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The battle for family cinema-goers this Christmas began yesterday when the latest generation of British child stars were unveiled.

The four - Georgie Henley, 10, Skandar Keynes, 14, William Moseley, 18, and Anna Popplewell, 16 - play the Pevensie children in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Disney's $100 million screen adaptation of the best-known of C S Lewis's seven Narnia

The book, first published in 1950, has previously only been serialised for television but the film company hopes that Narnia will prove to be as profitable as Tolkein's Middle-earth and The Lord of the Rings screen trilogy.

Disney has decided to open the film in Britain on Dec 9 so as not to clash with the next J K Rowling film, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, which arrives in cinemas next