Some Quick Thoughts After Seeing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

On Tuesday, November 2nd I had the opportunity to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader at a screening in Colorado Springs. We were told that the film was mostly completed but that there was still some color correction being made to the final prints. I didn’t notice any colors that seemed “off” so I think it’s fair to say that the film I saw was the completed version.

Since we’re still more than a month away from the film’s release, I won’t share my review of the film. Instead I’d just like to share a few thoughts and impressions I have and clear up any misconceptions. I’ll strive to be spoiler free!

My first viewings of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian were both pretty emotional. That’s only natural when you’ve followed a film so closely for upwards of two years. This film was no different: I spent most of the two hours totally engrossed in what I was seeing.

The visuals were tremendous and the Dawn Treader itself was impressive. Overall, I thought the visual effects were a big step up from the first two films. There weren’t any moments where the effects pulled me out of the film. The cinematography was excellent. Toward the end of the film there’s a shot of Lucy at sunset looking out of the stern of the ship which is an incredible treat. Watch for it!

Another thing to watch for is Douglas Gresham’s cameo. I watched for him carefully, but I didn’t see him on this first viewing. He does appear, though. Five gold stars will be awarded to the first eagle-eyed NarniaWebber to spot him.

As you have no doubt seen in the trailer, Tilda Swinton, William Moseley, and Anna Popplewell do appear in the film. Anna and Will really do just have cameo shots and are not characters in the story. Nor do they go back to Narnia as the sneaky trailer made it appear. The trailer also blows out of proportion the role of Tilda Swinton. In this film she is not the embodiment of evil nor is she a real character. She is simply part of Edmund’s nightmare on Dark Island. I like the appearance of all three characters and I don’t think other fans will have any problems with them.

I know that most of you want to hear about the story and the changes that were made. I don’t think that I can get into any of the specifics without delving into the dreaded spoiler territory. We have an interview coming out in a few days with Micheal Flaherty, president of Walden Media, in which he addresses some of the book to screen changes that have been made.

The final scenes of the film, especially Aslan’s country, are unbelievably good. The parting scene on the beach at Aslan’s Country was very moving. I spoke with one of Walden’s staffers after the show and he said that watching the audience during the final scene was amazing because everyone was wiping away tears as Reepicheep bids farewell. The visuals and dialogue on the beach of Aslan’s Country are some of the most beautiful and moving I’ve ever seen and a perfect emotional climax to the film.

So in conclusion, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a great film. I really enjoyed it. It is very well-made and does an excellent job of blending the book with the script while staying true to the themes of C.S. Lewis’ Dawn Treader. I believe this film will be a big hit in theaters this December. Will NarniaWebbers love it? Yes indeed, I think they will!

142 Responses

  1. narnian resident says:

    wow. this has got to be THE BEST update on Narniaweb ever. you cant imagine what relief i am feeling right now, and im pretty sure everyone else is feeling the same. practically, right now, everything that narniawebbers have been worrying over and nearly tearing themselves up about has been explained and fixed. i am especially relieved over the White Witch. i wonder now, since she is so small in the movie, why on earth do they blow her up in the trailer, and even the poster? i mean, her face is really big on there! and the trailer misleads you terribly! how annoying. its like they made us all freak out for nothing. and what about that shot of what looks like Peter and Susan in Narnia with narnian clothing? how misleading! a trailer is suppose to give you a glimpse of what the movie is going to be like, not give you a completely wrong idea and basically a different outlook of it. well Narniaweb, i suppose now we can calm our nerves. good too, because i was getting pretty tired of worrying over a movie, and i dont need anymore stress right now 🙂

  2. Reepicheep775 says:

    Oh, I hope you're right Tirian.

  3. Queen Su says:

    After hearing Tirian's thoughts on the moive, I'm not half as worried as I was before. 🙂

  4. Narniadreamer says:

    That is a great relief. I cannot wait for December 10th!

  5. Narnian at Heart says:

    i really think its gonna go rather well!;)

  6. TheScribblingScribe says:

    Excellent! Now I feel much more at ease 🙂

    • Em says:

      Ditto!!! I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!!! I can't wait till Dec. 10!!! I am totally bursting with excitement!!!

      • AM says:

        ME to!!!! i cant wait 4 the movie 2 come out!!! But only 33 days……still 2 long of a wait!!!!

