The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition opened today, during one of the biggest family weekends of the year, at The Franklin
in Philadelphia. Based on the blockbuster film series and C.S. Lewis beloved fictional books, the 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment and educational exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to tour scenes from the famed literary fantasy world of Narnia. Through authentic costumes, props and set dressings from the magical Narnia films, visitors will enter three-dimensional settings that combine the wonders of science with aspects of fantasy.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition is presented by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, and is produced by Becker Group, which recently combined operations with Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, an experiential marketing agency. Tickets currently are available for purchase at www.fi.edu/Narnia or by calling 215-448-1254. The exhibition will run through April 19, 2009, at The Franklin.
This exhibition is a truly captivating and entertaining experience for all ages, said Eddie Newquist, president of creative studios, Exhibitgroup/Giltspur. From the scene displays and props seen in the Narnia films, to the scientific and educational aspects of the exhibition that stimulate the senses and the mind, guests will be transported into another world to experience Narnia like never before.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition premiered at the Arizona Science Center (ASC) in Phoenix in June 2008, where it was one of the highest-rated guest experiences the ASC has ever hosted, receiving nearly perfect scores, according to a survey conducted by Jacobs Media. Philadelphia marks the second stop on the multi-city tour, which will include eight additional domestic and international cities during the next five years.
We are pleased to welcome The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition to Philadelphia, said Dennis M. Wint, president and chief executive officer of The Franklin. As a museum that prides itself on creating opportunities for expanding knowledge, we look forward to guests experiencing the exhibition as it showcases a unique collaboration of educational and entertaining elements.
To help create the science portions of the exhibition, scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory were brought on board to review label copy for the exhibition text panels. Two of the scientists also appear in video presentations that play in corresponding areas within the exhibition in support of the science aspects, including a video that highlights how animals communicate. The video aims to teach visitors how and why animals choose their homes and how they use eye contact, color and sound, among other things, to communicate. Real-world animals, such as chimpanzees, apes and dolphins, can be seen communicating with each other and humans in a video in the forest section of the exhibition, accompanied by an interview with animal communications expert David Mizejewski, host of Animal Planet's Backyard Habitats.
Visitors to the exhibition will view artifacts from C.S. Lewis personal study and experience exciting, iconic environments such as the famous attic and wardrobe that served as the portal into the Narnia adventures.
Once passing through the portal, guests will explore immersive, themed scenes, beginning with a wintry Narnia world, complete with falling snow, as seen in the series first film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The tour then continues through other spectacles from the films, including the White Witchs icy throne, Cair Paravel and displays and environments from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Incorporating the movies original props with newly created engaging and educational elements, the exhibition allows visitors to enter three-dimensional settings that combine both fantasy and reality. Some of these interactive and instructive elements include:
A replica of the White Witchs Throne that delivers a unique sensory experience, where visitors have the opportunity to sit on the iconic, icy throne and feel the chill. A nearby display describes the impact of climate change on our planet and investigates whether our planet could be frozen for 100 years, like the world of Narnia.
An area featuring King Mirazs Castle from the most recent film, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, where visitors have the opportunity to build an arch, learning about the architectural structure and strategy involved in the design. Starting from the ground, visitors place pieces of the arch in their correct positions, complete the structure by placing the keystone at the top, and finally, step back to marvel at the architectural wonder.
An area highlighting the mythical creatures of Narnia, which allows visitors to create their own creatures featured in the film. Three stacks of rotating, square blocks stand in three-, four- and six-foot configurations, each level featuring different aspects of a creature the lower level displays creature legs, the center displays the torsos and the upper level displays the faces. By rearranging the different levels, visitors can create well-known characters from the Narnia films or mix and match the squares to create new characters.
An area that includes the White Witchs icy throne, where visitors have the opportunity to see and touch pieces of petrified history. Petrified specimens from around the world are featured in the exhibition, including a 5 million-year-old petrified cave bear tooth from Romania and a 45 million-year-old fish from Frontier, Wyo.
As the book series has long been a regarded source of reading inspiration that merges fantasy and history, a special teachers guide that includes information on weather and climate also will be available to academic communities and school groups.
First published in 1950, more than 100 million copies of The Chronicles of Narnia series have been sold in more than 50 languages. The series first big-screen adaptation, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, grossed more than $745 million worldwide. The second installment in the series, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, was released this past summer and already has grossed more than $410 million. The film is scheduled to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray Hi-Def on Tuesday, December 2, 2008.