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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [Blu-ray]
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Rediscover Narnia with a brand new adventure. While back home in England, Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Lucy (Georgie Henley), and their cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) are pulled into a magical painting, transporting them back to Narnia for their next great quest. Reunited with King Caspian (Ben Barnes) aboard the mighty, royal ship, the Dawn Treader, Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace set sail toward the islands of the East, battling slave traders, violent storms, sea serpents, and other new dangers at every turn. Despite these perilous obstacles, they stay the course in hopes of vanquishing the evil mist before Narnia is lost forever.
- King Caspian's Guide to the Dawn Treader
- The Secret Islands: Untold Adventures of the Dawn Treader
- Four featurettes
- Location pods
- Character pods
- Commentary by director Michael Apted and producer Mark Johnson
- Search for the 7 Swords match game
- VFX Progression
- VFX Progression--commentary
- Deleted scenes
- Epic Continues
- Portal to Narnia: A Painting Comes to Life
- Good vs. Evil: Battle on the Sea
- Theatrical trailer
- End title songs from around the world
- Rio international trailer
- Gullivers Travel international trailer
The third film based on C.S. Lewis's fantasy books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opens three years after the Pevensie children return from battling to restore peace to Narnia in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) are still staying with Eustace (Will Poulter), while Peter and Susan have gotten older and moved on to school and America, respectively. Still as surly and unbelieving as ever, Eustace continues to mock his cousins for their Narnian fantasies. But when water begins spilling into their room from a painting hanging on the wall, all three young people are swept onto the decks of the sailing ship known as the Dawn Treader, which is afloat in the waters of Narnia.
This time, there are no wars to be fought in Narnia. But it soon becomes evident that the trio is destined to help King Caspian (Ben Barnes) solve the mystery of the disappearance of the seven lords of Telmar, and prevent the ongoing sacrifices of large groups of Narnian people to the evil green mist. So begins a quest through uncharted waters that will require each of the children to resist temptations like beauty and power, and to conquer the darkness within themselves in order to defeat the threat to Narnia's people. The battle promises to yield unexpected heroes, and through their journey, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, and even King Caspian and Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg) each grow and mature. Eventually, Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) will ask each adventurer to make an important choice that will forever influence his or her future. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader features plenty of high adventure, sword-fighting action, and personal peril, and while it fails to fully capitalise on the characters' motivations or to earn viewers' full emotional investment, it is still a solid addition to the Narnia film series. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
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The book Voyage of the Dawn Treader is episodic. Essentially, each chapter is a different island, and each island is a different adventure. What unifies is it the transformation of Eustace, not by a process of moral improvement, but by encountering Aslan face to face, after being turned into a dragon.
The film is about defeating a curse based on a dark island which moves around, swallowing hapless sailors. The dark island is, indeed, one of the adventures of the book, but it is a relatively minor one, though terrifying in itself, as it is the island 'where dreams come true'. In the film, it is introduced right at the beginning, and becomes the purpose of the quest right at the end, with other adventures organised around it. Eustace still gets to meet Aslan, but only after he has 'earned' it, by defending the ship against a sea monster.
It's probably fair to say that the character based adventures of Eustace would have been harder to film, and the episodic style might have been rather bitty, but the result—such as it is—is a film which is disappointing to anyone who knows the book, but not especially memorable to anyone who only watched the film. The Hobbit, film, was widely criticised by people who knew and loved the book, but many others loved it. This film does not have anything particular about it that would make you want to read the books if you hadn't already.
The extraordinary visuals are very creditable, but this ends up being a not-so-good 'Pirates of the Caribbean' for a younger audience, rather than an extraordinary journey at the heart of the Narnia series.
For my money, forget the religious understory, just treat them as grand adventure stories, and you'll not be disappointed. There are a few niggles, and one or two weak points, but overall, it is thoroughly enjoyable for children and adults alike (most of these films are wasted on kids!)
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