The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Movie Reviews

You’ve probably seen our story earlier today about RottenTomatoes getting their page up for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (which is up to 7 fresh ratings and 2 rottens so far). If you missed it, that can be seen here.

Here are a few additional reviews that are online and some highlights from each of them.

It’s heartening to report that Dawn Treader arrives with confidence and bravado intact – the entirely expected stew of cod-medieval adolescent derring-do, attention-grabbing special effects, and sledgehammer moral lessons with nakedly religious overtones. You can’t help but be struck once again by the common elements the Narnia books have with Lord of the Rings; produced in the same dark, drab postwar years, attempting to reinforce the moral sense that Lewis and Tolkien presumably saw had been both drained and somehow redeemed by the war and its outcome.

The weaknesses, unfortunately, are human; like the Potter kids, performance anxiety is getting to the Pevensies. As they get older, in the real world, their self-consciousness increases, and acting abilities decline in inverse proportion. (The only benefit of delay in filming has been to manage the substantial time jump between this and the Prince Caspian movie fairly seamlessly.) (Includes pictures from the event.)

I had a spectacular experience after donning my 3D spectacles and enjoying the adaptation of the next C.S. Lewis masterpiece from book to screen. I’ve now seen the film in both 2D and 3D and enjoyed it both ways. And as someone who has read the book, I can also say that the film is a good and quite thrilling and moving adaptation—given a few creative liberties here and there. I have not been disappointed and plan on seeing it again when it releases in theaters.

Although I have not read the book and so cannot comment on how faithful the adaptation was, an enjoyable story it was. Early on we are introduced to a newcomer to the Chronicles, young cousin Eustace, played by Will Poulter. Having been a fan of his performance in Son of Rambow it was great to see him competently handle a wildly different character, and my fondness for him was strengthened by his humble and enthusiastic manner in person. The other stars were just fine too. I especially enjoyed Simon Pegg’s voiceover for the character Reepicheep, replacing Eddie Izzard in this chapter, and it is always a joy to hear the silky tone of Liam Neeson as Aslan.
The film starts off with some strong effects seeing the protagonists swallowed up by a painting, the action then levels out as the story drags a little. However we are rewarded with a flourish of magical effects and excitement in the closing quarter: I loved the Ghostbuster ‘Stay Puft moment’. That combined with great camerawork and direction throughout make it quite a joy to watch. A must see family festive movie.

The Sydney Morning Herald: (Ironically this particular review has a video at the top that is probably the most negative review I’ve heard thus far.)

Lewis knew a thing or two about storytelling. And Apted knows a thing or two about directing. The British veteran of everything from the 7 Up documentaries to Gorillas in the Mist to The World Is Not Enough has a steady hand as he takes the Narnia wheel for the first time.
Crucially, he never allows plot or characters to be overshadowed by special effects. The Dawn Treader may sail on 3D seas, but the 3D effects are subtle, not over-the-top. Apted doesn’t just want audiences flinching or squirming to avoid beasties and swords; he’d prefer to involve them via his narrative.
Which is not to say the computer-generated effects aren’t well done. Tavros, Reepicheep and other digital characters blend seamlessly with the real actors.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader may not reinvent the fantasy genre, it may not transcend the medium, but it is an impressive feat of imagination.

Brisbane Times:

As the Harry Potter films have become longer, slower and ever more pretentious the Narnia jaunts have merrily skipped off in the opposite direction, here delivering an effects-driven romp that is shorter, tighter and, frankly, heaps more fun than the first two.
The emphasis is on action and movement, with any engagement of matters deep & meaningful sticking to the roster of standard adventure themes about courage, inner strength, moral character and persistence, with any discussions restricted to the usual sandwich-board theme proclamations, along the lines of: “To defeat the darkness out there you must first defeat ther darkness within yourself.”
A big improvement on the first two and a potent antidote to HP7.1, Narnia III is strongly recommended, whatever your Narnian status may be.

Thanks to Louloudi the Centaur and Daniel James for sending us a couple of these links!

100 Responses

  1. Narnian Meerkat says:

    First comment! I'm glad everybody liked VDT. . .I just hope that I'll be the same way! 🙂

  2. Hwin says:

    I'm glad to hear a 'report' without there being any spoilers!!! It sounds like although there are many positive comments, there are also negative ones, although to me the positiveness out weighs the negativeness!!! I was a little surprised/disappointed when someone said the comment about

    The weaknesses, unfortunately, are human; like the Potter kids, performance anxiety is getting to the Pevensies. As they get older, in the real world, their self-consciousness increases, and acting abilities decline in inverse proportion.

    I hope that does not mean anything too much….I have faith that it will be a great film…

  3. Tim says:

    I live in Australia and was privileged to watch an advance preview screening on December 1. Having just re-read the book a week prior to the movie, I must say I came out of the cinema feeling somewhat disappointed. While the cinematography and special effects were outstanding, I believe the movie did not very well depict the storyline as portrayed in the book. The story line of the movie was like a total mess compared to that of the book. For starters, in the movie the islands are visited in the incorrect order, some events that occurred on multiple islands in the book are combined to take place on single islands in the movie, and Eustace, well what happens to him in the movie goes well beyond what actually happens in the real story. I understand that when making a movie you do have to enhance things somewhat to make the movie interesting and entertaining, but I believe in this movie it has gone well beyond that – what a shame!

    • Sir Anton says:

      Thanks for your review and comments. What you say about the movie not following the narrative of the book – I expected that to be the case. That is a shame to hear. The book's strongest point is the sequence of mystery regarding each island's curious surprises and how the Pevensies must overcome the tempatations that the lost lords could not do themselves.
      Perhaps there is no faithful adaptation we can expect for Narnia movies…sigh!

