In December 2005, Walt Disney Pictures broke box office records and enchanted millions when they took us through the wardrobe into the magical world of Narnia. Now, the stars are back, the budget is bigger and the stakes — for both the land of Narnia and Disney — are higher than ever.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is finally released in cinemas across Europe this week and, in an exceptionally smart move, Disneyland Resort Paris welcomed the actors to Disneyland Park last Friday, 20th June 2008 with a motor car parade along Main Street and a dazzling medieval ceremony featuring everything from jugglers of fire to birds of prey.
The sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe moved much of its production to the Czech Republic, with the young actors appearing to take part in this special ceremony and sign autographs for fans less than 24 hours after they attended the film’s official British premiere at The O2 in London, where 10,000 eager fans in The O2 Arena and an enormous screen purpose-built for the occasion made history as the biggest ever UK film premiere.
We’re sharing the full series of official photographs from the daytime event at Disneyland Resort Paris, with a few from our friends at Photos Magiques thrown in for good luck. As the wise professor told us at the end of the first film, the door to Narnia will probably only open again when we’re not looking for it — for the unassuming guests enjoying a regular day at Disneyland Park last friday, quite a surprise was waiting…
At 5.00pm sharp, against a typically dull sky for a major press event, the Central Plaza Stage was overtaken by medieval characters carrying bows, dressed in orange, teal, green and brown, as the public became aware something special was about to begin.
The archers performed a routine of practice fires and defence movements from the stage, before the first special guest was welcomed onto the stage — a live bird of prey, with its handler.
In Narnia, everyone needs to be prepared for battle.
Jugglers of fire practiced their skills against a backdrop of the medieval bows and the magnificent Sleeping Beauty Castle.
A warm flash of sun brings out the brilliant colours of the archers’ costumes against the dark skies.
The routine featured a mixture of regular show and parade (EPC) performers with specialists brought in just for this occasion.
As knights and warriors carrying shields and swords joined the ceremony…
…A burst of royal golden, silver and red streamers joined a fanfare to herald the arrival of the real-life Narnia stars.
Even more medieval pageantry brought Main Street to life — horses dressed in full costume with knights of varying styles led the way for the suitably-coloured motor cars.
By this time, a sizeable crowd had gathered right along the length of Main Street, everyone clamouring to get a glimpse –and a photo — of the actors they saw step through the Wardrobe, along with a new addition…
Georgie Henley (Lucy Pevensie) and William Moseley (Peter) / Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) and director Andrew Adamson
The medieval actors are spooked by the arrival of their modern Hollywood rivals / Skandar Keynes (Edmund) and Anna Popplewell (Susan) walk to the stage
From left to right: Vincent Grass (Doctor Cornelius), Georgie Henley, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes
Once on-stage, resort ambassador Arnaud Gayet joined the cast to answer questions about the film and their visit to Disneyland — most keen to take the microphone, and apparently as thrilled by the whole experience as her initial steps into the snowy lamp-lit forest of Narnia, Georgie Henley
Colourful flags are waved behind the stars as the sky fills with glittering purple confetti. Second photo, far left, also shows Mark Johnson (producer) and Andrew Adamson (director)
Georgie Henley still has the “you’ve just stepped into Narnia” wonder in her
For guests at Disneyland Park on Friday, this was a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity — Disney (and Narnian) magic, known by billions around the world, live before your own eyes
In Part 2, see the events continuing with a second motor car parade to Gaumont Disney Village, where the actual French premiere of the film was held, along a red carpet stretching all the way from Disneyland Hotel to the entrance of the cinema itself…
— See the full Photos Magiques gallery from the daytime launch event here.
‘¢ Part 2 of our Prince Caspian series Â»
[Photos: © Disney and Photos Magiques]
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is released in the UK this Thursday, 26th June 2008.