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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Michael Apted's 2010 fantasy film and the second sequel in the Narnia film series.

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A Solid Fantasy That Steadies The Franchise's Course

  • Dec 28, 2010
Rating:
+4
Despite all of the unnecessary additions made to Disney's adaptation of C.S. Lewis' wonderful Prince Caspian, I enjoyed that film quite a bit.  I personally believe that the alterations made to some of the characters, specifically Peter, took away from the overall feel of the film.

When I learned that Disney had dumped the franchise after Prince Caspian's poor (at least to them) performance, I was actually quite happy.  I enjoy many of Disney's films, but didn't like the direction they were taking Narnia in.

20th Century Fox scooped up the franchise and with The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, have revived my interest in the films.  Treader brought back the fantasy and magic that seemed to be lost in Caspian.  It also re-established some of the much-needed humor in the franchise.

The film opens with Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) living with their annoying and selfish cousin, Eustace (rhymes with "useless") Scrubb (Will Poulter) in Cambridge.  Rather quickly, the three are literally washed into a painting of a ship at sea and find themselves rescued from the waters by King Caspian (Ben Barnes).  Soon enough, they are on a quest to locate the seven swords of seven lords of Narnia and place them on Aslan's Table in an attempt to vanquish an evil mist that has cast itself upon the land, forcing people to be offered up to it in return for no attacks on the islands of the land.

The Dawn Treader sets out on its quest with Caspian, Lucy, Edmund, and the rest of the crew attempting to locate the missing swords.  They find one sword on the first island they go to, where Lucy and Eustace sold as slaves and Edmund and Caspian imprisoned.  They all manage to escape, and head out to another island.

On this second island, they encounter a powerful magician who warns them that the mist will tempt and test them in order to prevent them from completing their task. 

Will they be able to find all of the swords?  Can they resist the temptation that the mist offers up to each of them?  You'll have to watch The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to find out.

As I've already stated, Treader brought back the fantastic and magical elements of C.S. Lewis' beloved books.  While there aren't quite as many creatures in this fim as in the two previous ones, the few that are present are brilliant.  There is a magnificent battle between the Dawn Treader and a sea serpent near the end of the film, and I have to admit that I really enjoyed the look of the sea beast.  At first, it looks a lot like an overblown eel, but it soon opens up and reveals a few very nasty qualities about itself.  Also featured is a dragon which, without giving too much away, starts out much nastier than it finishes.

Of course, Aslan is another of the creatures featured in this film, but he appears to be a bit more cartoonish than he did in the first two films.  What I mean by that is that he looks less like a massive lion and more like a cuddly-type of lion featured in young childrens' films. 

Reepicheep also returns, and his primary role is to torment and then teach Eustace some wonderful qualities about honor and bravery.  With Eustace, Reepicheep brought plenty of humor to the film.

The film's special effects are very good, with only some of them coming across as misfires. 

The acting in the film was an improvement over the previous installments, especially Keynes and Barnes.  Will Poulter was a perfect fit for Eustace, and I was quite happy with his performance.  If anyone showed any weaknesses in their performance, it was Georgie Henley.  While she did a decent job overall, there were points in the film where he childlike wonder seemed a bit forced, especially during the sequence in the magician's hall.

The film holds onto the essence of the source material, but added a bit more development to Eustace (not a bad thing in my book) and added elements of The Silver Chair as well.  The Christian undertones are also present, but not nearly as blatant as they were in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.  Most Christians should still be able to pick up on these elements, with the most obvious ones presenting themselves near the end of the film.

With the addition of parts of The Silver Chair added, I do wonder where this franchise will go.  The books are so far being filmed in the order of publication, so one would think that Chair is next in line.  It will be interesting to see how far the films will go with the books.

Families with older children (perhaps six and up) will most likely enjoy this film.  The sea serpent might be a bit too scary for younger children, and there are some lulls in the action that might wear thin on people with short attention spans but, overall, I'd consider The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader a film worthy of theatrical viewing.

