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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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'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds

  • Jan 25, 2011
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 Caspian,' in my estimation was a better honed adventure, but it was at the expense of the charm factor.

I must also confess, just like watching the first 'Star Wars' trilogy, reading the 'Narnia' Chronicles has me holding the first installment dear, but, objectively, as I thought the second film 'The Empire Strikes Back' did measurably better with dramatic unfolding, tension, and visual splendour, my objective favorite 'Narnia' book, short of 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe' having all the wonder and magic of a first leg, I especially loved 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' as the best of the seven (as the most complex, innovative, and transporting), so judging a movie rendition I thought would be a harsh affair.

This is especially true when you consider how vividly C.S. Lewis has instilled the framed picture that is the portal of some surrrealistically imaginative scenes.  How this movie captured the dark, unconscious voyage past the island where it is difficult to convey these edgy, nightmarish scenes with the skill of Lewis, I feared, would have been inadequate translationon the screen at best and disastrous at worst.

Happily, I found the adventure to be well-honed like 'Prince Caspian,' without it being at the expense of that deep, dark voyage the vessel takes to an island of unconscious so dangerous to our young pilgrims.

Beyond my expectations was the fine performance by young actor  as the prodigy intellectual nuisance, cousin Eustace (Will Poulter)--scientific skepticism and agnostic or atheistic scorn in child form.  He is truly the medium or vessel that keeps the tension running in '...Dawn Treader' afloat.  Honorably mention goes to Georgie Henley (Lucy) and Skandar Keynes (Edmund) who were always the most interesting and best in the show the first two rounds. 

I'm not entirely sure why there are such tepid reviews for '...Dawn Treader' amongth the pro critics.  During the first round, some said there was wooden acting.  Now, even the actors as Susan and Peter (who are both marginalized in the book and the movie) seem more relaxed and at home with their roles.  Having stated this, I can only surmise that the critics are perhaps all 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Harry Potter'-ed, and 'Narnia'-ed out. 

Well edited, engagingly portrayed, and having the special effects with a trajectory that keeps our young heroes going, this 'Narnia,' may be the best in the series--in book or film form.   It is hard to imagine C.S. Lewis not being impressed with marvels we have today--not merely the technology to do his works justice, but the execution and the young child actors who have visibly done what was necessary to bring his fantasy masterpiece to life. 
'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds

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January 25, 2011
sweet review! I feel kinda bad that I've already sent out the newsletter just minutes ago. Great review, though I have to admit this film was a mixed bag for me....Thanks, JP!
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 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Solid Fantasy That Steadies The Franchise's Course
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 …
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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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About this movie


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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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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