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. WarriorOfNarnia says:

    Wait, he saw the whole movie?

    • Tirian says:

      I certainly did!

      • WarriorOfNarnia says:

        Was Gael's part big? I have always hated the idea of a little girl on board. (Was that too mean?)

      • Tirian says:

        Gael is a minor character. I thought she was a nice addition to the story.

      • David Sutton says:

        I saw the film with Tirian. I thought Gael was great. She had an emotional connection in the film and really enhanced Lucy's character.

      • don't mess with me says:

        you saw the whole movie!!! thats not fair! you should have bootlegged it for us! lol

      • Litus says:

        Tirian, did you hear the theme song at the end of the movie?

      • you lucky…..I hate you,"but in a playful way",This was my Fav book,I'm gonna be so pumped when Dec 10th comes,Is it gonna be worth the money??

      • Tirian says:

        The song at the end of the movie (during the credits) is There's a Place For Us and it's sung by Carrie Underwood. The credits themselves are wonderful… a really nice treat for fans of the book.

      • Princess Lucy says:

        hey Tirian,
        i'm glad u have enjoyed the film and thanxs for sharing ur thoughts…i was wondering what was ur opinion of the undragoning scene….you don't have to tell us…..if you don't want..please don't feel pressured 🙂

      • Princess Lucy says:

        hey David,
        this question applies to you too if you want to answer offcourse but don't feel pressured 🙂

  2. SavedByGrace says:

    Cool! Sounds like VoDT will be an awesome movie. I'll keep my eyes peeled for Douglas Gresham's appearance.

  3. WarriorOfNarnia says:

    I can't wait!!!! This is SO encouraging!!!

  4. Kotarki says:

    Love that picture at the end and very encouraging! Amazing to hear that there is plenty to be hopeful for.

    • Duffleglum says:

      That picture makes my heart throb and feel the emotion of that moment in the story…

      WOW this movie will be AWESOME!

  5. CEP Paul T says:

    Sounds very promising.

    Thanks T!

  6. Molly says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful commentary, Tirian! I think I feel better already… 😉

  7. Tribunal says:

    That's good to hear. Thank you for the thoughts. 🙂

  8. Narumi says:

    Can you at least tell me if they kept the all important line in there about Aslan mentioning "I have another name there" ;_; because its such an important point in the book… I pray it was kept in the movie!

  9. RevelinginWonder says:

    I am so very excited! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! =)

  10. Pepper Darcy says:

    Thank you, Tirian. This sounds so great! 🙂 So… Tilda IS Ed's nightmare. i thought so! And it makes perfect sense, you know. What else is he *SUPPOSED* to have nightmares about? In a way THAT is his nightmare, Lucy being afraid of Ed betraying them could be part of hers, so in a funny way the WW is connected with it. I'm just glad this clears up the panic about WW being in 'every' film. And that clears up all the panic that people were having about the WW and LotGK as well, doesn't it? =D

    • samuel says:

      You know I just had a funny thought, maybe when the first posters/ trailer had a tiny part of tilda in it… and then all of the narnia fans started guestimating at her role, everyone pretty much hit the nail on the head about her being just in Ed's dream, maybe the film makers saw this reaction and thought "We can't have people guessing these spoilers, let's emphasize the witch's part in the next trailer to throw everyone off" if so, very clever, not very good marketing, but very clever nonetheless

  11. Austra says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for this!

  12. Shastafan says:

    Thanks, Tirian! There's nothing better to hear what a Narnia fan thinks of the movie. The visuals sound exciting, and I'm relieved that the WW has little importance. I'll also look out for Peter, Susan, and Douglas Gresham! Further up and further in! 😉

  13. narniagirl says:

    I am even more excited to see the movie now more then ever! I am glad to hear that the white witch is not really part of the film just a part of edmund's dream and that peter and susan aren't big in it either(even though I love them!). Can't wait for December 10th!!!!!!!!

  14. Griffle says:

    Great! I feel so much better now. Looking forward to seeing this opening day in 3D. Still a bit worried about the seven swords plot added to the film though.

  15. Jooles says:

    Thanks, Tirian. You really soothed my spirit about the changes.

  16. David Sutton says:

    Great assessment of the movie. I agree with this. I have cut back the length of my opinion to just four sentences so I am very jealous that you were able to go into more detail. Hopefully I will post my thoughts about this film very soon on

  17. Well, this sounds encouraging. I didn't think Peter and Susan would actually do anything in the movie. Honestly, though, I wouldn't have been upset if you gave us a *few* spoilers. 🙂 I can't stand the suspense!