Recommended.
A Solid Fantasy That Steadies The Franchise's Course A Solid Fantasy That Steadies The Franchise's Course A Solid Fantasy That Steadies The Franchise's Course

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December 28, 2010
Great review. I admit that I was one of those folks who liked "Caspian" because of the changes. I suppose I experienced a disconnect to this sequel since I barely can remember the source material. My friends did tell me what it was a more faithful adaptation but I couldn't connect with it. Hey, you notice that serpent looked like a "predator" almost? Thanks for the review!
December 28, 2010
Ya know what? I was thinking Alien "facehugger" when the sea serpent opened up!
December 28, 2010
Hey, that too. I guess it was just too big that I forgot about the facehugger. Looked like the Pred-alien in the AVP Requiem.
December 28, 2010
Me too. What a weird coincidence!
December 28, 2010
I can see it now:  The Chronicles of Narnia:  EVP (Eustace vs. Predator)!
December 28, 2010
now that is a movie I wanna see! LOL!
 
December 28, 2010
I pretty much agree. I was very disappointed by "Prince Caspian" between turning Peter and Caspian into rivals, the addition of attacking Miraz's castle, and the unnecessary amounts of violence. But this film makes up for a lot of the flaws of the last film and definitely redeems it, even though this film deviates from the book too. I'm also relieved that Ben Barnes has conveniently dropped his awful Greek accent from the last film. LOL!
December 28, 2010
Yep, Barnes sounded like he was trying to seduce everyone in the last film!
December 28, 2010
The only person he managed to seduce was himself.
September 15, 2011
And apparently that relationship didn't work out since he ended up dropping the accent. Funny what actors will do out of vanity. LOL!
 
1
More The Chronicles of Narnia: The ... reviews
review by . December 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
2 ½ Stars: Beautiful Film With An UnderWhelming Delivery...
It has been many years since I’ve read the first “Narnia” book; and I honestly cannot say whether I’ve read the second or third books since then. Well, quite honestly, I never became such a big fan of the books or the film. I thought they were decent films with gorgeous set designs and CGI effects that bring the fantasy world to life. This third installment “Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” does try to re-vitalize the franchise after the much …
review by . January 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I have never read The Chronicles of Narnia but after watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I considered myself a fan all the same, for I was enchanted by the world of Narnia. Though Prince Caspian, the second installment in the film franchise, was no where near as captivating as the first, it did not dampen my enthusiasm for the stories of Narnia, and so when I sat down in the theatre for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with my 3D glasses on and popcorn (already in my mouth), I was anticipating …
review by . December 10, 2010
This is a Voyage Worth Taking.
Just in time for the holidays, the third chapter in the highly successful Narnia series sails onto big screens with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley reprise their roles as Edmund and Lucy Pevensie. The film opens in England during World War II and focuses the young siblings are waiting out the war with relatives, while their older siblings are across the Atlantic in America. Constantly berated and harassed by their cousin Eustace, played with convincing brattiness …
review by . December 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
So there I was, sitting in my seat at the theater awaiting the start of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the third film in the series. As I tore open the plastic bag containing a set of 3D glasses, I came to a worrying realization: Although I remembered greatly enjoying the previous “Narnia” film, “Prince Caspian,” I had by now forgotten just about everything concerning the plot and the characters. Would that mean I would be lost watching …
review by . January 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds
I should get my biases out of the way:  I am a big 'Narnia' fan, both of the books, and, so far, of the movies.  The best measuring stick that the latter is up to par as a medium is to determine whether or not the celluloid versions provide a fluid and engaging adventure, and, if the movie offering retains a good measure of charm the books elicit.      Now for 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,' there seemed to be plenty of both.  'Prince …
Quick Tip by . December 22, 2010
The third film in The Chronicles of Narnia is a departure from its previous installments. The series has a new director and a new studio. This means that there is a distinct shift in focus from action and visual effects to adventure and characterization. Despite numerous deviations from C.S. Lewis' novel, I really enjoyed the third Narnia film and found this to be a great improvement over 2008's Prince Caspian. The director and screenwriters have wisely chosen to abridge the novel and modify …
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Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #8
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is an upcoming 3D fantasy-adventure film based on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third published novel in C.S. Lewis's epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. It is third in The Chronicles of Narnia film series from Walden Media. It will be distributed by 20th Century Fox, the first in the series not to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and the first to be released in 3D.

 The two younger Pevensies, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley), are staying with their cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter). They find themselves drawn into a painting of an old ship, where they join the new King of Narnia, King Caspian (Ben Barnes).

The film will premiere on November 30, 2010 in Digital 3D at the Royal Film Performance and will have its wide theatrical release in traditional 2D, RealD 3D and Digital 3D in the United States on December 10, 2010.
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Details

Director: Michael Apted
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: December 10, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox, Walden Media
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