VDT Blog – “Donʼt Judge a Book By Its Cover…”

The official Facebook page for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has a new blog up! This blog covers the making of hundreds of books for Coriakin’s library. Here’s an excerpt from the blog talking about the Magic Book of Spells that Lucy looks through.

This handsome prop (although untitled in Lewisʼ chapter, but here called the ʻBook of Incantationsʼ) did not just contain the chapters on the invisibility spell or that of Lucyʼs own beauty as depicted in Lewisʼ novel. Barry and Rebecca confirm that the entire book was illustrated by two members of the art departmentʼs graphics team — Michael Wholley and George Kabot.

What to illustrate? Their designs were guided by chapters written for the book by not only themselves, but Robison and key propmaster Richie Dehne, all under director Michael Aptedʼs guidance who, Cohen reports, “also wrote some spells text for us to use in the book.”

“Michael wanted to stay true to C.S. Lewis’ book of spells,” echoes Robison about their inspiration for the massive and important movie prop. ”I believe the ones Michael really loved were the spells for curing warts, toothaches, snow and, of course, the beauty spell. All of which were accounted for in VDT. We added a few of our own to fill the book out. Michael was so hands on with the artists creating the book. He had definite opinions and desires. The final product was exactly what he wanted. We were all very proud of that singular prop.”

You can read the full blog here.

Thanks to LucyP0104 and Lady Éowyn for the heads-up!

53 Responses

  1. NarniaHarper says:

    I'm so glad they are staying true to the book! (BOTH books! 🙂 I can't wait to see its magic!

  2. always narnian says:

    That is very neat- what about the story that Lucy reads and LOVES, but can never read it again or remember exactly what it was even about?

  3. Lucy the Valiant says:

    question: What do I freak out about? 😉
    Personally, I'm confused by the fact that they say Coriakin placed the invisibility spell on the Duffles (part of the blog not posted here). In reality, of course, the Duffles put the spell on themselves to get rid of their ugliness!

  4. Watziznehm says:

    Wow, they have actually created a whole book of spells! Phoee on the armor!If I ever get to see the Narnian exhibition and if the book is included in the exhibition by then, then that is the thing I will most want to see. I am really curious as to what spells "they" made up themselves.:)

  5. iliveinnarnia says:

    This makes me feel better about the movie. I was worried there would be too many changes. Sounds to me like they want to make us nerds happy! 🙂

  6. daughter of the King says:

    That confused me as well, especially because they refer to the invisibility spell as "evil".

  7. confusing me too. we'll have to wait and see how they make this out in the movie.

  8. Eden says:

    Oh, I dearly hope they keep that part! I really loved its allusion to the Bible. 😀

  9. Skandar4Lyfe says:

    cool. can't wait to see the movie!!

  10. ~queenSUSAN~ says:

    reminds me of the Code from POTC. They had a whole featurette on the DVD; in the end the book was SO heavy and ornamented that they had to cut out half the pages just so the actor could lift it. 😛 This report sounds great. 😀

  11. Narniamiss says:

    I was really hoping to hear about this soon! The book sounds great, as do the other books. I can't wait to look for them in the movie!

  12. Lady_Liln says:

    Interesting. I enjoyed reading this, though I wish we could have seen a picture of one of the fake books (not as a spoiler, just cause it would be cool to see what the post is referring to). =P

    I'm a little upset with the tone of the ending. I'm not a really strong core purist, but I do tend to lean that way. That bit of phrasing seems to feel off. Of course I'm going to compare VDT!Movie to VDT!Book; it's an adaptation, the former should capture the major (and most minor =P) points of the latter. I can stand minuscule changes (like the one listed here) and minor changes, but what are they hinting at? Thus far, I have been pretty happy and confident with what we've heard/seen. :s

    *wishes Thursday would hurry up and come*

  13. Fire Fairy says:

    I'm really excited to see it! (Too bad I can't get on Facebook, or I'd read the entire blog…). I wonder if they'll ever publish a Collector's Edition of the "Book of Incantations"? Wouldn't that be awesome???? I'd buy it in a heartbeat!!

