Micheal Flaherty on Dawn Treader’s Box Office and the Undragoning

Just in time for today’s Blu-ray/DVD release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, ChristianityToday has posted an interview with Micheal Flaherty, Walden Media president. Flaherty reiterates that they are making The Magician’s Nephew next because they believe it will draw the largest audience. When asked about Dawn Treader‘s box office performance, he says “international box office was so strong—three times the domestic. We always look at these things from the international standpoint, that cumulative number.” At the end, he says they take the opinions of the “Narnia police” most seriously.

A couple highlights:

On the undragoning: “What’s interesting is that when you read the book, you actually don’t see that scene; Eustace just recounts it when he gets back in the boat. We wanted to show it, but what we ended up doing was reinforcing that message when Eustace says later, “No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it myself. And then he came towards me. It was a good hurt.” Visually, I was pleased with it. But yes, there was a response where people wanted to see lion paw firmly placed in dragon flesh and ripping it off. That was a common disappointment.”

On Aslan’s dialogue at the world’s end: “With all the Aslan parts, particularly the dialogue, there’s always a very spirited and healthy discussion, and generally any time there’s a discussion, the tie goes to C. S. Lewis. So we always come to the agreement, ‘Listen, let’s not think that we can reinterpret this and do a better job than Lewis. If we disagree about this, if people think there are different ways to say this, let’s just make sure we preserve what Lewis said.’ That’s a mistake we made with Prince Caspian, where we changed Aslan’s dialogue with Lucy.”

Read the full interview

228 Responses

  1. Starlily says:

    Well, this sounds somewhat encouraging…or at least not DIScouraging. How come every time there is an interview with someone involved with the Narnia movies, they sound like they care a lot about keeping the spirit of the books, and respecting C. S. Lewis, and they sound so conscientious about everything–and yet it doesn't come across in some places in the movies? I feel that they really capture the spirit of the books in some places, but in others they miss the mark completely. It always surprises me because in the interviews they sound so dedicated to making good movies and good adaptations. Maybe it's because there are so many different people to please when making a movie. *Sigh*

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, if they cared that much about the entire movie, it'd be so much better. I'm glad they preserved Aslan's dialog, but they could have done the same with everyone else.

    • Peter says:

      Perfectness is impossible. I was very grateful that voyage of the dawn treader [movie] didn´t change the essence of voyage of the dawn treader [book]. In my opinion this is something, which DID happen in Prince Caspian. The whole Suspian romance was PULP. Fanfiction about suspian is ok, but in a film adaptation? That's stupid! But voyage of the Dawn Treader returned to the essence. Maybe Aslans claws clawing of the dragons hide would make the movie 12+ and no longer a family adaptation. And that would be a shame. And perhaps some deals had to be made. If I had to chose between Aslans words at the world's end and the 'clawing of scene' the choise would be easy. Aslans words at the world's end!!!

      • MasterBJ says:

        Wonderfully said, in my opinion out of all the Narnia books VOTDT was and will be the hardest to make. I just hope they make it through all of them.

      • BFF of Aslan says:

        Hold up there, Peter. The Suspian romance wasn't all that bad. I mean both the actors (Anna and Ben) make Susan and Caspian look much older (and they are). I mean, if they were as old as Susan and Caspian were in the book, that would be something to complain about. But they were both in their twenties. Does the romance really need that much complaining?

      • Peter says:

        I like complaining, so I complain. Nope, just joking. I am replying to BFF of Aslan now. My problems with suspian romance:
        –> Aslan seems to separate two people who are starting to love each other > That makes him seem cruel.
        –> I don't like romance. For me it spoils an adventure.
        –> age isn't an issue for me. But the actors are playing younger people. The movies aren't called "Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton and the carved earthern wardrobe", "Prince Ben Barnes" and "The voyage of the dragon-head ship". So if age was an issue, your argument wouldn't hold.
        –> Susan became a spoiled brat and Peter a haughty naughty king in Prince Caspian. This instead of the gentle warrior queen, and the courageful warrior king they are in the books. Well they have a nasty side in the books, but this nasty side gained to much attention in Prince Caspian. Well this probably doesn't totally make sense, but I felt the ballance was totally unballanced in Prince Caspian. I try to make clear the reason, but I have difficulties, as you see. Anyways, I digged up this old cow to tell everyone I liked VOTDT, and why I liked it. Or something. I probably am making this post very off topic. *sweatdrops himself*