      • Tim says:

        Sir Anton, I totally agree with you regarding the sequence of mystery regarding each island's curious surprises. I thought that the events that happened in the book would be exciting and interesting enough to replicate in the movie without having to add to much 'padding' content. I know that when I read the book, my imagination runs wild enough to picture what's going on as I read it. Imagine what you could do in an accurate movie adaptation and with all the cool technology and special effects.

        Even though it's very dodgy according to today's technological standards, I still commend the BBC's accurate adaptation of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader book in their television series, which i still find enjoyable to watch to this day 🙂

      • Clodsley Mole says:

        Gentlemen, this information has been widely publicised on Narniaweb for several months. I am sorry you are so disappointed, but if you just wanted an illustrated book try the BBC version which is very gentle and never strays far from Lewis's actual words. I have seen the movie myself and believe it has adapted well into a unified story, which the book doesn't actually have – although its episodes are all most satisfying in their way. But you will not get millions of people worldwide who don't know the story, to sit through a slide show of the book.
        Try watching again and enjoy the movie on its own merits as an adaptation. Yours sincerely, C.Mole.

      • Samuel the Magnificent says:

        C. Mole is right. You all are naive going into a film adaption of a book expecting it to follow the book. Who cares if the island are out of order. I know C. S. Lewis had a lot of meanings behind things, but I highly doubt he had a meaning behind the order of the islands. You should know now that a movie adaption based on a book never follows the book. Only a few. Like Mole said the episodic style of the book is great for a novel, but it would look atrociously unorganized in a movie. Don't ever go into a movie expecting the pages of the book come alive word by word.

      • Samuel the Magnificent says:

        And one more thing, if you want it to follow the books religiously then watch the old BBC series which by the way sucks horribly. Then you will see why they didn't follow the book devoutly.

    • ozwitch says:

      Just got back from first 3D screening in Melbourne. I don't think this is spoiler-y but be careful just in case.

      Have to say, sorry, a little disappointed. Wish this wasn't the case.

      The good: Effects (esp the dragon), Eustace, Reepicheep (Simon Pegg is wonderful), and the ending is glorious. Lucy's obsession with Susan's looks was well done and made her seem very human. The relationship between Eustace and Reepicheep is given good depth and has a nice arc.

      The bad: disjointed storyline, no real heart in the adventures/battles (they seemed rushed, and like video games at times), I agree the acting was a bit so-so, and Liliandil and the 7 swords oh dear they were lame.

      Overall, I thought it lacked the heart of the previous two (even PC with all its faults was at least passionate) – this felt strung together without any real core of emotion and the theme of giving into evil and temptation was shallowly portrayed, not enriching and uplifting as Lewis made it. Some of the plot twists were illogical, esp the kidnapped slaves – sacrificed to whom?? Didn't make sense.

      The ending was the salvation of the movie, that was beautifully realized. But I wasn't carried away and I so wanted to be.

      I want to make a point, but not sure how it will come out. I loved the Narnia books because they are wonderful stories, but also because they show us a time a few generations ago when people had different values, different aspirations and led very different lives. I just wish that modern film makers would not immediately transform characters from these old books into modern teenagers with angst, whining and contemporary phrasing. It doesn't work.

  4. I'm not going to read anyone's movie review except my own. X)

  5. myartismylife says:

    The movie was released today on the Gold Coast, Australia and I think it is just great. The parts of the book are jumbled but I think it helps for a tighter story. The things that have been added, I think, help to give a much more plausible reason for why the characters end up doing what they do.
    I was holding my breath in some sections, which I didn't even realised I had done until I started breathing again.
    The special effects are brilliant as always.
    The acting was good, not brilliant but defiantly good enough. Ben Barnes has improved as all have done.
    The only one thing I wish they could have done is have Eddie Izzard do the voice of Reepicheep again.
    HP is a completely different type of movie and from one person who has grown up with the Narnia stories I feel that EVERY story is just getting better and better with the telling.
    It is sad that at the showing I was at, at 10am, there was only 25 people to see it.
    I HOPE beyond HOPE that it goes well and we get to see the Silver Chair. No one (that I know of) has made it passed this point.

  6. Aravanna says:

    An interesting mix of reviews. I almost have to wonder if these people all watched the same movie. 😛

    I think the general impression I'm taking from this that, like Prince Caspian, it will be a good movie but not the greatest adaption. I look forward to seeing how the acting is (Guardian may have different tastes than the rest of us) and I'm excited that it's fairly lightharded and rompish… as it should be.

    • alice says:

      i watched it last saturday and im going to see it again with my mate because its that good in 3d can,t wait keep the narnia films coming out

  7. Tarwe, the Narnian Elf says:

    Hmm… Well, it sounds like some people will love it and other won't. Let's just hope enough people like it to pave the way for SC!

    All I know is that I am going to try to watch VDT with an open mind. December 10th seems like such a long time away! 😉

  8. myartismylife says:

    Silly me. I forgot that BBC made a short film of The Silver Chair. Remembered just as I sent it. Sorry

    • coracle says:

      Actually they made a 6-part television serial for children. It was probably the best of the Narnia adaptations they did for children's TV, with PC condensed into 2 and VDT into 4 half-hour episodes. It was low-tech but still enjoyable.

