barnes
Mr Tumnus (voice)
Leslie Phillips
Mr Beaver (voice)
Arthur Lowe
Mrs Beaver (voice)
June Whitfield
Aslan (voice)
Stephen Thorne
Jadis, The White Witch (voice)
Sheila Hancock
Professor (voice)
Leo McKern
Dwarf/Fox (voice)
Peter Hawkins

Director
Bill Melendez