Movie star Liam Neeson won the chance to give a voice to The Chronicles Of Narnia lion Aslan after British actor Brian Cox lost the role because his voice wasn't appropriate.

Cox was producers' first choice for the part, but his voice didn't fit the live-action lion.

SIR Ian McKellen and Ralph Fiennes were also both considered for the role, but film-makers knew they'd found their man when soft-spoken Irishman Neeson auditioned.

Producer MARK JOHNSON says, "We knew instantly we had found our mane man."

Neeson had never read the Narnia books, despite growing up just 30 miles away from author CS LEWIS, and called on his 10-year-old son MICHAEL to coach him about the story.

He says, "I wasn't aware of the books. He (Michael) instructed me about Aslan... I feel kind of ashamed. They are such beautiful books."