  7. QueenLucytheValient says:

    Yay!!! I am so happy know I will not have to worry so much.

  8. snowstargirl says:

    This is so encouraging. 🙂 Thanks!

  9. Sammie says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know about the film. It does help very much to know these things; I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm very relieved to know Moseley, Popplewell, and Swinton are only making cameos.

    May we have a hint about the cameo? 🙂

  10. thanks for the report!!! I feel a bit better now.. 🙂

  11. Under_the_Palmtree says:

    Thank you!!!!!!! I feel so much better about the movie! I can't even explain it! 🙂 I am so glad that the trailer misrepresented the movie – not because I think trailers should do that – but because it means things are not as dire as we first thought! YAY!!!!! 😀

  12. Scarlet13 says:

    Wow thats awesome! Now I don't have to worry that much! THANKS!

  13. Cynthia says:

    This is exactly what I hoped and expected to hear. Thanks! SOO EXCITED for Dec. 10th!!!!!!

  14. Anna's Sister says:

    Oh my word this makes me feel so much better about this movie!!!
    *Deep breath* Peter and Susan are just cameos. The White Witch is not a main character!
    Now I can relax and wait for VDT in peace!!

  15. Brian in Calgary says:

    I hope that this post eases a lot of frazzled nerves about Peter's and Susan's cameos and about Jadis' appearance. I always suspected that Jadis would be part of Edmund's nightmare on Dark Island (she could be part of anyone's nightmare) since that is what it looked like to me from the trailer. Regarding Peter's & Susan's cameos, the trailer is a bit (okay a lot) misleading, and that is good to know.

    Like the others, I am most certainly looking forward to next month. LWW & PC are the only two movies in my life that I've ever seen on opening night, and VDT will be the third.

  16. Kiri says:

    Phew, I feel much better now, I was getting really worried about the movie. This has relived my anxiety a bit. 🙂

  17. Starlily says:

    Well, another positive review. 🙂 You're so lucky, Tirian.

    I'm encouraged now, but of course I'm reserving judgment until I actually see the movie. Just because one person likes something, doesn't mean everyone will. But I'm really glad the White Witch is only a nightmare! Big sigh of relief there! Right now I think I'll love some parts of the movie, and be annoyed about other parts. Just like with PC. So, I'm not expecting to be completely satisfied, but I can't wait to see the movie. Thanks, Tirian! 🙂

  18. Twinimage says:

    Indeed some really comforting news. I wish you could give us some spoilers though. 🙂
    Like, does it show Aslan, rip off the dragon skin?
    Does Aslan appear as a lamb at the world's end?
    Does this film really convey the themes of the book, even though there is an added story plot line?
    Does Ramandu appear in the film?
    I guess we'll find out soon enough.

  19. Fire Fairy says:

    Thank you Tirian! You've definitely cleared many things up for us. I look forward to the movie with a lot more peace of mind.

  20. Reepicheep says:

    One reason PC was a flop was because of its mixed reviews from critics and fans, but it sounds like it'll get critical acclaim from all the reviews that have been released. So as far as box office goes, I'd say it'll do better than PC, but not as much as LWW.

  21. : )Narnia says:


  22. Mina says:

    Question for Tirian if you would please answer it,

    Is there a scene after or part way through the credits? For the movie LWW they had the bit with the Professor and Lucy, but in PC there was no extra scene…

    I understand if you wish not to answer, I just didn't want to waste time waiting for a scene that didn't exist. =D

    • Tirian says:

      There is no scene half-way through the credits. At our screening they shut off the credits when they were almost at the end so I don't know if there is any more at the very end, though I kind of doubt it. The film kind of "shuts the door" on that sort of thing. I will say, though, that the credits themselves are just delightful. The fans will really love them.

  23. Queen Emily the Valiant says:

    I'm so glad that we got such good reviews out of tirian!!! everyone was very nervous about the differences between the book and film and it seems that our minds have been put at rest! two sources tell us that the film is greatly based on the book which is really good! though i'm sad that susan and peter aren't going to be in the film it's going to be for the best because it would be awkaward to bring them back after the've said goodbye! over all i'm really pleased with how its turning out and really can't wait! 🙂

  24. Edmund-is-hot says:

    Okay…..Now I really can't wait any longer! 😀

  25. Mayor Wilkins says:

    I'm happy this is a worthy adaptation by the sounds of things. 😀
    I am so excited to see this!!