  9. ajdrayton says:

    Saw the film yesterday at a preview screening and I have to say this is a solid, not great film. It is faithful to the spirit of the book, but of course we all know film adaptations are never the same as their source material – the Lord of the Rings films are a definite case in point. And screenwriters have the added burden when adapting a Lewis novel of giving it broad appeal (they have to make money from these films if they are to continue) and some of the language and concepts in Lewis' prose would alienate people. So they have definitely been faithful to the spirit of the film, that is a journey of discovery and maturity. Books and films – different mediums. Prince Caspian had to re-jiggled the narrative to make an interesting film, and certain liberties have been taken with the DT book in the name of dramatic arc and excitement. People have also moaned about the inclusion again of the White Witch — which in itself is the outworking of Edmond's fears, that have been carried successfully through the three films, in PC he broke the ice that reflected her image and in this film he fights his "demons" in the form of the White Witch. Adn I was a little disappointed in the Eustace scenes, becuase I really love them in the book, but again, things had to change to make this a mainstream film so it makes money. Much has been made about keeping the films seemless so they could eventually be viewed together and you could see the characters develop – which they do also in the books. I have never been a fan of the actors and find them a little underwhelming in this outing, but its a rollicking tale well told. We need to support the film to keep the franchise going…

  10. Reepicheep says:

    If VDT is a flop, they obviously have critical success to back up the making of SC, which is my personal favorite.

  11. Ionic Bonding Rocks says:

    I saw VDT today with a few friends, and I would disagree with all those who have said the acting was not up to scratch. It wasn't the acting that was the problem, it was the awkward script. It didn't really seem right.
    On the bright side, I thought that overall the movie was quite good, and Will Poulter was absolutely fantastic as Eustace.
    But Caspian, seriously, GET A HAIRCUT!!!

  12. Starlily says:

    "…with any discussions restricted to the usual sandwich-board theme proclamations, along the lines of: 'To defeat the darkness out there you must first defeat the darkness within yourself.'"

    Ugh. That's what I was afraid of. But no film (especially an adaptation) is perfect. I still think the seven swords plot and slaves being sacrificed is really bad and a poor attempt at pulling together the islands, but I'm sure I'll like the movie well enough. Looking forward to it, and I'm glad most of the reviews are not negative. On to Silver Chair! (I hope)

  13. Queen Elizabeth says:

    Wow, all of these are making the movie seem really bad. I was super excited for it but it all sounds awkward now.

    • Pepper Darcy says:

      yeah, I know. I was a tad worried as well. But remember though, Tirian after his pre-screening and the other Narniawebber staff who went to saw it had positve reviews 🙂

      What's awkward or weird to some of the reviewers (maybe they haven't all read the book) might be something from the book that we'd recgonize as normal? I'm not saying that's true, but it *might* be possible 🙂

      So don't worry, I'm a little anxious now as well 🙂

      Come on December 11th! Come on!! 🙂

    • CEP Paul T says:

      Aww. Don't take a review as any thing other than a personal opinion – good or bad. Go see the movie. 😀

  14. Pepper Darcy says:

    well, just about a week! I didn't think from clips we've seen the acting seemed off… that's what everyone says about the Narnia movies: 'their acting was off.'

    Maybe are they just saying it because its a kids movie? I'm really confused about it, because I thought it was good with sometimes one or two little 'moments' where it seems off. But all these reviewers keep saying their acting is forced…

    It's probably just me.

    • Pepper Darcy says:

      I hope the adaption is better than PC. That one was so disappointing with a *few* good moments that left you hungry for more– then you walked out of the theater frustrated because you only had been given three minutes of what you were longing for… 🙁 No wonder I felt like Lucy leaving Narnia– because it felt so empty once or twice 🙁

      So, I'm really hoping this one proves itself in adaption and story! 😀 Hoping! 🙂

    • Bookwyrm says:

      I wouldn't pay any attention to someone who criticizes the HP acting. Daniel has always been average at best, but Emma and Rupert have gotten better and better with age. So if they're comparing Georgie and Skandar to them, then I don't think you have anything to worry about.

    • myartismylife says:

      I watched it at 10am (25 people in the theatre)I went back at 6.30pm (40 people in the theatre)on the 2/12/2010 and watched it again and even though I knew what was coming this time I found I was still holding my breath in some scences. I don't agree that the acting was 'off'. Granted the acting was not 'brilliant' but unless the actors had been taught through the stage and had been doing it all their lives (which of course they haven't) I don't expect it to be. I personally thought that the acting as a whole was much better than before, which is to be expected.
      Things can always be improved and nothing will EVER please everybody no mater how much money or talent they throw at it.
      I personally thought it was great!

      • Bookwyrm says:

        Honestly, expecting the performance of a fully trained and experienced adult actor from a child is absurd. Not sure why these critics keep expecting it. Sure, there's a few kids who are brilliant actors practically from birth, but they're the exception, not the rule. Skandar and Georgie certainly aren't the best child actors out there, but they're a lot better than some adult actors I could name.

  15. Mel says:

    Released in Singapore today in 3D. Saw it first screening in the morning 10 am!

    Yes there are changes but it brought the book alive! For me, it's a great adaptation. Creative, engaging and entertaining. I agree it isn't 100% faithful to the book but the essence is there and most events were well captured (though some of the processes were modified). The movie flowed well and the acting was fine (though certain characters could probably be better). Even for those who haven't read the book will probably enjoy it – my boyfriend did 🙂

    I love it so much – going to watch it again tomorrow…lol
    I can't wait to get my hands on the soundtrack too~

  16. jill pole says:

    9 december it's in holland!
    I can't wait!

  17. ~Blue skies~ says:

    I saw the Voyage of the Dawn Treader today.


    Okay. I'm a Narnian nut. I have been since the age of seven, (many, many years ago.) when I was gifted a gorgeous, (and rare,) The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe large coloured illustrated version.

    I religiously carried a Narnia paperback novel with me throughout Primary school, and eventually read everything about it and its creator, C.S Lewis.