  18. NarnianArcher says:

    Thanks, Tirian. I am now looking forward to VoDT! I was concerned after PC, but now I have high hopes for the story 🙂

  19. ~Lava~ says:

    Sounds promising

  20. Benjamin says:

    Thank you Tirian for posting that! I hope that The Voyage of The Dawn treader turns out better than my expectations.

  21. aragorn2 says:

    Awesome, I can't wait

  22. adamie says:

    wow, so fans will like this film! And I was completely prepared for the worst adaptation ever! Amazing!

    You got me fully excited again Tirian, you can't believe how happy this makes me. (or maybe you can, you're a Narnia fan yourself after all 😉 )

  23. Clodsley Mole says:

    I am as confident about this film as I have always been.
    Thank you, Tirian and David for your helpful comemnts.

  24. 22narnian says:

    I'm so very happy to see great Dawn Treader reviews!

  25. coracle says:

    Thanks, Tirian!
    SOOOOO looking forward to seeing this film – it is probably my favourite after LWW.

    • Tirian says:

      I wasn't really expecting to change your mind, Mr. Grumpy Pants!

    • glumPuddle says:

      I don't know anymore. I feel like it's going to be either great or horrible.

    • adamie says:

      critical as always 😀

      But, seriously, I just don't know what to think at this point. Basically, I know just about every spoiler, yet it feels like I know nothing, like it's two years ago, and they're still writing the script. Because, even with all these spoilers, I still have no Idea what to expect.

      With PC I thought I would see a good film and a fairly good adaptation. And I was right. Now, I just don't know.

    • always narnian says:

      I think I agree Rilian…I am not pleased in the slightest witht the liberty taken, seeing I am a loyal fan of the books, which I think should be the basis for making the movie. Changing it is saying you want it the way you want it, not the way C.S. Lewis wanted and wrote it. This is so disappointing.

  26. Bother Eustace says:

    This is very encouraging. Can't wait to see it for myself! The changes to the story that I've heard of are driving me insane… but perhaps they won't be as terrible as they seem now. Hoping for the best!

  27. wolfloversk says:

    YES Finally. Don't know if I should ask this, but… is the lamb there?!

    I'm so excited- the anticipation is killing me…

  28. Narnian Meerkat says:

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My BIGGEST RELIEF is that The White Witch only appears in Edmund's nightmare on the Dark Island. WICH I TOTALLY LIKE THE IDEA BECAUSE THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I IMAGINED IT TO BE!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . . . .SO relieved. . . 🙂
    And now I'm evan MORE encouraged about this movie. But I'm STILL not going to get too excited or get my hopes too high. Because when I did that with Prince Caspian, it just REALLY disappointed me. Trust me. It PAYS to stay calm and not expect to much.

  29. I was becoming a pessimist after the Apted quote about drawing from the book Lewis didn't write. But now, I'm psyched! I want to see this movie so badly! Thank you, Tirian!!! 😀

  30. Luiz Alves says:

    * * * SPOILERS AHEAD * * *
    The thing I wanna know the most is how intact is the final dialogue with Aslan. The Lamb, the "Bridge", the "Other Name" and everything. I think this is the most important scene in the book, second in the series as a whole. As encouraged as I am with these first impressions, I would really be mad if they changed this part.
    * * * END OF SPOILERS * * *

  31. oh thank you so much for posting that Tirian! I got chills reading how pleased you are with it! I can hardly wait to see this! too good to be true! so awesome!
    long live Aslan!

  32. Nick says:

    I must agree with everyone else: excellent "no-spoiler-review." Will definitely enjoy this movie!

  33. Aunt Letty says:


    Thanks so much for your carefully worded musings on the film. I feel more happy anticipation now than I have since all the spoilers and images started coming out. You addressed the issues that have plagued most of us, just right. Only…how many days is it now…left to go. Onward and Upward!

  34. lilims says:

    I'm so excited 😀

  35. Silver the Wanderer says:

    Oh wow Tirian, you're so lucky to have seen it! Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I'm feeling so much happier now. December 10th can't come fast enough! Ahhh!

  36. Aslanisthebest says:

    Well..this does sound encouraging. Thanks for posting it! Are you allowed to tell us if there was any Lu/Cas, or RD/Edmund? *chews nails*

  37. GlimGlum says:

    Very encouraging, Sir Tirian. Thanks for the report. Sail on VDT! )

  38. FL says:

    Can you share a thought about Caspian vs Ed/Drinian/ship crew scene, if it's there? thanks.

  39. blueRain says:

    Sweetness!!!! Glad to hear that the film turned out well. Can't wait to see it myself!

  40. dinode says:

    Thank you very much Tirian, my hopes are now as high as they were before the movie storybook! I do want to ask your opinion on the undragoning. Perhaps you can now give us a review WITH spoilers? You could title it "Spoilers, spoilers, and more spoilers". Either way, thanks again.

