Monday, December 20, 2010

Movie Review - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

by Alex Popp

Return to magic.  Return to hope.  Return to Narnia.

Your wait has ended.  Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis finally comes "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third installment of the Chronicles of Narnia, which are now being directed by Michael Apted, who previously directed "The World is not Enough" and "Amazing Grace."

Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia with their snobby cousin Eustace (brilliantly played by Will Poulter) and climb aboard the Dawn Treader where they are reunited with King Caspian to find seven lost Narnian lords.  They sail quickly over the Eastern Ocean toward the end of the world.  Along the way, they are given the task of breaking the spell of the green mist and the Dark Island, the island where dreams come true.

If you loved the first two movies, as I did, this one will blow you away, particularly if you see it in 3D.

This is without a doubt the funniest of the three, and like the first two, the special effects are so well done.  In addition, it has majestic 3D aspects, that seem to give your more than your money's worth, and the art direction of the ship are deserving of an Oscar nomination.  There aren't as many fight scenes as its predecessor, "Prince Caspian," but still with some very entertaining action sequences, especially the battle with the Sea Serpent. 

It is a bit different from the book, but it's difficult to mind, though my family are fans the novels.  There is a new subplot involving the Narnian lords' swords, but no movie is ever the exact same as the book.  You must understand, I am very visual and I love great cinematic experiences.  Normally, I would say that a movie is better than its book, though most seem to diagree.  With the Narnia series, I don't bother comparing.  The books and the movies are both great in different ways and I love them both.

So are there still the Biblical messages that were in the book?  Even more.  Lucy, Edmund and Eustace all learn morals about self-worth, loyalty and living by faith and not by sight.  None of these were in the book.  The final scene when Aslan appears is even tear-jerking and you really feel for the characters.  In my opinion, the movie stirs more emotion than the novel.  I was glad that my dad wasn't too disappointed; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is his favorite book of the series.  He was pleasantly surprised that they did include the most important line in the series: Aslan's words, "In your world, I have another name."  If the movie was a bit more like the book, I bet even C.S. Lewis would have loved it.

Rated PG for sequences of fantasy violence and some fairly scary images, but didn't scare my ten-year-old sister too much.

Four stars (out of four) for the entertaining and deeply touching "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."  It makes the first two movies look like "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.


I'm confused by that last sentence. I thought Return of the King was the best of the LOTR films. =^)


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