Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

12.10.2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader comes out on December 10 in the USA as the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia series by Walden Media. It faces a nearly impossible combination of high expectations from enthusiasts of the book series by C.S. Lewis and ambivalence from the rest of the population who are generally unaware of this lesser-known episode of the Chronicles. This movie, however, was executed impressively and accurately enough not only to satisfy the book-lovers, but also to win over movie-lovers as well. In fact, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the most profound and excellent movie in the series to date.

As The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opens, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie—Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes—have grown considerably, maturing not only in age, but in their acting abilities as well. Ben Barnes, who fumbled with his role as the title character in Prince Caspian, also masterfully acts his character. Together these actors, along with newcomer Will Poulter as Eustace Scrubb, manage to create a superb film that suspends all disbelief and brings the audience along on a journey to uncover the mysterious disappearance of seven Narnian lords.

In addition to its success in the acting department, the movie also generally triumphs in the area of special effects, rising to the challenges of turning a nautical painting into a very wet, very salty, and very real water scene; of turning C.S. Lewis’s detailed description of the Dufflepuds into everything avid fans could have imagined; and of creating the brilliant set that is the Dawn Treader, the boat itself. Only the 3D effects fail miserably, managing to just halfway achieve what is possible in 3D. Truly, the beauty of this film can be appreciated much more in the traditional 2D format.

Watching the film is in itself a deeply personal experience; this movie will stir, inspire, and affect you more than either of its predecessors. I watched The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and squirmed as each person was tempted “…when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed (James 1:14).” I cried when Aslan freed Eustace of his craggy dragon skin and transformed him into the boy he was always meant to be, and I sobbed again when Reepicheep took his leave of his friends and bravely sailed over the edge of the world to Aslan’s Land. Through these characters, I witnessed the new birth of life in Christ and the final breath of a Christian warrior going to heaven—and these unashamed themes of the movie made the entire experience poignant and beautiful.

Certainly, passionate readers of C.S. Lewis’s series The Chronicles of Narnia will find discrepancies between the book and the movie. Some of the changes worked, and some of them failed (notably, the insipid green mist that mystically “tempts” the characters and the lackluster Dufflepuds). Ultimately, however, the spirit of the book was preserved, and that was exactly what Narnia fans hoped for. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader trumps the movies in the series thus far as a superior, more thoughtful, more beautiful, and more meaningful film with all the richness and depth of C.S. Lewis’s beloved book. It is, indeed, The Chronicles of Narnia all grown up.
Now what are you waiting for? Go see it!



Please Note: there are some scary scenes in this movie which may not be appropriate for the ten and younger crowd!

16 comments:

  1. oh my i am even more eager to watch the movie!;)

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  2. oh my i am even more eager to watch the movie!;)

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  3. Thank you for posting this review. I am a complete lover of C. S. Lewis's books, and enjoyed the 'Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe' movie, feeling that, overall, it stayed true to the message of the book, if not following the plot exactly. The movie 'Prince Caspian', however was a huge and terribly bitter disappointment! I was almost afraid to hope that the 'Dawn Treader' would be trustworthy. You have given me hope that the movie makers have learned from the drastic mistake that was their 'Prince Caspian', and have committed to giving Lewis readers a worthy representation of this beloved adventure.

    SOLI DEO GLORIA!

    -Kyrie<><

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  4. Thanks for posting this! I was trying to decide whether I wanted to see it or not, because of what they did on Prince Caspian. I have grown up with the Narnia books being read to me and then reading them myself, so I was very disappointed with the last one.

    I am so glad to hear it is the best one, I will definitely go and watch it!

    That is so true what you said about seeing our new birth of life in Christ in these stories... C.S. Lewis definitely has a way of writing that gives you the baptism through a great story!

    Victoria

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  5. now I even more excited to see it! Loved your review and so glad to hear that it was a great film and clean!

    In Christ,
    Rebecca

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  6. May I ask what was wrong with the 3D? My family was thinking about seeing the movie first in 2D and then in 3D… is it not worth seeing in 3D at all?

    I loved seeing all the pictures!

    ~Shiloh

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  7. Yes, definitely give it a try, everyone! I went to the midnight showing last night/this morning with some good friends--they were a little more bothered than I was by some of the plot changes, but they were crying right along with me at the ending. ;-) It'll be interesting to see what you all think of it.

    Shiloh--I don't think it's worth seeing in 3D, but at the same time, you kind of have to "see it for yourself" in 3D to understand what I mean. ;-) There is hardly any true 3D effects--you never find yourself dodging a sword point or ducking to avoid water droplets. We did do that in the previews, which were more exemplary of the 3D genre than the movie was! Also, the beginning is somewhat "blurry"--even with the glasses! At the premiere, I thought it was my glasses, and I kept wiping them, but last night the same thing happened, and I realized it was just the movie. It was as if they decided to slap the 3D gimmic on at the last minute--could have been neat if it was well-done, but it wasn't.

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  8. Well, I was appriciative to your post. I had vowed after seeing Prince Caspian not to see any more due to the terrible murder done to a wonderful story. However when I heard they had changed the director, I started reconsidering. I have been tossing between not seeing to seeing, fearing that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader might be butchered as well. I grew up on the Narnian stories as have the rest of my family. I had taken my younger brothers to Prince Caspian and was sad I had. Anyways, I have read different reviews and they really have a better opinion of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. So tonight, with my older siblings, we are going to test the waters. Your post convinced me to go and see it. Thank you.

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  9. Well, I appriciated your post. I had vowed after seeing Prince Caspian not to see any more of the future Narnian videos, due to the terrible murder done to a wonderful story. I had taken my younger siblings to see Prince Caspian and was sad I had. However, when I heard they had changed directors I started to reconsider. I was tossing between not seeing and seeing, fearing that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader would be butchered as well. Anyways, I have been reading different reviews and they have a much more positive reaction to this new Narnian video. Your post has convinced me to go and see it (with fingers crossed). So with my older siblings we are going tonight to test the waters. Thank you for the post again!.

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  10. Here's a good article that was written before the showing of this movie. It talks about how the former movies differ in intent than what CS Lewis intended. Great reading.
    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-030-f

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  11. I hope you like it, M&M! I'm not sure whether to be honored or nervous that you took my word for it. ;-)

    Thanks Elaine. I'll have to check that out. World Magazine (www.worldmag.com) also wrote two very excellent articles on the movie.

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  12. Well I went and saw The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last night and I am actually glad I took your word. It was vastley better then the previous Narnia video. And you were right about the 3D part - it would be way nicer in 2D. Thank you once more for your review. Loved Eustace, they picked a very good one and he played his part wonderfully well.

    PS - Sorry about the double post, I thought the first one had gotten deleted somehow, so I retyped and posted again.

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  13. Mikaela, I totally agree with your review! I had read another Christian's perspective and was rather disapointed. Read her post here:

    http://misselizabethdaming.blogspot.com/2012/12/dawn-treader-vs-prisoner-of-azkaban-are.html

    Blessings,
    k.rose

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  14. I'm so glad you enjoyed it M&M!

    k.Rose--yes, a very interesting post. I just read it, and I have to say that I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with the "Book of Enchantments" as well. In general, however, I view the "magic" of Aslan as the only expression C.S. Lewis could come up with to express the power of God and His miracles.

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  15. Right on, Mikaela...I agree with Elizabeth that sorcery is very real and very dangerous today, enticing many viewers by its excitement and thrill and that we need to be very careful in what we view as good and what is indeed evil.
    Your response is so true and simple...and again, thanks for your thoughts!

    k.rose

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  16. Excellent post!

    Do you happen to know when The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be out on DVD?

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