  14. GlimGlum says:

    Looking forward to seeing this in the movie. Glad to see director Michael Apted so involved with the details of the spells. Trailer in less than 72 hours! Sail on VDT! 🙂

  15. CEP Paul T says:

    Loving the details! Looks like some of the books are "lightweight" reading. 😛

  16. Quite exciting! The set sounds great, I'm really looking forward to it. The Book of Incantations sounds…er, magical, for lack of a more descriptive word.

  17. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    Sounds cool! And I do hope that they keep the story in! And I love the spell for the toothache- =))

  18. Pattertwig's Pal says:

    I'm a little upset about the tone of the ending too, especially the part "Also, when she uncovers the spell about personal beauty, which the filmmakers address with an incredible surprise for you devoted moviegoers! … Here, the filmmakers took a little liberty in being faithful to Lewisʼ original text."
    If they mess up the scene with Lucy and the magician's book, I'll … I'll … rats I can never think of a good threat. Let's just say I will be very angry.

  19. Movie Aristotle says:

    I also am disconcerted about the last paragraph of the blog. He probably means a prolonged scene with Susan, but perhaps not. Maybe Lucy chants more spells in the movie than she does in the book? I am… intrigued.

  20. HighQueen_Of_LanternWaste says:

    Very cool…don't know whether to be nervous or excited about that last bit.

  21. Waleed Sajjad Khan says:

    I CANNOT wait to see it! Georgie's lucky, she got to see it up close!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Braden Woodburn says:

    Very nice indeed. Lovely news! Can't wait for the trailer this Thursday!

  23. Sir Jack says:

    I'm glad they stay so vlose to the book!
    and I think I like Michael Apted.
    and I'm always glad to hear that there still are people like him working on Dawn Treader. People, who love the books and just want to mage every singel detail PERFEKT!

  24. Sir Jack says:


  25. Starlily says:

    Oh, that part of the book was lovely! But I never could quite understand what the wonderful story was supposed to represent. The Bible? Heaven? Anyone want to enlighten me?

  26. Starlily says:

    I'm inclined to feel nervous about that last part too…it sounds slightly ominous. But on the other hand I'm eager to see what they've done with that scene. It might be really good. Just as long as Lucy doesn't have a crush on Caspian, I won't complain too much about it. *crosses fingers*

  27. Starlily says:

    That picture looks neat…from what I can see of it. It looks like a library, as it should. 😉

  28. Starlily says:

    I can't wait to see how the pictures in the magician's book move! That ought to be simply amazing with today's special effects. I hope the bees fly out like in the BBC version. I want to see the part with the snow, and the toothache, and warts, and the spells the movie-makers have added…
    I could go on and on, but I guess I'll just say I'm really excited about this part of the movie, and I'm hoping that there might be a few seconds of it included in the trailer. 😀

  29. Starlily says:

    Maybe they changed that part from the book. I just hope that Coriakin is harmless and pleasant and hospitable like in the book. I can't wait to see how they portray his relationship with the Dufflepuds.

  30. FriendOfNarnia2 says:

    I hope this scene doesn't turn into one big 3D gimmick…

  31. true-narnian_queen says:

    me too!!! its going to be some AWSOME magic!!!

  32. Bother Eustace says:

    That is confusing… but my thoughts were that, maybe, they don't want to give anything away for people who haven't read the books. I mean, when Lucy is told by the Duffers to go upstairs and remove the spell, she does think the spell is evil. However, in the book, even before she meets Coriakin the Duffers tell her that they themselves put on the invisibility spell; so that still doesn't make sense, unless in the movie the Duffers lie about that and say it was all Coriakin (he sort of thing they'd be likely to do). Oh well, who knows? I guess we'll wait and see.

  33. Starlily says:

    Well…….I suppose it could. But c'mon, it would still be an amazing scene, wouldn't it? Even if it is a bit gimmicky, it should still be a beautiful feast for the eyes…although we'll have to wait and see how it turns out.

