Disney wants Christians to work for free

She’s a Narniac, Narniac at your door
And she’s hyping like she’s never hyped before…

Ahem. Sorry ’bout that.

The following item related to the upcoming Narnia movie was recently posted to a SF-related listserv that I subscribe to, and the person who posted it wasn’t particularly happy about it.

:::::: Ground Force Network ::::::

OK, everyone, we’re about to give you the CHANCE OF A LIFETIME. Only a select group of people are being given this opportunity and you’re one of them.

So listen up!

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

This is the most influential and ground-breaking campaign we’ve ever been a part of since The Passion of The Christ, and we’d like YOU to team up with us from the beginning!

It will be an exciting adventure you’ll never forget…

JOIN THE EXCLUSIVE TEAM

Starting July 11th, Ground Force is going to be working with Disney, Walden Media, & Motive Entertainment to be a part of the grassroots campaign for C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. If you read these books when you were younger, you know they were magical, and the movie will be nothing short of a masterpiece.

We’ll be starting a campaign for The Chronicles of Narnia in July, and WE NEED YOU!

On this campaign, there will be two different roles all field agents can play:

1. “Narniacs” – general field agents for this campaign. These field agents will have anopportunity to receive and distribute movie materials, help with special Narnia events in their city, and be actively involved in promoting the December release of this magical film. We’ll have more information about becoming a Narniac in July.

2. “Narnia Generals” – a.k.a. “City Leaders.” This Field Agent will be the leader of all the Narniacs for their city as well as be trained as the city “expert” on all things relating to the movie. This is a really exclusive position that only 50 field agents will be selected for. Will it be YOU?

Before we can begin bulding the team of Narniacs in July, we need to select our Narnia Generals. This is where YOUR journey begins TODAY…step inside…

To find out how to become a Narnia General, visit the following website, and DON’T DELAY!
http://www.groundforcenetwork.com/narnia.aspx

VIEW THE TEASER TRAILER NOW

Visit www.narnia.com to view the teaser trailer now – YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!

We look forward to hearing from you soon! This is going to be an INCREDIBLE campaign!

Christine, Susan, & Eric
Your friends at Ground Force Network
narnia@groundforcenetwork.com

Make of all that what you will.

As my friend put it, “Do we want to be known as ‘Narniacs’? Sounds a lot worse than Trekkies.” Personally, I’m quite happy to be a “Trekkie” — and I think those who insist on being called “Trekkers” instead because they think it means they are being taken seriously are just way too anal, but the term itself doesn’t sound so bad — but I think “Narniac” has to be one of the dumbest names I have ever heard. Especially if what it means in the end is “someone who is oh-so-happy to be doing Disney’s publicity work for free”.

And as for whether the movie is a “masterpiece” … well, of course, we’ll just have to wait and see about that. Certainly the trailer making the rounds is inconclusive on this point.

JUNE 10 UPDATE: BTW, does anyone know where or when the word “Narniac” originated? My friend has been Googling this, and so far all she has found is the product description for this book which won’t be out for another three months. Well, that and some other sites of dubious moral stature that have nothing to do with The Chronicles of Narnia. But even if we count those, there isn’t more than a page of Google results. So it would seem this word is nothing more than a marketing term that has been invented for this film’s release. Heaven help us if it actually catches on.

Or, as my friend puts it: “But mostly, fandom is a grass roots phenomenon, and Google doesn’t reference the term ‘Narniac’ on any fan sites. So I resent the marketing machine conjuring its own label for us, not to mention attempting to exploit us…what makes me sad is that there will probably be plenty of church folks ready to jump on this bandwagon because it’s just The Thing to Do…..”

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15814331130361767629 Adam Walter

    Wow, that’s about enough to make me several kinds of ill. I was very skeptical about this film to start with, especially because of (and I just blogged about this) the writing and directing credits. Of the 4 screenwriters (gee, why did it take just 1 author to do all 7 books?), I thought Ann Peacock had the most interesting resume, but I’ve now tried watching 2 of her films and they were really quite bad.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07395937367596387523 Peter T Chattaway

    Hmmm, I hadn’t taken a look at the writing credits in some time, so I hadn’t realized there were four of them now.

    I say give writer-director Andrew Adamson a chance. True, his expertise is in CGI work, both as an effects supervisor and as an animator, but the Shrek movies — which are the only movies he has directed so far, albeit in collaboration with other directors — have had their moments, and the biggest flaws in those films have been flaws that are endemic to pretty much all of the DreamWorks cartoons.

    As for Ann Peacock — gadzooks, I had no idea it was she who wrote that muddled mess of a movie, Country of My Skull (2004), which I blogged here. I have not yet seen Cora Unashamed (2000) or A Lesson Before Dying (1999). But FWIW, I believe she was one of the first names attached to the Narnia film, so I suspect the finished script will reflect the other writers’ influence more than hers.

    Speaking of whom, the other writers are Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who have only one credit between them, namely the TV-movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004). Well, at least their script was nominated for a British Independent Film Award. I should try to watch that, soon, too.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08741378159534413277 Magnus

    Mmm mm MMM mmm mmmm – this project sounds about right for a boycott. I pretty much despise Disney anyway, but now? Vile beyond vile. And the people who fall for this? Well, being a sheep ain’t all its cracked up to be.


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