Episode 73: ‘Dawn Treader’ Film Analysis, Part 1

Running time: 36:15

It is time to do what NarniaWebbers do best: Nit-pick! Beginning with this episode, the podcasters will go through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader film chronologically and share their thoughts. Rilian, Warrior, GymFan, and GlumPuddle start off by talking about the first few scenes. Further up and further in!
(For our Prince Caspian analysis, see episodes 33-42)

90 Responses

  1. King_Cor_the_Great says:

    I have been waiting long for this podcast

  2. Ted C says:

    They are talking about the studio logos and credits. Riveting.

  3. Queen C The Gentle says:


  4. Duffleglum says:

    This is awesome. very nice!

  5. Lord of Cair Paravel says:

    Ive already seen it 4 times

    • Lucia says:

      U watched it so many times!i want to watch,but it haven't come to my country yet…

      • Anhun says:

        What country are you in?

      • Lucia says:

        VDT will come to japan on Feb.25.
        But my family & I are catholic(a little bit unusual in Japan.)& I'd like to act Aravis,actually!
        How about U?UK?

      • Anhun says:

        I live in America right now. I moved here to go to school, but I was born in Egypt. Aravis is my favorite character, too. It would be really amazing to have a pseudo-North African hero in an American movie. ;;)

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        Lucia, i am Catholic too, and i think it's great that you live in Japan!
        i hope you like the movie when you see it! ๐Ÿ™‚
        i would also love to be Aravis!

      • Lucia says:

        I'm happy to hear that,both of U!
        What kind of girl Aravis is in your minds?
        In my imagination,she has black eyes & hair(long,a little bit weavy),Brave & beautiful,and noble!
        What do U think?

        (so sorry about my terrible English!I hope U will understand!!)

      • Cyclops says:

        I'm Catholic, too. Glad to know that you and your family want to see it! I'm sure that the movie will be a big hit in Japan ๐Ÿ™‚

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        @ANHUN, my sister recently went to eygpt and loved it, it's always been my dream too. now we are hooked on hibiscus tea!

      • Lucia says:

        Egypt…4 me,it's mysterious & facinating country!
        & Japan isn't bad place,but I want2 go2 UK in the future 2 act Aravis or other character in Narnia!!I'm sure i can't do it in my country**

  6. Greg says:

    Everyone doing film analysi! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I've seen Rillian and Glumpuddle, it's nice to hear GymFan and Warrior as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You guys are also like celebrities, my Narnian heroes.

  8. skandarlover says:

    i was okay with the criticism until one of them said "maybe it was just a poor performance by skandar" lol that kinda brought me down

  9. Anhun says:

    They were more mature in the books? Now in the case of Peter, I would agree. They way they redesigned his character in PC made me want to throw tomatoes at the screen. But, as for Edmund, am I the only one who remembers reading the multiple scenes in the book VDT where Edmund and Caspian butted heads over who was king? Even Lucy called them "bullying idiots." You can't argue with Lucy. ๐Ÿ˜›

    In fact, when I first saw PC and they way Caspian and Peter were trying to out-swagger each other, my first thought was "Won't this make Edmund's issues with Caspian seem repetitive when they get around to making VDT?"

    • That's a VERY good point. The thing is that that whole experience is Edmund's, which doesn't really surprise me and adding that to Peter seemed overboard. We know Caspian and Peter got along fine in the book. The fight at Deathwater Island was just a confirmation and I think it went good in the movie. I think Edmund didn't have a problem with authority in PC because Peter was there and he was used to helping Peter when he was around, but when Peter was gone he had the upper hand.

      • Anhun says:

        The book PC is very thin on character development, especially for Edmund and Susan. One logical explanation for Edmund's apparent lack of issues in PC, and then regression in VDT, is that he was quietly envious of Peter and Caspian, but with 2 other kings in the running, he didn't feel it was worth fighting over the power pie. Another, imo more likely, explanation is that his strong desire for empowerment is a new thing. It's related to the fact that he's into his teens and is getting closer to the age when he will no longer be a dependent.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        today's movies thrive on conflict, that's why they invent conflicts where there were none in the book, for dramatic effect. they are afraid bonding and cooperation would be deemed old fashioned and boring-

    • glumPuddle says:

      The reason the Deathwater scene is shocking in the book is that it is highly unusual for Edmund’s character.

