I know I didn't have to write that all out, but I enjoyed it :)
I went with my cousin to see it today and I really just have to say wow. There is stuff I could nitpick, either in a moviemaking sense or in an adaptation from a classic book sense, but I don't want to, because it was just beautiful. The kids were charming and believable and I liked how their characters were fleshed out -- actually I liked how the whole story was fleshed out, because in terms of literature Lewis' original tale is pretty Spartan. But we get to see some of the kids' backstory, and the movie is actually set during the time it was supposed to be set during, instead of just making it some kind of flimsy 'this happened in the past'. The colors were amazing. The CGI animals, especially the centaurs and griffins, completely put the ones in Harry Potter to shame. They have got to greenlight CoN: Prince Caspian now (Reepicheep!) or I'm going to throw a tantrum! And they might as well give the okay to CoN: Voyage of the Dawn Treader while they're at it. And why not CoN: A Horse and his Boy?
I finished rereading all the CoN the other day. Actually, I'm pretty sure that I had never read AHahB or The Last Battle before, so those were new to me. I don't love how the story winds up in TLB, because it's kind of sad, but you can't really be too sad because for the characters (with an exception) it's all pretty wonderful. And the language is beautiful. Lewis really learned how to flesh it out between LWW and TLB :)
When I was reading the books I always identified more with Peter and Susan, possibly because I'm an older child and even as a kid I was bored with the stereotypical image of the girl as the healer. Susan could be grumpy, but at least she had that bow and those arrows and could actually help out in the fight. And Peter was just awesome. The movie portrays him as much more of the reluctant leader, the accidental hero (dude, it's just a talking wolf. kill it!), but by the end he's trading blows with all manner of monster and eventually the Witch herself. Plus, he's cute! And a King!
*sigh* I want to go see it again, but I don't know who else I could drag with me!
Oh, and someone asked me this in chat, and just to clear it up for anyone else who is wondering: you do not have to have read the books to understand this movie. No doubt it adds a lot of texture and depth, and I highly recommend that you read them whether or not you see the movie, but it is not a must.