Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Title:               The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn TreaderCategory:       DVD, Fantasy
Grade:            9-15
Author:          Michael Apted, dir.
Publisher:       Fox 2000 Pictures / Walden Media
Place:              Beverly Hills, CA
Date:               2011
Pages:             N/A

Fox and their associates have truly outdone themselves in this stunning movie rendition of the well-loved children's classic, Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia with their obnoxious cousin, Eustace, in tow.  There they find Caspian a-sail on the high seas to search for his father's seven missing lords.  After narrowly escaping being sold as slaves, the band watches as a boat of prisoners is rowed to sea and mysteriously swallowed by a strange green mist.  Further travels reveal that the mist is from Dark Island and the spell can be broken when the swords of the seven lords are found and placed together at Aslan's Table.  The adventurers set forth again and all are sorely tempted; Eustace is even turned into a dragon.  In a harrowing final battle against a sea serpent, the seventh sword is obtained and the unlikely and beleaguered Eustace returns it to the table in the nick of time. 

Teens who love this story or this series will warm to this portrayal.  Dawn Treader was my favorite of the Narnia series, and I expected to be slightly disappointed.  Instead, the movie beautifully told the story I loved, while tightening some plot elements that were admittedly somewhat linear in the original story.  While some teens may be deterred by the talking animals and younger actors, Edmund and Lucy are both young teens.  Edmund in particular struggles with establishing himself as a leader and worthy of authority, while Lucy battles with her own envy of her older sister's beautiful face.  The only major weakness in the converted plot was the addition of a random man and his stowaway child who were searching for their mother stolen by the mist.  They served little purpose other than to create a happy ending once the spell was broken, and were a bit tiresome in their predictability


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