      If Aslan had not appeared right then, I think it's very possible someone would have been hurt. (In the movie, they cut Aslan out of this scene *facepalm*)

      • Anhun says:

        I wouldn't say it was shocking. In the book they also get into it when they're coming close to the end of the world, although that was more Caspian's fault. I felt that, in the movie, they turned it into a prolonged personal struggle for Edmund, rather that a sporadic interpersonal issue between Caspian and Edmund.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        what's so shocking about it? remember what a little monster Edmund was in the first book? that was his underlying character- . so he was improved by his experience with aslan in LWW, but, like eustace, it's more of a process in your undragoning intread of an instant magical *poof*, your cured! i could easily see him progressing and regressing in his spiritual development, like anyone.

    • What I was annoyed about in the Deathwater scene was that it was all Edmund's fault. In the book, he is, of course, at fault in this scene, but Caspian is equally at fault. In VDT, they concentrate on the Pevensies' imperfections too much, and don't spend enough time on Caspian's imperfections. I mean, it's good to show that the Pevensies still have weaknesses,but it's really frustrating that Caspian is made out to be so competent. I loved Caspian's character development in the book, and then in the movie it was non-existent! Today, I wrote a 1500 word rant on why it should have been an essential to include Caspian's character development in the movie, because I was so disappointed they did not include his massive tantrum scene at the end. D:<
      Oh, and I completely agree with what you said about wanting to throw tomatoes at the screen because of the way the filmmakers reinvented Peter's character. It meant I couldn't enjoy Edmund's character development in VDT because it was so copy-cat-ish.
      Sorry if this is a bit all over the shop. My mind has been fried after all the math it had to go through yesterday, setting up and playing 'secret agent obstacle laser chess'. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Anhun says:

        I agree, it would be nice if Caspian had more depth.

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        I'd love more than anything else to see this 'rant'. it sounds like it is pure genius. ๐Ÿ˜‰
        and yes, it would've been VERY refreshing to see Caspian throw a tantrum.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        I'll bet they were determined to cut Caspian's screen time as much as possible, as they considered PC a disapointment and didn't want to remind anyone of him. I however, was disappointed there was not ENOUGH of caspian.

      • The mindless rant is on my blog for anyone who is bored enough to read it… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Anhun says:

        @Shelly: I hadn't thought of that. I got the impression that they were down-playing Caspian in the marketing for that reason, but it hadn't occurred to me that they would also ignore him in the movie.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        also, even if they weren't purposely downplaying caspian as a strategy, you don't have the time to develop every character in a movie, you have to focus on a couple just to have time to roundly develop SOMEONE. look how they dropped whole characters in the LOTR movies.

      • Well I see what you're saying, and I agree that to make time in the movie, you can't develop every character (one of the harsh, cruel facts of life). My question is: why couldn't they develop Caspain's character rather than the Pevensies' so much? Besides, the tantrum scene might have reminded everyone that we can't always have what we want, and we all have responsibilities. Yeah, he wasn't a huge success in PC, but you can always try to redeem characters, right?
        As a side note, the only character in LotR I was kind of disappointed they left out was Beregond. :'(

      • Jared says:

        I think both Edmund and Caspian deserved more development in the movie. I can see why Edmund is so-called regressing in this one and challenges Caspian, since he is almost an adult now and feels helpless. Even though the book was spotty on characterization for everyone, I think the scene at the end where Caspian wants to enter Aslan's country could have been used in the movie and built upon throughout the movie. That Caspian is going on this "quest" as a way of avoiding settling down, because he's afraid he's an inadequate king, or maybe because he's desperately clinging on to the memory of his father. This nightmare should have been shown to Caspian on Dark Island; maybe a cameo from Miraz.

        Back to Edmund, I don't think his issues were resolved adequately in the movie. The White Witch appeared again, but I thought his rejection of her was stronger in PC than here.

        Even Lucy's development could have been built on, based on the part of the book where she wants to hear what her friends are saying about her. They could have included a snippet of this at the beginning of the movie, to show her insecurities.

        I think the adventure aspect of the movie was fine; character development would have made the movie into a deeper and more moving film.

    • Shy Galadriel says:

      Ok. I agree with almost everything in this vid but Edmund. I think that sticking his tongue out right after talking about how mature he was supposed to be showed how bad the environment was at Harold and Alberta's. I mean, I am considered a mature person, but in bad situations I'll make faces at a jerk behind his back. I really got that impression from this part. It showed a little how Ed was regressing in the situation rather than rising above it. That set the flavor of the movie. Lucy and Ed were succumbing to the situations rather than seeking aid and rising above it.