  34. Liberty Hoffman says:

    awesome! that sounds so cool! 😀

  35. Mirima Rosetrader says:

    Oooooo! That sounds cool! Can't wait to see it! I'm liking Micheal Apted more and more. He seems pretty loyal to the books. I think Voyage of the Dawn Treader is going to be the best Narnia movie yet! 😀 Long live Aslan and Sail on VDT!

  36. NarniaNerd says:

    WOW! I can't wait to see that book! I bet it's incredible. I love how Michael Apted was so involved in it. I can't help but feel optimistic right now.

  37. aslan's child says:

    i wish it was thursday already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!im so excited about the trailer

  38. 220chrisTian says:

    "On the next page she came to a spell 'for the refreshment of the spirit.' … She was living in the story as if it were real, and all the pictures were real too. When she had got to the third page and come to the end, she said, 'That is the loveliest story I've ever read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten years. … It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill. … 'Shall I ever be able to read that story again; the one I couldn't remember? Will you tell it to me, Aslan? Oh do, do, do.' 'Indeed, yes, I will tell it to you for years and years.'" (Lucy and Aslan, VDT, chapter 10, 156-57, 160)

    @Starlily: cup, sword, tree, green hill … the story is clearly about the death and resurrection of Christ — portrayed in VDT as the death/resurrection of Aslan. Check out these Bible passages: Zechariah 13:7, Matthew 26:27-28, 39, 42, 51-52; Luke 23:33, John 19:34, Acts 5:30, Galatians 3:13, 1 Peter 2:24. 😛

  39. 220chrisTian says:

    I agree. I don't like the blog ending either. That scene with the book of spells is too important and lovely to me. I really hope they don't mess it up! 🙁

  40. Kotarki says:

    "Also, when she uncovers the spell about personal
    beauty, which the filmmakers address with an incredible surprise for you devoted
    Here, the filmmakers took a little liberty in being faithful to Lewisʼ original text."
    Sounds a little too much like the rumor circulating about Lucy ripping out the page to feed her Caspian Crush.

  41. Starlily says:

    😮 Wow, 220christian, my mouth is just hanging open. I always figured the story had something to do with Jesus, because it was described as the loveliest story ever, and Lucy expressed such a deep wish to hear it over and over again. But I've never read an explanation of the symbolism before, especially not with Bible verses. I just got chills when I read your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain that to me. It's so beautiful how Lewis described the story, and now it will have even deeper meaning for me. I'm just starting to really appreciate all the truths and allegorical meanings in the Narnia books, and it's so amazing to have another one made clear. Thanks again! 😀

  42. Lucy says:

    sigh (stares dreamily into space). I adore hearing about hundreds of books in general, hundreds of Narnian books in a star's library just takes the cake…I think I'm in love…

  43. Lucy says:

    You had better be wrong!

  44. NarniaNerd says:

    EEEK! Caspian crush??? EEEEWWW. That would be SO annoying. I didn't hear anything about that rumor!
    A surprise for "devoted moviegoers"? Is that supposed to mean us? (meaning the Narnia Geeks) or does that mean moviegoers in general? *chews on fingernails nervously*

  45. NarniaNerd says:

    Okay, I read the whole facebook blog thingy. It seems like they mean us Narnia book fans when they say devoted moviegoers. I dunno.

  46. Eustace says:

    Hurrah! Follow the book!

  47. pselpevensie says:

    total awesomeness! i really just hope they keep the beauty spell in there; that was one of my fav parts in the book!

  48. Daredevil says:

    How did you get that? Looks like it was somewhat dubiously obtained…

  49. Daredevil says:

    Some people seem all to quick to try and search for even the smallest most tenuous bit evidence to try and link it back to that Lucy/Caspian crush thing. Despite your protestations, ts almost as if you are willing the rumor to be true, trying to create links out of nothing, even when in reality there is zero evidence to support it. The quote about the "surprise ending" to that scene is much more likely to refer to the cameo by Susan, so dont freak out where freaking out isn't warranted.

  50. Laura Elizabeth says:

    Sounds neat 🙂 Finally, some news I don't have to complain about in some way 😛

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