THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER
When the first trailers began appearing for this latest edition to The Chronicles of Narnia film adaptations series, I asked K2 if he would still enjoy going to see it with me. As he’s now 15 years old, I can never be sure. But his response was thrilling: “Since you’re the person who introduced me to the books, I think we should see the movies together, too.” And so it’s become our tradition. He loved The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe immensely, though he didn’t care as much for Prince Caspian, but he was very excited for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Upon first seeing shots of the film, he remarked that it looked like it would be better than any of the others. We had very high hopes going in.
I’ve lamented the overabundance of 3D this year, believing it to be unnecessary and nothing more than a marketing effort to increase ticket prices. Very few films have been enhanced by 3D. But Dawn Treader in 3D truly elevated the viewing. It created a depth that truly made the film more vivid and more beautiful. This effect would have been achieved in HD television and on Blu-Ray DVD, but I would not have been able to view it that way, so 3D enhanced my experience. The cinematography of Dawn Treader was already astounding. Everything that makes a grand movie even more epic was present in this third Narnia film. But even without the visual spectacle, Dawn Treader was a very good film. It has a rich story with action and adventure, humor and heart. Favorite characters return — my favorite being the now-King Caspian (played beautifully by Ben Barnes) — and new characters are introduced which could allow the story to continue even further in films, if Disney chooses to pursue them. The only flaw in the film is the continued lack of depth and allegory that filmmakers could draw from the books. There is only a moment that hints at the Christian themes C.S. Lewis included in the series, and even that isn’t overt. I loved that K2 recognized it, that he was looking for it, but I was disappointed that it might not be as obvious to others in the audience. Still, this didn’t take away from our enjoyment of the film. It’s not my favorite of the series — that still belongs to Prince Caspian — but it’s a terrific addition. And I do hope there continue to be more. This is a tradition I love sharing.