    I grew up, like most in the Commonwealth, watching the BBC dramatization. (Sam West…golden Caspian!) And of these adaptations, like it was my favourite novel, Voyage of the Dawn Treader was the best. With its mixture of Simbad and The Odyssey, it was by far one of C.S Lewis best novels.

    I eagerly awaited this movie version. I'd liked what they'd done with the movie series, so I'd been waiting since 2005 and LW&W for this movie.

    Underwhelming is a good word for a first reaction.

    Most of the cast is back, and tries its best (Ben Barnes is very good, [but underused.] Will Poulter is an excellent Eustace Scrubb, and my home town man, Gary Sweet, as Lord Drinian is also noteworthy.) But the script is very flat and miles from the original story.

    The condensing of two island stories into one is depressing and blatantly obvious step in cutting costs. Ramandu's daughter, (here given an unpronounceable name of Lilliandil,) is on screen for about ten minutes, then disappears. Caspian only asks if he will see her again, not asking if he must kiss her to break the enchantment as per the book. (He marries her darn it! No-one I ask in the cinema guessed that would happen; or knew it as I did because they'd never read the novel.) [Note: Ramandu himself doesn’t make an appearance, despite being quite important in the novel.]

    There are a lot of flaws, I'm worried the same script writers will be working on The Silver Chair.

    So here's hoping they pick up their act for that adaption; because making something as dramatic as Rillian's struggle in the silver chair is a little bit harder than explaining a mysterious mist…that isn't fully explained.

    I'm…very sad. I think I'll go watch the BBC adaptation…

    • WarriorOfNarnia says:

      OH NO!!!!!!! AAAWWWWW!!!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Don't day that!!!!

    • Narnian Meerkat says:

      Well Narniafans, THIS is why I be really carful NOT to expect too much!!!!! Especially for JUST movies. So, yeah, when I'm going to see VDT, hopefully on opening day, wich is the tenth for the US, I'm soooooooooooooo not going to expect so much. THANKYOU ~Blue Skies~ for the warning, even though I practically knew that this movie probably IS not going to be all that great. Well, back to my school!

    • Starlily says:

      They didn't put in the line about Caspian hinting at kissing RD?

      MAJOR FAIL!!!

      What were they thinking?! That was a funny and clever line, and it said so much about the romance without saying much at all. It was just the right amount of romance. The one love story in the whole Narnia series, and Hollywood let it SLIDE? It's so uncharacteristic I almost can't believe it! I know I'm ranting, but this is really bugging me! I should be the last person complaining since I usually have the "kissing is gross" attitude, but Caspian is supposed to MARRY Ramandu's daughter later on. If they don't even hint at a romance, how are they going to explain Prince Rilian??? It doesn't make any sense! They tried to make a love story between Caspian and Susan, but when it comes to his future wife they want to skip it???

      I guess I shouldn't get so worked up over it, but I was kind of hoping for a nice little romance between the King and the Star's Daughter. It's so sweet. I'm really disappointed in the movie-makers for deviating from the book in such an incredibly unexpected way.

      Okay, I'm done. Maybe they'll add a scene that will fix this. But probably not. 🙁 Oh well.

      • T.T says:

        I am so glad there was no hint of a Caspian and Ramandu's daughter Kiss. It would destroy Caspian's image and make him look like a womanizer. AND PLEASE GUYS, CAN WE STOP CRITICIZING THIS MOVIE. It's becoming very irritating. If the themes of the books are in the movie, that is enough. Lewis wasn't writing just a story, he was writing one with an important message and if this message is found in the movie, that should be enough. If u want a movie exactly like the book, create one in ur mind, at least ur mind would not fail u!!!

      • Bookwyrm says:

        How would it make him look like a womanizer? People are allowed to kiss more than one person in their lives. Besides, where exactly do you think Rillian is going to come from if there's no Caspian/Ramandu's Daughter? Plucked off a tree?

        As I've said before to other people whining like you are, no one is making you read the critical comments. If they upset you so much, skip them.

      • T.T says:

        Yes Mr bookwyrm, How much of the Caspian/Susan romance was well developed in PC and how much of the Caspian/RD romance could be developed sufficiently in 112 minutes of moving from place to place. For heaven sake, this movie is not made for only you, it is also made for those who haven't read the books. If you watched the movies without reading the books and you find Caspian and Susan kissing in PC and then Caspian hinting at kissing RD in VDT, tell me you wouldn't ask questions about Caspian's loyalty in relationships! It is too early for caspian to kiss another woman after susan, although his kiss with susan shouldn't have come up in prince caspian at all. Besides the romance between Caspian and RD could be told as a flash back when introducing Rilian in the silver chair.

        And besides, I am not whining. You and your cohort of critics may as well not write your opinions. After all, no one asked for them.

      • Meygan says:

        Just saw the movie today and I thought it was wonderful!
        I have read the books and Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite out of all the Narnia books.

        The movie did not exactly follow the book but in my opinion it did not loose the message, the magic and the essence of C.S Lewis' TVD.
        Yes, the islands were not in order and yes,Prince Caspian's love story did not really fully develop in the movie but it was visually wonderful and the storyline was fitting for the movie adaptation.
        Will Poulter, who played Eustace, definitely shined throughout this movie. His acting was spot-on and despite having urges to feel incredibly annoyed by him, you just can't help but love the guy.
        I feel disappointed that not a lot of people like it as much as I did, but I think it was mostly the fans who wanted to see the words in the book come to life.
        One should not come in the theater to expect a word for word adaptation because that is not going to happen, as with all book to film movies.
        I was just incredibly proud to see the essence, virtues and spirit of Narnia coming to life on screen and I hope that you all will too. 🙂

      • Bookwyrm says:

        So can you point me to the person who asked for your opinion?

