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Christmas Round-up

In October I did a Hallowe'en round-up post. Since today is Christmas Eve I thought it would be cool to do a Christmas round-up. :)

Note: Post contains spoilers.


Books

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Narnia)

This is the 2nd book in the fantasy children's series The Chronicles of Narnia. Originally published in 1950, it's become a kid's classic. The series is about the magical land of Narnia which is actually meant to be Heaven. It's ruled over by the great lion Aslan (who is like Jesus). But if you're not religious (like me) it's still an entertaining story.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is about siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie who are evacuated from London to the country during the Blitz. They go to stay with Professor Kirke who lives alone apart from his housekeeper Mrs. Macready. While looking round the house the youngest girl Lucy discovers an entrance to Narnia in the back of a wardrobe. She comes out in a snowy wood by a lamppost and meets a faun named Mr. Tumnus who tells her that Narnia is ruled over the evil White Witch (Jadis) who makes sure that it's forever winter and never Christmas. There is a prophecy that when 2 Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve (aka humans) sit on the throne of the castle Cair Paravel then the Witch will be defeated and the evil time will be over. As a consequence the Witch hates and fears humans.

When Mr. Tumnus learns that Lucy is a Daughter of Eve he takes her back to his house with plans to deliver her to the White Witch, but finds he is unable to do so and lets her go home. After she comes back through the wardrobe she's shocked to discover that hardly any time has passed. When she tells her brothers and sister about Narnia they don't believe her and think she's gone mad.

Relations are strained between the siblings and then during a game of hide and seek, Edmund and Lucy go through to Narnia when Edmund follows his sister. While Lucy goes to visit Mr. Tumnus again, Edmund ends up meeting the White Witch. She charms him with Turkish delight (I'm not keen on it myself it, although I prefer the actual Turkish made stuff, lol) and makes him promise to bring his sisters and brother back with him later. Lucy meets him coming back from her friend's and is excited because this proves that Narnia exists. She is bitterly disappointed that when they get back Edmund lies about having been there.

But  a few days later all the children hide from Mrs. Macready in the wardrobe and go into Narnia. Peter and Susan are angry to find that Narnia is real after all and Edmund has been lying to them. Lucy is more concerned about Mr. Tumnus who has disappeared. He's been taken by servants of the White Witch for committing treason by having Lucy in his house. The childen then meet Mr. Beaver and his wife (who can talk as all animals in Narnia can) and learn more about the prophecy and Aslan. They make a plan to defeat the Witch. Things are hampered by the disappearance of Edmund but there is already a change in Narnia, the snow is begun to melt and Father Christmas returns!


This is a good book and relevant for this time of year because of the winter theme and the White Witch trying to keep Father Christmas out. I never realised the religious undertones when I was younger. I used to have the whole set of books as a child but I lost them. :( I'd like to get them again in the future. There's also a TV version and a film which I've mentioned below.





Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

The book the film Christmas with the Kranks is based on, about couple Luther and Nora Krank who decide to "skip Christmas" and go on a cruise when their daughter Blair is away in Peru over the festive season. This is darker than the movie, the neighbours are more menacing and I don't like the part where Luther worries about the colour of Blair's fiance Enrique's skin (it seems needless) but still a good book.

See below for the post where I wrote about the film.






Films


Here's my post from two years ago on my Top 5 Christmas films (Christmas with the Kranks is No 5):
http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/top-5-christmas-films.html



The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

The film version of the classic book (see above). Peter (played by William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) are evacuated to Professor Digby's house and discover the land of Narnia inside a wardrobe. The White With is played by Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy is Mr. Tumnus and Liam Neeson voices Aslan.

They changed some things in the film, e.g. Lucy first goes into Narnia during hide and seek rather than when she's just exploring the house. But since the story has to be squeezed into two hours then they would have to cut or change some things. The TV version (see below) is several episodes long. I don't think there were as many changes as Prince Caspian though- with that they made Caspian older (he was played by Ben Barnes) and put a love story between him and Susan in, which wasn't there in the book or TV series.




In the movie Maugrim (the wolf who is Chief of Police) and the other animals are done by CGI. In the old BBC series they were actors dressed up in costumes. While it's more advanced visually I actually think the actors in costumes works better, Maugrim is creepier and it fits the atmosphere of the story. I prefer the BBC version but I like the film too. It's on again this Christmas so I'll probably watch it. :)





Music

First of all since she's my favourite singer, here's some Mariah Carey!


Here's her new version of All I Want For Christmas Is You with Justin Bieber from 2011:
http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/weekly-music-video_19.html


And here's When Christmas Comes featuring John Legend, which was last Wednesday's Weekly Music Video: http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/weekly-music-video_21.html

Finally here's the 2000 So So Def Remix of All I Want For Christmas Is You featuring rapper and producer Jermaine Dupri. While I like the original All I Want For Christmas Is You, I have got an overload of it since it's always played and shown on TV, lol. And I actually prefer the remix. It can be found on Mariah's 2001 Greatest Hits album.





Then here's 2013's Christmas themed video, Japanese singer Namie Amuro's White Light: http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/weekly-music-video_24.html

 And 2014's Christmas video, Fa La La by Justin Bieber featuring American group Boys II Men: http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/weekly-music-video_24.html


Now we'll end with some Ariana Grande. :)

Santa Tell Me (last year's Christmas themed Weekly Music Video): http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/weekly-music-video_23.html

Ariana Christmas songs; http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/ariana-grande-christmas-songs.html



TV

It's a Christmas Eve tradition for me to watch the BBC TV version of Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester: http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-tailor-of-gloucester.htm


 
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Narnia) (1988)

This is the BBC TV mini series version of the book. It was first shown in late 1988 and had 6 episodes. It's the same story of Pevensie children going to Narnia (see under Books). Peter was played by Richard Dempsey who was also in The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes: The Last Vampyre a few years later), Sophie Cook was Susan, Jonathan R. Scott was Edmund and Lucy was played by Sophie Wilcox. Barbara Kellerman played the White Witch. She's not so well known now (doesn't appear to have acted since 2008) but she was in quite a few films and TV series in the 70s and 80s. (I also know her from The Monster Club). Aslan was voiced by Ronald Pickup but Ailsa Berk and William Todd Jones as also credited as him, I think they would have been in the costume.

Here's a trailer:


And you can watch Episode 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0PzdIqD9rw


This was first on when I was little and I got the whole DVD series 8 years ago, as part of a newspaper offer. (They also made TV versions of Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair). Although I like the film, I much prefer this series. It just seems to have more about it. While the special effects weren't very good, the actors in costumes give it more of a realistic (and sometimes creepy!) feel. Also I think the series stuck to the book more.



Father Ted

Father Ted was an Irish comedy series about priests Ted (played by Dermot Morgan), Dougal (Ardal O'Hanlon) and Jack (Frank Kelly) who live together on Craggy Island with their housekeeper Mrs. Doyle (played by Pauline McLynn). It ran for 3 series. Dermot sadly died in 1998, just after completing the 3rd one.


Here are a couple of clips from the Christmas special. I especially like the part where Ted, Dougal and some other priests get trapped in the lingerie department of a department store! I just watched this again the other night, lol.

Christmas lights:



     

Trapped among the underwear:




I've only got into this in recent years and I'm not sure if I've see all the episodes. This is one of my favourites. :)


Bonus

In my Hallowe'en post I shared a link to my story The Goblin Prince. I thought I'd also share a story for Christmas. :) It's not Christmas themed but it's a fantasy story. It's called Sacrifice: http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_23.html



Hope you enjoyed the Christmas Round-Up! Merry Christmas! Hope you have a good one. :)

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