I decided to go see "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" as my way of celebrating Yule. I felt it was an apropos movie to see on this day since the theme of it is that the dark cold despair of winter will be overcome by the light, warmth and hope of spring, as the golden Aslan defeats the White Witch Jadis to restore balance to the land of Narnia. As pagan a theme as there can be, in my opinion, even though the story contains many of the trappings of Christianity.
As for the movie itself, I enjoyed it although I felt it got a bit "flat" towards the end. The beginning and middle sections were excellent though, especially the very start of the movie, where the children are in WWII Britain, before they discover the wardrobe. The battle sequence was also quite well done -- I particularly liked the gryphon Luftwaffe. The CGI effects were top notch, although occasionally the character motion seemed a bit "off", like with the polar bears that drew Jadis' chariot -- the bears seemed to lumber rather unevenly at times, not moving as smoothly as real polar bears might. I also was looking forward to seeing the polar bears going through the snow, like in the movie advertisements, but that didn't happen. That image looked so great, but in the actual movie, you only saw the bears pulling her over greenery. POUT!
The last quarter of the movie seemed to be missing something -- a certain magic that the book had but the movie did not. It seemed to be "just going through the motions", as though its heart had been killed when Aslan was. It wasn't bad, it just didn't have that certain something that had been present earlier in the film. I'm not sure quite why, but the lack was noticible, at least to me. Still, all in all, not a bad way to spend part of the Longest Night . . .
~~ toasts friends far and near with eggnog ~~