      • The Inscrutable Rutabaga says:

        Wow, I really like what you said there, Shy Galadriel! ๐Ÿ™‚
        I do rather wish they'd made Caspian more at fault at Deathwater (and left Aslan in) but I didn't miss his tantrum at the end. Instead of understanding and emphasizing with his struggles, (like I do with Peter in the movie PC) it just makes me rather dislike Caspian. But then he was never my fave character…. Anyway, I need to go back and read VDT again. Fresh readings and perspectives are always good ๐Ÿ™‚

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        I do rather wish they'd stick to the book, PERIOD. : )

  10. Princess Lucy says:

    I agree with yous…about eustrace..the world war aspects..and the susan part..but i have to say why didn't they include anything about Peter in the film…nothing about his studies…or what he is doing…coz my friend hasn't read the books and lol she watched the film before me and she was dissapointed coz not much is said about Peter…but the adventures and eustrace's funny moments made up for it for her so yh….thanxs guys…as always ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Anhun says:

      I think it might have taken away from the flow of the story, if they showed him off with the professor. Even explaining it in dialogue would have been cumbersome. On the other hand, they could have shown him in America with Susan, maybe throwing a paper airplane at her while she's trying to write. ๐Ÿ˜› It's not cannon, but at least it doesn't make it seem like they forgot Peter existed.

      • coracle says:

        They wisely didn't invent extra material of what Peter was doing in America, after removing the book material that he was being tutored at the now-poor Professor's little cottage.

    • The Inscrutable Rutabaga says:

      Yeah, I thought they should have mentioned somehow where Peter was, too. Maybe you're supposed to get the idea he's in America with Susan from the scene where Lucy is Susan. Still, I like your idea of having him throw a paper airplane at Susan, Anhun ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. waterkid72 says:

    At the beginning credits they should have slowly shown us the casual, day-to-day lifestyle of the characters. Show us how they live in the our world. Just something casual, the problem is that they just rushed. Everything went to quick and they didn't gave us time to assimilate what is going on.

  12. elton says:

    this is great

  13. Queen Su says:

    Can't wait for the Part 2! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Queen Su says:

    Can't wait for Part 2! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. reepicheep's_fangirl says:

    sweet! i can't wait to listen. don't ask me why, but i love stuff like this. ๐Ÿ™‚
    thank you for this, and for everything else you do, it means a lot to me and to all of us, I'm sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Lillyput90 says:

    Great podcast guys! I totally agree about the tongue poking bit. It was soooo childish, I mean, a teen in the 1940's would NEVER have done that.

  17. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    thanks guys! we LOVE the podcasts! and keep going bit by bit , slowly and thougholy so that we get more podcasts!! also, how about going back and making us the LWW movie companion track you promised 2 years ago!!!! : )

  18. stateofgreen says:

    I agree with your commentary. I did think maybe the intro to the actual painting scene could maybe have been longer, but it was fine that they got right into it….it's the rest of the film they should have taken more time with to develop characterwise….the beginning made me long for things that didn't develop in later scenes. Such a promising start too, aside from Lucy's awkward "wanna be pretty" scene and Edmund trying to enlist which was a bit too much like Peter in PC.

  19. Eustace+Jill says:

    Were you guys watching the movie as you did this analysis? Or just going by memory?

    • samuel says:

      they were doing this from memory, they all have seen the movie multiple times, and one of them (I forget who) seems to be guiding the discussion by listing the scenes… the music that you hear is most likely from the sound track. I might be possible for a group to buy out a theater to do a private showing, but they wouldn't be able to pause, rewind etc… and all of them are in different parts of the world

  20. samuel says:

    This is a great commentary, especially since it's out of my theatre and I can't watch it again. I thought maybe a couple things they said were JUST comparing the movie to the book. I think it would be cool if there were someone who hasn't read the books who's now a fan of the movies, and get their synopsis of the movie with only the other movies to go on

  21. Not Of This World says:

    I respect everyone's opinions, but after a while when everyone is critizising every little detail of VDT, it just gets annoying . Now I realize some things should be critisized, but not to level of every little bit of VDT is being complained about.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      it's not to tear it down, but it's an analysis on a technical and professional level. when you make movies, you have to make these small decisions which add up to the big picture, and any little thing can effect the ultimate outcome.

