Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boarding the Dawn Treader

A couple of days ago I got to board the Dawn Treader earlier than expected when I attended a screening of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, due out in theaters December 10 in the U.S. Based on the book by C.S. Lewis, the new film is the third in the series, with previous entries being Prince Caspian (2008) and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005).

Although I was asked to reign in a full review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for now, I do have permission to post my initial thoughts and impressions. Overall, I'd give the movie a thumbs up. I liked it better than Prince Caspian (see my review of that film). Dawn Treader is an enjoyable film with fast-paced action and adventure, as well as excellent special effects. Keep in mind that I saw an unfinished version of the film, though it did clock in at about two hours and included the special effects, music, etc.

When it comes to film adaptations of books, there's usually some degree of creative liberties taken by the filmmakers, as is the case with Dawn Treader, but nothing too jarring. Some sequences are in a different order than in the book and a few characters are missing (notably, Ramandu, Governor Gumpas, and Pittencream the bitter sailor). By the way, the sea serpent battle is amazing, but may be a bit too intense for younger viewers (children under 10 or so).

Standount performances include Reepicheep and Eustace, with Tavros a minotaur on the Dawn Treader being a fun minor character with some great lines. I also enjoyed the end credits sequence featuring versions of the original Pauline Baynes illustrations for the Narnia books.

Look for my full review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader next month! Until then, check out my book The Golden Rules of Narnia, available in Amazon Kindle format for only $4.99.


Jeff LaSala said...

SO SO So jealous!

That's all right, though. I got to watch an exclusive clip and Q&A session with the WETA team a few months before The Fellowship of the Ring premiered. And in the bathroom afterward, got in line behind Frodo, Boromir, and Legolas. Which was surreal and amusing, considering the dialog that ensued.

Dawn Treader...I can't wait. The Narnia movies so far haven't quite lived up to my hopes for them, but they're still pretty close, and I'm still a little kid about them.

Robert Velarde said...

That's great, Jeff! I've had the good fortune of being involved in pre-screenings for all the Narnia films thus far and really do hope "Dawn Treader" does well enough for Walden Media to continue with the series.

alen said...

When you hear the word “voyage,” grand images of life-harrowing adventures, skin-grazing sword fights and one-of-a-kind characters flood your mind. However, when “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” sets sail, the only thing that floods is the ship. Less-than-memorable characters, a slow and broken plot and disappointing action sequences come together to make the weakest “Narnia” film yet.

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