TRAILER: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

June 17, 2010

Check out the first trailer for the Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favorite books in the Narnia series. Its not about witches or wars, but a seafaring adventure with sea monsters, curses, invisible foes, battles, and dragons.

A few questions:

1. Why is the White Witch here? – She’s absent from this book, and I don’t see any need for her to reappear in Dawn Treader. Apparently the team wanted to bring her back. My guess is that she shows up to “tempt” Edmund at the island of nightmares.

2. Why is Eustace only in 2 seconds of this trailer? – Eustace’s transformation from selfish brat to a young gentleman is truly the heart of Dawn Treader. My guess is that the first trailer wants to showcase the scenery and returning characters, not new ones. I hope that Eustace isn’t downplayed, because he’s handled terrifically by C.S. Lewis: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. His parents called him Eustace Clarence and masters called him Scrubb. I can’t tell you how his friends spoke to him, for he had none.”

3. It’s in 3D? – Even though Dawn Treader was not filmed in 3D, it will be released in 2D and 3D formats. So if you’re expecting another cinematic experience like Avatar, don’t. I’ll cross my fingers that the 3D here works better than it did for Clash of the Titans, but don’t get your hopes up.

4. Where’s Disney and director Andrew Adamson? – Apparently budget and “creative differences” have led to Disney passing off the film on to 20th Century Fox and director Michael Apted. I was disappointed with Andrew Adamson, who directed the first two films. He didn’t really understand the heart of Narnia, and tried (and failed) to introduce pacifist themes between Aslan and the White Witch. (I wish I was kidding about that, but at least you couldn’t tell in the final product). I hope this team can take Narnia in the right direction. Producer Mark Johnson admitted that “We made some mistakes with Prince Caspian don’t want to make them again.” He said it’s “very important” that filmmakers regain that magic for Dawn Treader, now in the editing stages—and he’s convinced they’ve found it.

5. Who else isn’t coming back? – Eddie Izzard was unable to reprise his role as the valiant mouse Reepicheep, but I’m sure Bill Nighy will do a fantastic job. Harry Gregson-Williams is listed for the main themes but the music has been handed over to David Arnold(James Bond movies, Hot Fuzz). I’m definitely disappointed because the soundtrack was my favorite part about the Narnia films. He did some impressive work in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, so maybe David Arnold can pull it off.

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5 Responses to “TRAILER: Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    I think you’re right about the White Witch being on the Island of Nightmares – that was my guess as well.

    I’m guessing they’ve minimized the character of Eustace because of what happened in the last film. There they over maximized “Prince Caspian” and got a lot of blame for not giving the Pevensies enough promotional time. It’s believed that part of why Caspian didn’t do as well as expected was because audiences that hadn’t read the book wouldn’t connect LWW with PC because the Pevensies were shoved so much into the background on posters and stuff. But this is only the first trailer – I expect they’ll have more promotional stuff that will be more along the lines of “Meet Eustace Scrubb.” Other than Edmund and Lucy, no characters got much screen time in this trailer, even Aslan and Caspian.

    Actually I may be able to reassure you on the 3D thing. A friend of mine works at a movie theatre and he saw the trailer in 3D and said it looked pretty good.

    Do I think it’s going to follow the book perfectly? No. But I think they’re going to hit a better balance between the plot faithfulness of LWW and the line faithfulness and excitement of PC. Plus, according to what I’ve read, they’ve been working really hard to bring the Christian subtext intentionally in.

  2. Isaac Says:

    Well, that’s a relief. Glad to hear their intentions are good.
    I didn’t mind Prince Caspian, I actually liked it better than the first one. A little too much testosterone rivalry between Caspian and Peter, though.

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    I thought PC was an excellent movie, though not a faithful adaptation and I also liked it a good deal better than the first one. VotDT is however one of my favorites of the series, so I have a natural inclination to be a bit pickier…

  4. Fortress Guy Says:

    While we appreciate what Lewis did in his Narnia series, none of us ever got into it. Perhaps it is the anthropomorphism.

    We like archers, so will miss Popplewell’s Susan. The white witch for better or worse is one of the most recognizable villains. In trying to make a financially successful movie series, we can see why they would include her heavily in the promos.

    We do not have a high opinion of modern era Disney. Perhaps this movie may better illustrate those themes important to C.S. Lewis freed from the politically correct modern Disney shackles.

  5. Isaac Says:

    Agreed, though I really enjoy the Narnia books.
    I could see Disney really messing with Eustace, trying to tone down his spiritual transformation or make it more “politically correct”. How they handle Eustace will truly make or break the film.


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