The BBC Narnia Beavers Thread is Here to Devour Your Soul

In the late 1980s, the BBC did a television production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which aired as a miniseries. Despite the special effects demands of bringing such a fantasy to the screen, it had a very small budget–and yes, it showed. Aslan was an obviously robot lion who could barely move and didn’t seem to work properly, his jaw moving so stiffly and slowly as he talked (“Welcome, Son of Adam.” *CLICK* “Welcome, Daughters of Eve.”) that you could practically hear the motor running,

But the most embarrassing aspect of it–by far–was the beavers. As those familiar with the story go, the kids meet a pair of friendly beavers–Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, to be specific–who aid them on their quest to the find the robot lion who is apparently powerful, I guess. Now even with a budget special effects of the era would’ve limited what was possible here (there’s a reason it took so long for the book to actually become a major motion picture), so you would think–or at least hope–that they would be smart and simply use puppets.


Instead we were treated to this absolute abominations. I’m glad I didn’t watch this as a child; these things would’ve scared the fuck out of me!

To make everything worse, the actors playing the beavers play them “as beavers”–meaning they waddle around (endlessly!) and hold their arms up in front of themselves like I suppose real beavers do. Or maybe they don’t, I’m no beaver expert. The costumes are so massive that they two characters often take up the entire screen, and were also notoriously impractical. According to IMBD, the actors would keep falling down backwards when shooting in the snow, meaning someone had to be readily available to help lift them back up. Again, WHY NOT USE PUPPETS??

And if you ever dare to venture into this BBC production, be warned that these beavers are in it a lot. When Santa Claus shows up in the story, the guy playing him seems needlessly grumpy for some reason (maybe he’s pissed off after spending 100 years in prison, and I must say, it’s really amusing to think of the White Witch just keeping Father Christmas in a cell for that long), so when he tells the beavers that his Christmas gift to them is that they will find “their dam finished,” it sounds like he’s instead saying “you’re damn finished!” And yeah, I couldn’t blame Santa for blowing these two fuckers up with a nutcracker bomb or whatever.

In any case, they even participate in the final battle in which they fight a bunch of cartoons…

Oh, and you wanna know something else? Mrs. Beaver was played by Lesley Nicol–who Downton Abbey fans will recognize as Mrs. Patmore! What the fuck??!?!

Have a lovely night, Avocados!