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"Night of Joy" participants get advance look at Disney's new "Narnia" movie

"Night of Joy" participants get advance look at Disney's new "Narnia" movie

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This past Friday and Saturday night, tens of thousands of Christian music fans made their way to the Magic Kingdom to attend the "Night of Joy" ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... Which is an annual event at the Walt Disney World Resort where the very best performers in Christian Pop, Rock and Gospel music appear on stage for two nights only at this theme park.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Now on Wednesday, I'll be posting an article on JHM about the "Night of Joy" itself. Where I'll share my personal impressions of what it was like to be inside the Magic Kingdom this past Saturday surrounded by that many Christians.

But -- for now -- I'd like to talk about the more intriguing aspects of this year's event. Which is how the Walt Disney Company used the "Night of Joy" to try & make the faithful aware of the studio's upcoming holiday release, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."


Photo by Jeff Lange

The most obvious example of this was the "Narnia" info station that Disney had set up in Tomorrowland. This temporary display was located right outside the entrance to the Magic Kingdom's "Timekeeper" attraction.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Here, "Night of Joy" participants were able to scope images of some of the main characters from the Walt Disney Pictures / Walden Media co-production.


Photo by Jeff Lange

They could also watch some behind-the-scenes footage from the production this film. Where "Narnia" director Andrew Adamson (center) ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... talked about all the care & advance planning that had gone into the creation of a big screen version of this C.S. Lewis' novel. How the film's designers had worked overtime to create authentic-looking sets & costumes for this epic fantasy.


Photo by Jeff Lange

These aspects of the "Narnia" info station seemed to really intrigue the adults who were attending this year's "Night of Joy" celebration. But for the younger folks, the real appeal of this temporary Tomorrowland exhibit was that they got the chance to play "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" Xbox game two months prior to this new Disney Interactive game showing up on store shelves.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Okay. I know. This "Narnia" display seems to be a bit on the modest side. But those "Night of Joy" participants who did drop by the entrance to the old Tomorrowland Science Center to check out the film's info station seemed genuinely intrigued by what they saw. A number of the people that I spoke with directly said that they couldn't wait to see C.S. Lewis' story up on the big screen.

And what Disney's marketing staff is hoping is that a lot of these folks will now go home and talk up "Narnia" to their friends and family. Which will then (in theory) translate into record numbers of Christians heading out for the multiplexes on December 9th when "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" finally rolls into theaters.

Mind you, this temporary Tomorrowland exhibit is only a very small piece of the whole "Narnia" promotional puzzle. Which is why -- in the weeks ahead -- JHM will do a number of stories about how the Mouse intends to get the word out about "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." So that we're all then able to get a better sense of the bigger picture.

But -- for now -- what do you think of this temporary Tomorrowland exhibit? Would this be enough to convince you to head out to your local cinema this holiday season to go see "The Chronicles of Narnia"?
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