Picks and Pans Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

updated 05/13/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/13/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

First produced in 1979 by the Children's Television Workshop, but only now available on tape, this production is directed by Emmy award-winning director Bill Melendez. It is a lively, splendidly imagined version of the C.S. Lewis story about four siblings who wander through a secret doorway in an enchanted wardrobe and into the land of Narnia. There they meet the evil, ambitious White Witch, Asian the noble lion and assorted other creatures. While it is a little long at 95 minutes, the tape has rich animation, particularly in a multilayered concluding battle. The voices are vividly done too. They're done almost too well, in fact, since the Witch (whose part is narrated by Beth Porter) and her chief of secret police, an especially surly (and very vocal) wolf, are extremely scary. You can let your parents watch, though, kids. This is a classic tale. Good makes a triumphant comeback from apparent defeat, and lessons about honor and generosity abound. (Vestron Video, $69.95)

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