Movie Review: Chronicles of Narnia Voyage of Dawn Treader

Movie Review: Chronicles of Narnia Voyage of Dawn Treader

Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

PG for some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action.
Genre: Adventure, family, fantasy
Running Time: 1 hour 52 minutes

It’s time to return to the land of Narnia once again. This is the third installment in the C.S. Lewis novel turn big screen hit. In The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia. This time their cousin Eustace is with them as they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea on board the royal ship, The Dawn Treader.

Of course along the way they also encounter dragons, dwarves, merfold and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world!

When Paintings Come To Life

Lucy and Edmund find themselves passing the time visiting their cousin Eustace Clarence Scrubb. They’re not having much fun as Eustace tends to be a mean spirited boy. But, everything changes when they’re unexpectedly drawn into Narnia as a painting of a ship on the wall of Lucy’s room suddenly comes to life. Let the adventure begin as the three children fall into the ocean where they find themselves rescued by the Dawn Treader. Once on board the ship Lucy and Edmund are greeted by their old friend Caspian, who’s now King Caspian. He’s on a quest to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia.

This of course is the third installment in the C.S. Lewis series turned big screen hit The Chronicles of Narnia. For me, the most exciting part of this franchise revolves around Walden Media that was at one time unknown in the entertainment industry. However, now it’s one of the cutting edge production houses in the business. From small beginnings where people even said it couldn’t be done, Walden Media finds itself in the midst of a market demanding quality movies. From small beginnings, Walden Media has grabbed the attention of many in the industry and are teaming up with some powerhouse people bringing top quality films to the big screen.

However, even after saying that, I must admit, while I did enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I also found myself yawning at various parts of the movie too.

I’m not saying Voyage of the Dawn Treader is boring. It’s actually far from it. However, clocking in at close to two hours, it is a little on the long side. If the producers had tried a little harder, I’m sure there were parts of the movie that could have been edited out. The edits would not have taken away from any of the story line. It would have simply tightened up the overall flow of the movie. A tightened movie would of course make for a stronger movie. However, there are times this movie tends to bob up and down on the sea aimlessly just like the Dawn Treader ship does at times in the movie.

Actors Maturing – But Moving On Too

When it comes to the acting, it’s obvious Georgie Henley who plays Lucy Pevensie and her brother Edmund, played by Skandar Keynes have come a long way since the first Narnia movie. They no longer seem like awkward youngsters trying to figure out what to do when it comes to acting. They slip into their roles in this third Narnia movie like one slips into a comfortable pair of jeans. Ben Barnes reprises his role as Prince Caspian and while at times he seems somewhat forced in his acting style, overall, the trio work well together.

The weak link in Voyage of the Dawn Treader is found in the newcomer to the series, Will Poulter who plays cousin Eustace Scrubb. At best he seems out of place at worst it’s almost like casting simply chose him because he looked like he could fit the part of Eustace. Poulter simply seems out of place. Then, making matters even worse, as the creators of this third Narnia movie set up for the fourth in the series, it’s obvious we will see Lucy and Edmund no more. Instead the character of Eustace very well could be called into action again in Narnia. If that’s the case, I do hope Poulter matures some and also takes some acting lessons along the way.

It’s About The Special Effects

While I love the C.S. Lewis allegory and messages contained in his Chronicles of Narnia series, it’s obvious that Voyage of the Dawn Treader is more about special effects than making sure all the dots are connected when it comes to story and plot line. There are times when I found myself wondering how in the world we ended up at a certain spot in the movie. But, any confusion quickly evaporated with the special effects found in the movie. For that, I do applaud those involved. While recognizing the importance of the message Lewis conveyed in his books, they also recognized the importance for eye candy special effects.

When it comes to rating, once again it appears as though Walden Media has missed by one rating degree. I’ve often noted this when it comes to Walden Media movies. They seem to miss the rating by one step. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader currently carries a PG rating. However, with such a rating we have to say this movie is cautionary family-friendly. There are simply too many scary images and moments in this movie to make it suitable for a family-friendly call with a PG rating. As a result, with the current rating, we say it’s cautionary family-friendly. However, if you pick the mindset that this movie should have been rated PG-13, then we would say it is family-friendly for the higher rating.

Overall I did enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It’s a wonderful trip back to an enchanting world with recognizable characters that in the end, defeat evil and see good prevail.

Cautiously enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.