Jo Litson, The Sunday Telegraph, reports
The Powerhouse Museum recently enjoyed huge success with Harry Potter: The Exhibition, which was seen by more than 325,000 people.
Now comes The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition, featuring props, costumes, creatures and set dressings from the blockbuster film series based on C.S. Lewis's timeless, fantasy books.
Aimed at children aged eight to 12, the Narnia exhibition is produced by the same company as the Harry Potter one, Global Experience Specialists (GES), in partnership with Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media.
Both exhibitions entertain and hopefully encourage young people to read.
But Powerhouse Museum curator Sandra McEwen says the Narnia exhibition "has a different purpose to the Harry Potter one".
"Within the Narnia one, they actually try to focus on some of the scientific topics that kids are really interested in and tease them out," McEwen says. "There's science all around us all the time, but unless you understand it, things look like magic. We are hoping to use this to encourage children to think about science in their daily lives."
The exhibition uses events in the films as a springboard into science, including the construction of arches, map-reading, time, whether animals can communicate with humans, and climate change.
"The premise of the first book (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) is that the White Witch has created 100 years of winter, so they raise the question: 'Could we really have 100 years of winter?' ," McEwen says.
"They point out that about 10,000 years ago the climate changed and the whole of the northern hemisphere was in winter for about 1200 years.
So it just touches lightly on these subjects."
Visitors begin in a recreation of C.S. Lewis's study, then enter the exhibition through the wardrobe. Exhibits include a replica of the White Witch's icy throne on which you can sit, an interactive frozen waterfall, a large model of King Miraz's castle, a working catapult, and armour and swords from the films, plus fun activities.
There are also life-size centaurs from the films, a model of the fearless, talking mouse Reepicheep and costumes.
"(The books were) written as a fantasy where you could move from one world to the other," McEwen says. "The reality is that physicists these days are investigating the nature of what they call wormholes, which allow us to move between universes.
"It's lovely to think that maybe we'll inspire some young children to become interested in that and go on to become physicists who will study this area."
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, May 12 to August 26.
Info: 9217 0111. Bookings: Ticketek 132 849