Dawn Treader Footage Screened at Taylor University
We received a spy report from ‘John’ who attended the C. S. Lewis & Friends conference at Taylor University this past weekend. The conference was hosted by Dr. Devin Brown, and to the surprise of the attendees, some footage from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was shown. Be warned, there are a few new plot spoilers in this report!
I just wanted to send everyone at NarniaWeb a heads-up. This past weekend (Jun. 3-6), I was privileged to attend the Seventh Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis & Friends, held at Taylor University in Upland, IN.
One of the keynote speakers at the colloquium was Dr. Devin Brown of Asbury College, author of Inside Narnia and its two sequels. As faithful followers of NarniaWeb will know, Dr. Brown was one of those who, along with NarniaWeb’s own Tirian, were present at the unveiling of the VDT super trailer.
As a gracious and oh-so-welcome treat to attendees of the colloquium at Taylor, Walden sent a DVD with the super trailer to the house of one of the professors on the planning committee. The disc was then handed over to the care of Dr. Brown, who hosted a viewing of the super trailer on Saturday, Jun. 5.
The trailer was about five minutes long. Although the footage from VDT was the same as has been detailed elsewhere (http://www.narniaweb.com/2010/05/narnia-super-trailer-at-the-biola-media-conference/), I thought it would be worth sharing some additional insights that I had (a good many of them suggested by Dr. Brown in an almost shot-by-shot discussion of the footage; we were allowed to watch the trailer SEVERAL times).
*. Dr. Brown claimed that the spires in the opening shot of the super trailer are the spires of Cambridge near the home of Eustace and his parents. There are indeed lion gargoyles, just as there was a lion statue near the railway station in PC. Deliberate, surely!
*. Before the three kids are “washed” into Narnia, Lucy is seen staring at herself in a mirror. Dr. Brown believes this is a deliberate foreshadowing of Lucy’s temptation at the magician’s house, when she is sucked in by the beauty spell.
*. When the painting begins spewing water, Dr. Brown pointed out that in his fear, Eustace screams “Mother!” instead of calling her by her first name, as he is wont to do according to the book.
*. When Lucy opens the magician’s book and snow begins to fall, the expression on her face is almost identical to the one she had when she first entered Narnia in LWW. A very nice touch!
*. Dr. Brown also suggested that the “blue star” the Dawn Treader is told to follow may actually be Ramandu’s daughter. If I remember correctly, in her bodily appearance to the crew later on in the trailer, Ramandu’s daughter is seen with a glowing sphere of blue light inside her body, so this connection seems very likely to me.
*. At one point, I think it’s the magician who says “To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness in yourself.” This certainly happens with Lucy, doesn’t it?
*. Dr. Brown pointed out that Reepicheep is paunchier and slightly gray. Since Reep is so concerned with personal appearance in PC, one might argue that this is a foreshadowing of his willingness to toss away his honor and dignity (in the form of his sword) at the end of the story. After all, how could a mouse concerned with dignity let himself go to seed like that? Only one who has learned a bit of humility, perhaps?
*. As reported at the earlier super trailer screening, Aslan utters his famous allusion to Christ that takes place near the end of the book. I tried very hard to write this down word-for-word, and I’m 90% sure I got it right.
Lucy: “Will you visit us in our world?”
Aslan: “In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it.”
Just to compare, here is the line from the book.
Aslan: “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name.”
As you can see, very much alike! Nearly brought a tear to my eye, it did.
Aside from what I’ve added here, I’m happy to confirm the rundown given by “subjectofthehighking.”
Much of this will already be known from other recent updates, but Dr. Brown confirmed that Toy Story 3 will feature the theatrical premiere of the VDT trailer. He also talked a bit about the plot additions. For instance, the filmmakers have added, in addition to the quest to find the sleepers, a quest to find seven swords (I’m pretty sure this was reported before).
Early in their voyage, the crew will arrive at an island that is nearly deserted, because people have been disappearing from it. Gael’s parents were among those who disappeared. Apparently, finding the seven lords and seven swords will help recover the missing individuals.
This is pretty much everything I learned from the screening and the discussion afterwards. It was very enlightening, very thrilling (needless to say), and as I said earlier, very gracious on Walden’s part to send the disc to the good folks at Taylor University!
There was of course a watermark on the trailer with Dr. Brown’s name on it, and no cameras were allowed, so unfortunately I don’t have the visual evidence to back up what I’ve said here. However, here is a link to the colloquium’s website, which confirms Dr. Brown was a keynote speaker.
You will not find the VDT preview on the colloquium schedule, because it was meant as a last-minute surprise by the planning committee.
I should mention that apart from the sneak preview, which alone made the weekend worthwhile, this was an excellent conference, which I also had the chance to attend in 2008. Other keynote speakers included Inklings scholars Peter Schakel and Joseph Pearce.
In 2012, Taylor’s colloquium will be merging with another C.S. Lewis conference (the name of which escapes me at the moment), so it should be bigger and better than ever (maybe by that time we’ll be watching a preview of The Silver Chair). I highly recommend the experience to all fans of C.S. Lewis and his fellow Inklings.
Thanks to Taylor and Walden for a memorable weekend!
John, thank you so much for your report!