    But, honestly, being a huge White Witch/Tilda fan, I am slightly disappointed in the apparently small length of her scene. And I have a feeling that many like me in the mainstream audience will also be a little disappointed too considering how big she's advertised on those posters and theatre displays. People want Tilda's White Witch back! They really need to make "The Magician's Nephew" next!!!!!!!!

    Happily, Tirian also posted that Tilda was great. She is one of those actresses that can do so much with so little material. I'm sure it'll be a great scene, anyway. But I do feel a little cheated by all the trailers and promotional materials.

    • Greg says:

      Yeah, people will be disappointed with what will happen with Peter and Susan too…

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        They are doing the right thing by putting these characters in the ads but I don't think they considered the potential fallout of their misleading promotions. People who see it the first day will tell their friends and families "Oh don't bother soandso Tilda fan, because she's only in it for 30 seconds. Oh, don't bother Peter and Susan fans because they don't even say anything."

        Yes, the powers that be have to please the fanbase especially, and I'm so happy they are doing that, but people do not like to be cheated by what I consider near-false advertising. The mainstream audience opinion is just as important to worldwide success.

      • Mina says:

        I think that it was good advertising that all three of them were put in there. Granted, not in the trailer, but as I'm sure you all have seen, the big standup, because people know Narnia from LWW, not PC. They know there's 4 kids, a lion, and a witch. The trailer is misleading to us, but I think the advertising team wants to pull in people who remember the movie, as fans of the book are most likely going to come, so they need to cater toward us as much. I hope that made sense…it did in my head, but maybe not so much in words.

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        I've since calmed down about this. At the time I wrote the above comments, I think my passions were getting the better of me. I agree that the ads are wise to include all these characters. I really like the posters and everything too. I still feel a little let down about the White Witch. I thought this movie was going to paint her as a true servant of this evil force. I don't know. Maybe it still does. Have to see it before making final judgments.

        This movie looks amazing. I'm sorry if my above comments came across as negative. I'm just excited and nervous about the whole thing. I love Narnia and I truly hope "Voyage" is a major success. That Tirian thought it was good is an excellent sign to us all. 😀


    Does anyone know of an audtion for the sliver chair or the last battle ???

  27. Smooshy says:

    Hmmm… it was much ado about nothing? Why am I not surprised? LOL! But it wouldn't be fandom without the passion and over reactions. Where would we be without it?

    I didn't care so much about the changes but was a bit concerned about the quality (enjoy the first two films but they have clear weaknesses). I continue to look forward to this film.

  28. Eowyn of Lantern_Waste says:

    This sounds so encouraging. Thanks Tirian for giving us your thoughts from a book-fan based perspective. I'm really looking forward to this film now and am not nearly so worried about the changes as I was. I can't wait to see the ending of the film, by all accounts it will be sensational. I find it encouraging about the effects also. I thought the first film was a little weak in that respect, although PC was better (I thought anyway) So after feeling very confused the past month or so after the spoiler feast, I am now back to feeling that this film has the potential to be "great" as Tirian said.

  29. Alambil and Tarvis says:

    This is so encouraging! I'm not so worried anymore. Thanks, Tirian! 🙂

  30. Doughboy says:

    I am so glad I just read your review Tirian. I left a post on about my thoughts on the film before reading this. Thanks for the review.

  31. Storm says:

    What I`d like to know is if it was filmed in true 3d (a-la Avatar), or if it's going to be one of those fake 2d-3d conversion pop-up book horrible things (a-la Alice in Wonderland). If it's the fake 3d, I'll be watching the 2d version.

  32. Narnia-Fan1 says:

    Thank you Tirian for you shared thoughts! I want to see this movie now! What did you think about the soundtrack?

  33. narnias king says:

    WOW.. the voyage was awsomeif you guys have xbox live lets talk my gamertag is NARNIAS K1NG. but if any actor from this chronicles reads this answer this plz…. are you guys makin another movie because i read all the books and you go to at least ake one of the last battle.. and thank you for Narnia.

  34. narnias king says:


  1. November 10, 2010

    […] to attend an advance screening of the movie adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. You can read the review by clicking here. It’s very general, pretty much spoiler-free, but it will whet your appetite for what […]