Prince Caspian Article in National Geographic Kids

4587It’s been nearly two and a half years since Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie saved Narnia in the movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. But in the new movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, more than a thousand years have passed in Narnia time. Now the four have to save Prince Caspian from evil King Miraz and his Telmarine army to keep their magical land from being destroyed. NG KIDS went behind the scenes to see how the filmmakers made the movie magic.

The actors who plat the half-human, half -animal creatures wear mechanical heads with moving mouths, lips, and eyes. “We left tiny holes in the throats for them to see through,” says creature designer Howard Berger. But the actors could only see the ground–and that caused some problems. For one scene, Asterius the minotaur (a man with a bull’s head) was running toward a castle gate. But he couldn’t see that the gate was down–and he rammed right into it!
Wearing a lion costume on his head and part of his body, Shane Rangi was the stand-in for Aslan before the lion was digitally created. Rangi appears elsewhere in the film, too. “When you see Asterius the minotaur, that’s Shane,” Berger says. “He’s also the bear who attacks the kids when they first arrive, another bear named Bulgy, and the White Witch’s werewolf.” Makeup artists started transforming Rangi into his characters around 2 a.m. each day.

Prince Caspian takes place in the mythical land of Narnia, but the movie was filmed all over the real world.

Czech Republic: Evil King Miraz’s coronation scene was filmed in Prague, the country’s capital. About one hour away in a town called Usti nad Labem, the Narnians and Telmarines fight their final battle.

Poland: The Polish countryside stood in for the mysterious Narnian forest that the Pevensie kids explore.

New Zealand: When the kids first arrive in Narnia and find their castle, Cair Paravel, in ruins, they’re actually in New Zealand.

You may notice that Lucy looks different by the end of the film: She gets taller! “We shot the film over seven months, and by the end the actress who plays Lucy had grown four inches,” says costume designer Isis Mussenden. “We had to remake her costumes every three months. Her sleeves kept getting shorter and shorter.”

The Telmarine army wears armor almost exactly like what medieval soldiers would have worn. But there’s an important difference: “In medieval times, the body armor weighed about 70 pounds,” Mussenden says. The stuntmen’s armor was lightweight, made entirely of plastic that looked like metal. “Otherwise they’d never be able to get up if they fell off a horse,” Mussenden says.

The actor who plays the giant is about six feet eight inches tall. (An average man is almost a foot shorter)”To make him look as if he’s 15 feet tall, we built a miniature set for him to run through,” Berger says. So when the giant smashes towering columns, he’s actually destroying a set just five and a half feet tall–about a foot taller than most ten-year-olds.

Special thanks to AravisTarkina for the scans and transcript!