      • T.T says:

        @ Bookwyrm, No one asked for mine, I was only pointing out that if you felt we optimists should skip reading your critical comments then you may as well decline from putting them up. To be honest, u really need to ZIP IT!!! If you don't like the movie, you don't have to ruin it for others. How am I sure u've watched it? PLEASE, appreciate the effort that has been put into making this movie. If you can't, at least don't discourage others.

      • Bookwyrm says:

        Apologies Meygan, I didn't intend my comment to look like it was aimed at yours.

        Yes, I said that because I'm sick of someone posting about something they're unhappy with in this film and all the movie fanboys rushing in posting complaints in illiterate chatspeak and/or all-caps. And no, I will not be "zipping it". My opinion is just as valid as yours and, again, if you don't like it, don't read it.

      • T.T says:

        Oh, now u r bringing in the issue of literacy, so childish. GROW UP.
        I never set out to write in chat-style but I am so glad I did cos some ppl r not just worth d effort.

        Right from the start, I wasn't replying your comment. But you in all your 'Glorious' immaturity thought you had the right to tell me to stop whining while you had the right to post your critical statements.
        What exactly do you want, to find the exact same words of the book in the movie so you can repeat them as they are being said?
        Appreciate the fact that years of hard work has been put into making this movie. LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE OF IT AND STOP ACTING LIKE YOU'VE HAD AN ENCOUNTER WITH A DEMENTOR!!!

      • Moviecynic says:

        Agreed the movie is very different from the book. If you can set that aside for a momment though, ask yourself, was this a great film full of beauty, adventure, and a yearning for goodness? The answer is "yes" and I for one am glad this movie has been made!

    • nonsleeper says:

      I agree with you, Blue Skies. It is important to be a purest in most things, all things that have value anyway. To sacrifice moral thought for action and big-ticket draws is very sad.
      What was up with:…
      *The lost concept of Eustace's "undragoning"?
      *The meaning of the binding bracelet?
      *The conditions of the braking of the curse of the three sleeping lords, where Reep had to sail alone to the Eastern shore?
      *No lamb image concept at the end?
      *The pevensies and Caspian on the eastern shore at the end?

      I could go on but I'm sure it is of no concern to the lot of the public. But WE should be concerned. I was taught that you either stand for something or fall for everything. You either show the whole truth or not at all. The fact that truth is so watered down with have truths or no truths at all is a testament to why no one has a clue as to what to believe in anymore. Why make the movie except to make money? Can anyone tell me why an agnostic director even cares about a christian-based book series? Such a distortion. And so very, very sad.

  18. WarriorOfNarnia says:

    I found a review in Newsweek… they hated it and blasted C.S Lewis!! I was furious!!!

    • LessThanGold says:

      To hate the movie is one thing… but CS Lewis??? 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • CEP Paul T says:

      Par for Newsweek, really. ;))

      No surprises in the reviews either. Reviews are truly subjective.

      "And of course, with the birth of the artist came the inevitable afterbirth … the critic." Mel Brooks.

      • The Inscrutable Rutabaga says:

        "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read." – Anton Ego "Ratatouille"

      • CEP Paul T says:

        I like that quote.

        Overall for those browsing by, it means don't let critics get you totally winded up. They are doing a job. * virtual hugs*

  19. Me says:

    I am so excited – but plese dont diss Harry Potter!

  20. Louloudi the Centaur says:

    Within 24 hours, the approval rate has dropped to 62%, but that is only of 13 reviews. Come on, post some positive reviews! 🙁

  21. Reepicheep775 says:

    Am I the only one who finds these reviews disheartening? 🙁

  22. Garrett says:

    Loved the reviews except for the last one! Rule Number 1 for me: Never, ever, insult Harry Potter!

  23. Luke Reynolds says:

    From RottenTomatoes, it seems as though all the Austrailians critics (except one) aren't liking Narnia for some reason.

  24. dradl says:

    these are kinda depressing

  25. Queen Elizabeth says:

    Rotten Tomatoes always turns down any fantasy movie that has to do with love and courage. They are very Liberal. Just because Narnia has a Christian background they think it's gonna be cheesy.

    • Claudio says:

      hey there! Im a liberal and I LOVE fantasy and Narnia! 😛

    • Bookwyrm says:

      Pretty much every fantasy movie ever made is about love and courage. LotR has that and it was written by a Christian and yet the movies still have these ratings on RT.

      Fellowship of the Ring: 92%/92%
      The Two Towers: 96%/100
      Return of the King: 94%/98%

      In contrast, most of the HP movies hover in the 80-70 percent range. So perhaps it isn't bias and just that the movie wasn't really that good?

  26. coracle says:

    I enjoyed it very much indeed, as did all our group of 15 people from young schoolgirls to some ladies over 80!
    Because I knew about most of the changes, they did not prevent my being thrilled by a great deal of the film, and enjoying the rest. Great acting – clearly some people have a different idea of what is good acting from mine! Sets beautiful, music nicely woven in, humour that didn't grate, and just enough scary stuff.
    Professional reviewers have to say nasty things – it seems to come with the territory!
    But the Queen enjoyed it and was moved to tears, so I know I'm on 'the right side' to be one who applauds this film!!

  27. Fabian says:

    I saw this yesterday and while I was disappointed with the multitude of changes, the end of the film really was one of the shining moments for me. I actually cried when Georgie's Lucy was hugging everybody knowing that she'll never see Narnia again. Really felt sorry for her!

    Agreed with the omission of Ramandu and the lack of a hint of romance between Caspian and Liliandil!!! Poor show!!!