  41. Fire vein says:

    OHH!!!! You lucky duck!!

  42. Eh…I feel slightly better but I'm still not happy at all that WW is Edmund's nightmare. I feel like they're ruining his character. That's one thing that I know I won't like about the movie, not matter how "well" they do it.

    • narnian1 says:

      I don't see why it's so bad for Jadis to be his nightmare. He triumphed over her in PC, the movie, )since the book never went that far. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't have nightmares of her returning to power. People's past mistakes sometimes do haunt them, even if you're strong enough to overcome it. But in an island where dreams come true? that fear more than doubles, you'd have to be more than human to not be a afraid of such a thing.

      • But in the trailer, they're making it look like he's bending to her will again. She shouldn't be that big of a temptation like that for him. And he should trust Aslan, that he killed her and she's not coming back. This whole plot with her demeans Aslan and makes him look useless. He can't even kill one stupid witch and keep her dead. What power does he hold?

  43. WarriorMaiden says:

    How will I ever live until December??????????????? I'm so excited and relieved now that you've cleared up a couple of the things I was confused and a bit worried about, especially the bit about the White Witch.

  44. Amelia says:

    Oh, this is all wonderful! Excellent review! I am so excited about this film!

  45. narnian4ever says:

    YAY!! i'm sooo excited for December 10!!! I so glad that the movie wouldn't be a dissappointment, even though i never lost faith in this movie. 35 days until the movie!!!!
    For Narnia and For Aslan!!!=D

  46. Edson07bs says:

    I want to see the movieeeee!!! I love what I read. I think I would love it. I feel better now…

  47. Well… I feel about eighty percent better about this movie. That's a nice relief, to know some of this stuff. I'm lookin forward to seeing it with more anticipation now 😀
    Thanks, Tirian 😀

  48. Evan Morgan says:

    It's amazing that many people were so pesimistic about the movie. Just remember everyone: Trailers can be DECEIVING. Most of the time, what you see is a very small part compared to the whole thing. Be optimistic about it, eveyone! It will do you good(:

  49. MinotaurforAslan says:

    Well, maybe the film won't be so bad after all. Horribly deceiving marketing by Fox then, though. I'm still concerned about the 7 swords, but hopefully that was blown out of proportion in the trailers too.

  50. Katana says:

    Thank you for the commentary Tirian. I am sooooo excited!!

  51. Movie Aristotle says:

    I feel, maybe 20% better. I'm still not totally convinced that it'll be good. Why is it that the spoilers make the movie look so awful, and yet everyone who actually sees the movie thinks it is great? I feel like I'm following two different films.

    • FriendOfNarnia2 says:

      Because pretty much the only thing we've seen is what Fox has shown us, and apparently they have been somewhat misleading. Also the storybooks are so convinced, it is impossible to know whether or not the spirit of the book has been kept.

    • elanor says:

      Hmm…that's interesting. I know what you mean. Are the people giving us spoiler reports just trying to keep up enthusiasm, or is the movie actually as amazing as they say? Is Fox showing us the real movie in a nutshell, or are they only showing us what they WANT us to see and think the movie is, with the hope that we will supposedly be "attracted" to green evil mist and soul sucking darkness and such? Wish I knew the answer! I hope…I hope…

  52. Hwin says:

    I must confess I have VERY high excpectations for this film! I'm so scared to be disappointed, but maybe it WILL be great and amazing….we shall see!!!!

  53. NarniaForever says:

    I have a question, and I understand if you will not be able to awnser it. In the trailer the scene with all four pevensie's, was it just made for the trailer or was it in the showing that you saw?


    • Tirian says:

      There are no scenes where all four Pevensies appear together. Trust me on this, that part of the movie is no big deal, they didn't mess with the integrity of the story here.

  54. Christina says:

    Ok, please tell us more! you should do a spoiler-filled review of it! I seriously can't wait for December! And what about the whole Lilliandil/Caspian/Ed thing?

  55. Emz says:

    OMG I am so jealous, but after watching various things on youtube, i would say i was actually nervous about going to see it despite the fact my conscious was screaming at me to see it. I am so happy that it sounds brilliant, and can't wait to see it now, but if ure see this tell me one thing, is Dragon Island and Darkwater Island the same Island?

  56. DanielmyBrother says:

    I'm getting emotional just reading your review. I cannot wait to see this masterpiece on the silver screen. I better bring some tissue.

  57. FaunFan says:

    Good, good, good. I totally do not know how I am going to wait for this. I'm so glad you liked it after all, and you gave a very nice review. So glad Carri

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