When Aslan’s Not so Perfect

A child’s vision

As the title says, Aslan depictions have their off days, when the lion is not grand and noble as he should be, but suffering from poor skill on the part of the artist, or deliberately depicted as less than than impressive to make some satirical point. Which could be construed as a form of sacrilege, for Aslan is the God / Jesus character in the books.

Take the pop-up book panel on the left. Not only does Aslan look massively clumsy in his paper form, but also incredibly sad. He’s a bit of a doofus. Has he been taking too much Valium?

Not impressed with this Aslan either, though it seems he’s unrelated to Narnia Aslan.

Aslan stage costumes are especially prone to misfiring on the conceptual side, as I talked about in these posts. This one, however, hits a new low. It’s way too cheap and shoddy-looking. And the way the photo is posed, he looks like he’s about to eat Lucy.

I get why the stage designer wanted to emphasize the size of the lion head for this Aslan, and de-emphasize the human body with a black body stocking like a bunraku puppet. But it just looks goofy for him to be a disembodied skull and paws.

I am not a fan of the 1979 cartoon version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and this storyboard for the film shows why.

Though it’s in Spanish, it’s easy to get the joke behind this panel from a Simpsons comic book.

Cartoon by Eric Matthews

This artist makes a telling point. What did all those poor Narnian animals think of the kids’ fur coats?

Even Pauline Baynes, the “official” artist of the Chronicles, misfired sometimes. This color depiction of Aslan from The Magician’s Nephew looks kind of scrawny, like he hasn’t had a good meal in a while. Lewis once said she didn’t know how to draw a good lion.

Someone had fun with the Aslan puppet on the set of the BBC production of LWW.

As terrible as all these Aslans are, they don’t approach this Aslan made of bread dough, and baked. But I bet he tastes good!

Turkish Aslan! I like how they stuck a random painting of a Turkish battle in the bottom half to fill up space.

Let’s be thankful Aslan was not based on the Medieval bestiary idea of a lion.

Here’s what Aslan himself thinks of all this.

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