Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Good News and Sad News from Narnia

Disney announced yesterday that it signed and sealed a deal to film a live-action version of C.S. Lewis' wildly popular and beloved classic, "The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe." This book is first in a series of 7 tomes that depict epic struggles between good and evil set in the magical land of Narnia, a land populated by giants, dwarves and talking beasts. The Chronicles of Narnia book series has sold over 85 milion copies worldwide since its 1950s publication.

Some say that the major difference between the Tolkien and Lewis fantasy books is that Lewis' characters are drawn with emotional richness and depth lacking in the Lord of the Rings world. That anythng by Lewis, Oxford and Cambridge classics professor and famed Christian writer, is being filmed is the good news.

Here's the irony....for these books that are rich with human qualities and heart, Disney has decided to forego using human beings for 5 of the lead acting roles. Bottom line is that it's cheaper to dispense with the bother of humans, with their needs to be paid, fed, sleep, and have time off. Disney will instead use breathtakingly realistic digital technology to create 5 lead roles. And, of course, use computers, not manpower, as much as possible to create those digital characters.

Disney's move contains a feast's worth of food for thought. Here's one morsel.....think how the grocery stores, that just ended a bitter 4-month strike, would dearly love to replace all its employees with undemanding technology. And does anyone doubt for a moment that WalMart and similar would like to dump human employees for a less expensive option ?

These are examples of unfettered capitalism at its purest.

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