      • Not Of This World says:

        I know but after almost everyone complains about every litte bit of VDT, it gets annoying. I'm not saying they don't have the right to dis-like the movie, but when it just keeps being complained and nagged about, it gets irritating.

      • Not Of This World says:

        Does anyone else agree with me?

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        i do understand what you mean, certain times if someone rants endlessly it can be a real downer. I quess i am walking a fine line between wanting so badly a faithful adaptation, then being shocked that certain liberties were taken TOO far, then wanting to be able at least to enjoy what I can. I understand too that it's not good to be a TOTAL DOWNER and bum out every body on this board.

      • Not Of This World says:

        Yeah. These movies are very special to me and it's just depressing to her it being bagged on.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        me too, NOt of this world, cause I learned of narnia as an adult because of the movies, then read the books after PC> so, to me the characters in the books look like the movie actors, : )

      • Not Of This World says:

        Exactly! And before VDT, I imagined Eustace with brown hair, very short, and a little bit of a raspy voice. Now when I hear or think of Eustace I imagine Will Poulter. I hope that happens with all the charecters in the next movies they make.

    • Don't worry, Not Of This World, it's not really criticism, it's really just analysing. Sort of comparing the movie to the book and discussing every detail of it. It doesn't necessarily mean that anyone's complaining, in fact, I think that /most/ people here quite liked it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. luisheroesNARNIA says:

    There is no point so much promotion, you know why?, because if the director does not make good movies, "because that's the point?, I just saw the Lord of the Rings, Narnia and now I see as very simple and that makes me sad, I can not believe that the lord of the rings with less than 100 million for each film the agan much better, and Narnia has 150 million.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      I wish everyone would stop using LOTR as the gold standard for fantasy movies. Maybe other directors would like to have a fresh take on their porjects, and being constantly compared to LOTR and HP must be very tiresome for them. As someone who has seen both those series and was completely unmoved by either, I am happy to report i am a full fledged Narnia addict because of the MOVIES. NARNIA ROOLS- LOTR DROOLS! and p!ss off, HP !

  23. luisheroesNARNIA says:

    There is no point so much promotion, you know why?, because if the director does not make good movies, โ€œbecause thatโ€™s the point?, I just saw the Lord of the Rings, Narnia and now I see as very simple and that makes me sad, I can not believe that the lord of the rings with less than 100 million per movieโ€™s made much better, and Narnia has 150 million.
    sorry my english is not perfect

    • Eliseo says:

      One thing to remember about LOTR is that it was made on $100 million more than 10 years ago.. The current Hobbit movies are being made at $250 million for each part.

    • samuel says:

      Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I remember reading somewhere that the 3D conversion process (which was not done on LOTR, I only hope that the Hobbit is filmed in 3d not converted) cost $50 million of the total production cost? If they had left that off they probably would have their profit. Though the ticket prices would be cheaper hmm… where are the statistics on how many theatres actually showed it in 3d?

      • stateofgreen says:

        Wholeheartedly agree. VDT is a movie where the focus should have been on the emotional investment of the audience with the characters and REAL in-depth character development over special effects. ๐Ÿ™

      • Bookwyrm says:

        And not only would they have saved money, they would not have had to cut so much from the film to make the 3D conversion cheaper.

  24. Yellow Peril says:

    Thank you for your commentary. It's good to hear different views on parts of the film. Keep it up!

  25. GlimGlum says:

    Analysis paralysis has begun! ๐Ÿ˜€ Can't wait for Part 14: Arrival on board the Dawn Treader. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Just kidding. Good to hear your different perspectives (and accents too). ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. jagan says:

    ivel seen it 11 tims

  27. QueenSusanJ316 says:

    I know this is a bit random, but I went to see it again the other day in 3d and took my mom this time. And whenever they were on the boat she got sick and like on the island did not. Did anyone else get seasick when they saw it in 3d?

    • Not Of This World says:

      I haven't heard of that happening before, but she must have thought the 3D was great! She must of thought she was really in Narnia ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. aileen says:

    I watched the movie 5 times and would have watched some more if not for my schedule. I would have wanted more from the movie but thinking of the time limit, I think it was good. I read the book and it was one of my fave and I was actually worried how they would bring everything from the book to hte movie an dI believe it worked out.

  1. January 17, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NarniaWeb.com. NarniaWeb.com said: Our A-to-Z analysis of the Dawn Treader film begins in the latest podcast: http://bit.ly/g7dVE8 […]