Narnia™: The Branding of C.S. Lewis’ Literary Classics

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Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature


Cynthia Malone, English


If Aslan could see what HarperCollins is doing to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, he would be furiously shaking his mane in rage and disapproval. Since The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was first published in 1950, the books have met with critical acclaim and sold over 65 million copies in 30 languages. However, for HarperCollins, this isn’t enough. Since recently acquiring exclusive global rights to the children’s series, HarperCollins has been busy desecrating the name of Lewis and beauty of his work. Oblivious of quality or literary integrity, HarperCollins has spent the last few years plotting to turn Narnia into a brand name, publishing “World of Narnia” picture books, paper dolls, and calendars and, most recently, sequels for the original books. The December 2005 release of the first live-action The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe promises a huge Narnia marketing campaign, complete with action figures and video games. These new developments in the land of Narnia represent a current trend brought about by media corporations’ takeover of the publishing industry; profit, not literature, has become the sole focus, turning a literary masterpiece like Aslan into a British Mickey Mouse.