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!