    I was really disappointed as I really wanted to like the movie. But this is Fox we're talking about after all. They've always been more about quantity over quality as of late!!!! Who knows we may have an Extended Edition once it hits the DVD/Bluray market though. Oh Walden why oh why did you go with Fox in the first place???? I should have seen this coming. So much for them just distributing the film!!!!


  28. Alrik Vernson says:

    Disheartening as these reviews may be, it should be kept in mind that one person's vantage point may not be the same as everyone else. I myself have known these changes from the very beginning but will not stop me from enjoying the movie tonight.

    People can be critical at times; wanting every part of the movie to be as close a hair's width to the book. If this was the case, the LOTR would be longer than its current time. Even though VODT is a book fit to be translated into a film, there is still the fact that there are some areas that needed to be edited in order to create a movie that can appeal to a mixed audience. The episodic nature of the book will be quite boring to some people who may have not read the book at all.

    I cannot say much further until I watch the movie, but to those peopl having second minds of watching, doubt not. 'Till then, sail on Dawn Treader!

  29. Alrik Vernson says:

    Disheartening as these reviews may be, it should be kept in mind that one person's vantage point may not be the same as everyone else. I myself have known these changes from the very beginning but will not stop me from enjoying the movie tonight.

    People can be critical at times; wanting every part of the movie to be as close a hair's width to the book. If this was the case, the LOTR would be longer than its current time. Even though VODT is a book fit to be translated into a film, there is still the fact that there are some areas that needed to be edited in order to create a movie that can appeal to a mixed audience. The episodic nature of the book will be quite boring to some people who may have not read the book at all.

    I cannot say much further until I watch the movie, but to those people having second minds of watching, doubt not. 'Til then, sail on Dawn Treader!

  30. Claudio Fainello says:

    Just saw the movie today! It was awesome. Being in the Oz can be such a blessing at times. Theme-wise, the movie kept true to the novel. Events and plot-wise, some scenes were altered: 2 events from different islands occurred in the same location, Ramandu wasn't there (although in the book, he was only a minor character anyway) and I think as most of you people may know, the addition of the green mist.

    I don't know about you guys, but I thought it was okay to jumble the chronology of the islands visited. It made more sense (most probably to those who haven't read the book)to have a mission to lift up this curse of some sorts through the use of the seven swords given during the Golden Age. It drives the whole story. People say its like a series of episodes but I think, its an ingenious way of melding the series of islands into one great adventure. It may be true that a build of mystery from an island to another is one of the key features of the novel, but I will say without a doubt that whatever the reason for the change, it created a more solid flowing story.

    The Pevensies have matured into wonderful young adults, their acting superb, Georgie being the best Lucy I have seen and Skandar doing an magnificent portrayal of Edmund. The magical pool scene was one of the outstanding scenes of the film. Ben and Skandar depicted their characters' weakness and giving into temptation exceptionally well.

    Will Poulter does an excellent job as being the annoying Eustace Clarence Scrubb. He establishes how I imagined Eustace to be (well except I was thinking of a brunet version of Will).

    For those of you who said there wasn't any romance in the scenes between Caspian and Lilliandil, there was no real kissing, but Caspian being beguiled of Lilliandil's beauty and hoping earnestly that they could meet once again was enough incentive and reason for me to believe that that was something romantic going on.

    Reepicheep's voice is adorable, noble and yet looking for some action. I was convinced that the voice fitted the noble mouse from the moment I heard his voice (well Simon Pegg's in reality) and saw him on screen. The silky voice of Aslan fills the senses with nostalgia and the Christian Allegorical overtones of the movie.

    People complain of the deviations from the story but if my memory serves correct, there are a dozen "flaws" in the LWW comparable to VODT. Need I remind you of Mr Fox or how the White Witch actually died. Needless to say, people can be critical to the point where they dissect every individual line of the characters and examine whether their dialogue was realistic or not.

    Going in a tangent, the introduction of the green mist might be creeping up to the introduction of Lady of the Green Kirtle. She has been building an army for a long time, and the (probable) use of the green mist to create an army of people sacrificed to appease this wretched curse may be a plausible event that the director included.

    It would be nice of people can be less critical at times and just watch the movie as if its the first time you've even heard of the movie. The people in the theatre I've gone to, underwent a joyride of emotions: laughing, crying, pity for Eustace and joy of his redemption. Everyone fell into tears the moment Lucy bids her farewell to the world she has developed so much.

    With much enthusiasm, I declare: For NARNIA!! Set sail Dawn Treader.

    • ~Blue skies~ says:

      It's interesting what you said about the Lady of the Green Kirtle being foreshadowed by the mist. I had a feeling about that being the case as well, I'm glad I wasn't alone.

      I still would have liked a few more character developments and a little more of the feeling of the source material.

      (The addition of the slaves being fed to the mist and the "stowaway" addition wasn't the smartest move I felt. I get that it was done for the younger kids benefit, but I still didn't like it.)

      I hope these filmmakers come to realize that C.S Lewis wrote these books to be felt and imagined, if you're going to do it visually, do it how you what to see it.

      20th Century Fox once wanted a man to have his aliens speak in English, citing that children couldn't read the subtitles. The director mildly informed them that they would go with their parents, whom could read for them and it would bring them closer together and enjoy the movie together. That man was George Lucas and his movie? Star Wars.

      Family entertainment is just that, for all ages.

      The makers of VODT could have been much more serious and stick to the story just little better; but they aimed this one a little to squarely at kids sadly.

      • myartismylife says:

        A thought about the little girl as a stowaway. I wondered if part of the reason for her being there was:- one- to let Edmund and Lucy know how much they miss their mother (family)when they see how happy the little girl and father are to get their mother/wife back. Second:- so that when Lucy learns that she needs to love herself (don't we all) and the little girl says 'I want to grow up just like you' that gives Lusy the chance of saying 'She needs to grow up just like herself nobody else.' To me the little girl was a vehicle to be used to get an important message across.

