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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 14:10 GMT
Author 'opposed live Narnia film'
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie is out next month
A newly-revealed letter by author CS Lewis has shown he opposed the idea of a screen version of his Narnia books, now adapted for a major film.

Lewis said TV versions of the animals in his books would result in either "buffoonery or nightmare" and criticised Walt Disney for "vulgarity".

The letter, written in 1959, has been published on a literary website.

A BBC TV series was shown in 1988 while the Disney film is out on 8 December. Lewis' estate approved both projects.

Lewis made the comments in a letter to BBC producer Lance Sieveking, who had made a radio adaptation of The Magician's Nephew - the prequel to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - which met the author's approval.

Author's fears

Lewis said he was "absolutely opposed" to a live TV version.

"Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare," he wrote.

(from left) Jonathan R Scott as Edmund, Sophie Wilcox as Lucy, Aslan, Richard Dempsey as Peter, Sophie Cook as Susan
The BBC made a TV version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
"Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) would be another matter."

He added that he would find a "human, pantomime" version of Aslan the lion to be "blasphemy".

The letter, published on literary site Nthposition, was written four years before Lewis died.

A Disney spokeswoman was unavailable for comment on the letter.

The new film follows Lewis' story of four World War II evacuee children who travel through a magic wardrobe into Narnia, a land of talking animals, a wicked witch and benevolent lion Aslan.

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