The haughty White Witch doesn't cast a spell on a princess.
And the stately wardrobe, with a secret passageway that leads into an enchanted kingdom, doesn't break into a jaunty chorus of Be Our Guest.
When the first trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe makes its U.S. premiere Saturday night during ABC's showing of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets— airing at the same time in 30-plus countries — viewers are apt to gaze in wonder. And be taken aback.
The TV audience may feel as disoriented as the tale's four young siblings — curious Lucy, disgruntled Edmund, smart Susan and sensible Peter — after they enter the wooden closet and suddenly stumble into Narnia, a frozen paradise terrorized by a power-mad sorceress. Before their eyes, the snow-globe fantasy land of the most popular book in C.S. Lewis' treasured literary collection comes to swirling life with mythic beasts, snarling wolves and white vistas punctuated by a thunderous roar.
No cutesy creatures. No anachronistic wisecracks. What rushes by is like flipping through a picture book full of rich images. Those who catch the preview of the epic adventure due out Dec. 9, either on TV or when a longer version is attached to the May 19 arrival of the Star Wars finale Revenge of the Sith, may ask themselves, "Can this be Disney?"