  31. Meygan says:

    Just saw the movie today and I thought it was wonderful!
    I have read the books and Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite out of all the Narnia books.

    The movie did not exactly follow the book but in my opinion it did not loose the message, the magic and the essence of C.S Lewis’ TVD.
    Yes, the islands were not in order and yes,Prince Caspian’s love story did not really fully develop in the movie but it was visually wonderful and the storyline was fitting for the movie adaptation.
    Will Poulter, who played Eustace, definitely shined throughout this movie. His acting was spot-on and despite having urges to feel incredibly annoyed by him, you just can’t help but love the guy.
    I feel disappointed that not a lot of people like it as much as I did, but I think it was mostly the fans who wanted to see the words in the book come to life.
    One should not come in the theater to expect a word for word adaptation because that is not going to happen, as with all book to film movies.
    I was just incredibly proud to see the essence, virtues and spirit of Narnia coming to life on screen and I hope that you all will too. 🙂

  32. sirsimon says:

    It doesn't matter what others think, what matters is YOUR OPINION of the film, I have looked at these reviews and I seen out of about twenty, only five were bad, the numbers speak for themselves. Besides, people have to stop judging films based on the views of others, I will end up loving the film, like I did the last two

  33. LucyTheValiant says:

    I am ever so slightly disappointed with the acting based on the clips we've seen so far but I'm going to try my best to make my own judgments after seeing the movie on the 10th….still can't wait 🙂

  34. Carlos says:

    Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    I just saw the film in Costa Rica!
    50% disappointing! Too many changes from the original story. 🙁

  35. Carlos says:

    I just saw the Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Costa Rica!
    50% disappointing! Too many changes from the original story. 🙁

    • Claudio Fainello says:

      I am sorry to hear this from you but this could be said for the two previous films. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe strayed away as far as Prince Caspian and Dawn Treader from their respective novels. This however did not change the fact that the movies were in every sense magnificent.

      If the books were followed, we'd have a series of movies all based on the same book much like the BBC versions. Some of you guys might have heard the movie, Legends of the Guardians. The movie literally condensed the first 3 and 1/2 books into a movie. Many things were taken out and added in.

      That is the problem about turning novels into movies, people will often become disappointed because it did not meet their own expectations. The directors are trying to make a movie that has general appeal and can be understood by most people. Since watching it yesterday, I have gone and revisited the previous movies with the respective books at hand.

      Beginning with LWW, one of the first things that was changed was how the Pevensies enter Narnia as a whole. In the book, they run away from Mrs McReady because she has brought "her gang with her". This is in contrast to the more action filled way of trying to run away from her "wrath" due to breaking a window and toppling down an suit of armour. The addition of Mr Fox is another deviation from the book. Another example is the extent of the Jadis' wand's power. In the book, all she needed was to direct her wand towards the unlucky victim in order to turn them into stone. In the movie, there needed to be direct contact with the victim in order to petrify them. These are only some of the major deviations of the first movie adaptation. Even though this was the case, so many people have declared that the movie was an astounding adaptation of one of the most well renowned novels of all time.

      As Narnia fans have expressed, Prince Caspian was supposedly a flop. It wasn't. The story deviated as well but did not stop it from depicting the Narnian spirit. This story involved politics which some people might have boring or not in accordance with the first book's sense of adventure and awe. It was rather unfortunate that the movie didn't live up to some people's expectations but all in all it wasn't a disaster at all. It was a learning curve.

      I might be reinstating myself but Dawn Treader is a work of art, however how many people may be critiquing the acting. From the very start, some people have already trying to undermine and insult the children's acting. Truth be told, everything is subjective.

      I have read a review asking why on Earth was Lucy trying to act grown up, being like her sister. Clearly the person had no idea that this was part of the book in the first place. The addition of Gael as a way of getting Lucy to acknowledge the fact that it is better to be herself than someone she wasn't and will not be.

      Rhince's background was a clean slate from the book. It didn't hurt to introduce a story line about his family in order to appeal to Edmund and Lucy's own longing to join their family.

      Whatever the reasons, I hope you change your mind. I for one am hoping for the Silver Chair to be produced for each us our enjoyments. ^^,

      • Bookwyrm says:

        Actually, the book never shows Lucy trying to be like Susan. Go back and reread the Magician's Book scene. It clearly describes Lucy as being so beautiful that Susan is plain in comparison and jealous over it. Lucy doesn't want to be Susan, she wants to be better than Susan so Susan can be the overlooked, unappreciated sister for a change. Beauty just happens to be the thing people gush over. If Susan had been known as rather intelligent, it probably would have been an intelligent beyond the lot of mortals spell Lucy would have been tempted to use. It's a shame this rather more complex story subplot has been replaced with "I'm jealous of Susan and want to be just like her to the point that I no longer exist."

      • Claudio Fainello says:

        Thank you for pointing that out. In any case, there was jealousy of Susan being the centre of attention because of her beauty. They may have altered it a bit but the jealousy still exist. You could say that Lucy wanted to be herself but 100x better due jealousy of Susan getting attention as well of her looks.

      • sirsimon says:

        You are correct in every sense, books and films are different mediums, while you can write hundreds and hundreds of pages for a book, you have running time and bugdet constrictions, therefore changes have to be made. Lion witch and the wardrobe had many changes, so did prince caspian, and so will the other four films next.

        Films and books both give enjoyment, but on different levels. If people moan about the differences, then it will affect the peoples opinions on if they want to watch the film or not, therefore the film could fail in the box office. I do not care for the negativity, there will be some, but I want this film to do well because I want to see all seven books protrayed for the first time. because strangely the bbc stopped at silver chair.

        Enjoy the film or hate it, but I for one want it to succeed.

    • Claudio Fainello says:

      There is also the fact that people compare the present installment with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. People always expect everything to live up to the the very first book or movie of a series. They see the the LWW as a way of critiquing every other part of the chronicles. They expect it to be the guideline and standard by which other movies are made. However, each individual movie is that, individual. As intended by Lewis, each book is its self contained story, loosely interconnected but acting as a whole story at the same time.

  36. myartismylife says:

    I have just seen the movie for the 3rd time. This time in 3D. I am not a fan of 3D. Things move around too fast and I get sea sick but I am VERY pleased with the soft touch that I experienced. The moive also had sourround sound which was interesting because the other two times I have seen it (at a smaller theatre) didn't have that.

    I went to a much larger theatre at 10.30am Saturday to see if the numbers would be different. 25 the first viewing, 40 the second and EIGHT!!!!! this time.

    Come on Austrlia what are you all playing at. I think the movie is great. Yes I know it is not the same as the book but they never are.

    The people who created this movie are trying to please BILLIONS of people.It will NEVER HAPPEN!!! I think they have done a great job.
    Also, as a foot note, take your tissues, it gets to my heart everytime.

  37. Clipsie says:

    Long time since I've been around Narniaweb (waves to fellow moderators!) I saw the movie yesterday in 3D and was a bit ho-hum afterwards. The effects are good, the art direction is perfect, the acting is decent (Ben Barnes is much better than in PC without the accent, and Will Poulter is great – unfortunately highlighting the fact that the Pevensies aren't quite up to his acting standard, earnest as they are).

    I thought the alterations to the story (and there were many – this film is LOOSELY based on the book, moreso than the first two in essentials of plot) cheapened the adaptation and made it feel rather "generic kiddy adventure sword-and-sorcery" in places. However, many plot elements (funnily enough, those that were closest to the book) were excellent. I have no idea why they decided to shove an extra little girl in the story but she was pointless to the extreme. The blue star and the seven swords and the "mist" seemed silly and unnecessary. Dufflepud episode was brilliantly done, and the Lone Islands was really creepy and evocative. Dark Island scenario sadly was a mess. Eustace really drives the story and you go from hating him to cheering for him.

    It was an enjoyable romp and certainly had a more Narnian tone than the first two, but I don't think I'll see it again at the cinema. Might buy the DVD…

    Oh, and I ADORED the closing credits!!!!!!!!!! Just…..perfect and such an outstanding tribute to Pauline Baynes. Best closing credits I've ever seen.

    • Clipsie says:

      Also, I live in Sydney (Australia) and every single bus stop the length of the main strip in the city is plastered with giant VODT posters, also down by the Opera House. A LOT of posters for a VERY long way. Very smart advertising. Basically if you're anywhere in the city, you'll be aware the movie is out. They're eye-catching and while on the bus I saw a lot of people staring out the windows at them as we passed.

      Be that as it may, there weren't many people in my screening, however the movie was only released on Thursday. I think viewing numbers are going to build hugely as kids start their December summer holidays soon.

      • sirsimon says:

        well said! I think this film will do well due to its aim towards the younger auidence (though it isnt gonna stop an 18 year old man like me)
        plus it is revered as the favourite narnia book (though in my opinion, silver chair comes very close)

      • myartismylife says:

        I am SOOO GLAD to here what you have to say. Here on the Gold Coast there is very little.Hungry Jacks are doing little figurines and that is being advertised on the TV. I haven't been to other movies to see if it is being advertised before the other movie. Hope so. I will tell the few people I know. I LOVED the movie and hope that they make ALL of them. For my part The Horse and His Boy is my favourite story.

  38. myartismylife says:

    I agree that Eustace was good. He had to be because if they do make The Silver Chair, he and whoever they choose for Jill Pole will have to carry the whole movie and the whole franchise will depend on how people take to them. It is most important that they get Puddleglum right.

  39. myartismylife says:

    Just wondering if anyone else noted (which I shall not go into too much detail because others haven't seen the movie yet) that there are four things wrong. You now, things like a character had something on one side of their body and now it is on the other, things like that.

    I thought they paid people to check up on all this sort of stuff.

  40. narnian21 says:

    In a way I'm kinda scared for SC. VDT is being heavily marketed as returning to the magic of the first film. I haven't read the books for a while but if I remember right SC doesn't have the same magic does it? Hopefully people wont mind the rollar coaster ride

  41. nicole says:

    I just saw the VDT with my mother and we both hated this movie.I have grown up watching original BBC movies and fell in love with them and read the books tons of times. I was so excited to hear that they were remaking the movies, and they have been nothing but a disappointment. The effects were cool, and we wasted the money to see it in real 3D, we could have saved the money and saw it in normal 2D, dont plan on seeing it again, and I hope that if they make The SC it is much better.

  42. Sharon says:

    Just saw the latest Narnia movie, the voyage of the Dawn Treader. It is the best one yet. Hope you go see it. 12/13/10

  43. Narnia Rocks says:

    I am saddened that the writers did not take advantage of the excellent opportunities C.S. Lewis gave them to make an awesome movie. They added things that were not in the book, and frankly, did not make the story line any better or viewer friendly. The movie was rushed, disoriented and incredibly dissapointing. I'm not sure I'll even bother wasting time or money on The Silver Chair, if they make a movie for that one. C.S. Lewis would be so sad over this, I imagine. He wrote a really amazing story and Hollywood is ruining it.

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