      • Shy Galadriel says:

        How could you dislike SuCaspian more than an extremely weak plot device like the Green Mist? I mean, it ruined the whole movie. It made the characters exceedingly shallow (all they're after is another rescue rather than honor, glory and adventure.) And even though I really didn't like the angsty-teen thing that Peter had going in PC, at least they did an alright job of it acting and directing-wise. In VDT the only (human) character that I was happy with the development was Eustace. Lucy's development was forced, Ed's was practically not there, and Caspian's was (was he even in that movie? I missed any development of his.) You get my point, PC may have taken liberties with the book (which I didn't like); but at least it was an alright (although not a great film). VDT was just a pretty bad movie.

      • Peter says:

        I liked VOTDT better. The mists were actually well found. You can't forget this: a fireman and a cop rescue people all the time. And it doesn't take the honor and glory out of their job (I think). Jay, I just made an allegory of an allegory (forgive my bad Dutch). The green mists stretched the truth of the island of fear Lewis wrote about. That is true.

        I think the only less perfect thing of Lewis's VOTDT book is this: many things happen, and there is little room for character development. Lewis introduces Eustace and he develops his character very very very well. If you read the book very little happens with Ed and Lucy. If I remember correctly. Sometimes story development (which in my opinion was great, Eustace was the shining star with Reepicheep) makes up for a not so great character development. I think it was a great movie.

      • Shy Galadriel says:

        I still really dislike the green mists, and for more reasons that I'm too lazy to write about. 😛 lol
        But you're right, Eustace and Lu didn't have much screen time in the book as well. However, that's no excuse for the poor quality time they got on film. Poor Georgie will probably not even include VDT on her acting reel, because her acting performances were not as good as we've seen her. Her reaction to the snow in the Magician's room still has me cringing. What teen girl would grin that big and goofy for magical snow? She didn't even react like that when she came out of the wardrobe! Hmph.
        And I LOVE Eustace in the movie. One of the things that they really, really did well. His character development I like as much as any character that they have shown in all of the Narnia movies.

      • Cal says:

        DT should have been one of the easiest of the books to convert to film. It has an Indian Jones quality to it…long before there was an Indian Jones. The filmmakers just simply didn't understand that desire was really what was driving Caspian to the end of the world…and NOT the desire to find the 7 lords. A missed opportunity but still a good film!

      • BFF of Aslan says:

        I don't know if you'll get this ever, but I'll put in my two cents, Peter, about the Suspian issue. I can't say you've changed my mind. I must say, though, you've hurt my feelings quite a bit. You pointed out everything above just like Eustace would have before he was redeemed. And it really, really, really hurt to have you talking about Peter in such a horrific way. Peter Pevensie is my favorite character of all of them and I believe that Andrew did an excellent job on writing his lines, and William delivered them very well.

        Tears sprang to my eyes during my first read-through of your reply.

        Don't hold that against me please.

        PC is my favorite movie of all of them. But you are entitled to your own opinion.


      • Hiking Peter says:

        So, I'm thinking, the Clawing scene if they put it in there, would make me think Aslan wasn't as nice as the other movies and books lead us to believe. (he is good although not tame.)

      • They changed the clawing scene because they were told it would give them a PG-13 rating- away from the targeted audience.Not even C.S. Lewis put in live action.

      • Queen Lucy the Valiant says:

        I thoroughly disliked how they portrayed Peter in the movie. His motives weren't shown to help Caspian ascend to his throne, rather to get control in some way or another. In the book, he is much more willing to aid Prince Caspian in his venture. I can't remember what exactly he said but it went along the lines of I am here to help you get to the throne not take it from you.

        And the Suspian had no place in the movie. It was awkward and it wasn't even in the original story plot.I think I have to agree with Peter on most of these arguments.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      I'm sure the main concern is to make them mainstream friendly, with light christian undertones, to be able to get the movies out to general theatres, and be able to keep the series going in this secular world , instead of them just being small market christian flicks ala "Fireproof". But , after the monster success of Passion of the Christ, I think the wiser path would have been to go full force christian and rally the troops that supported POTC.

      • Peter says:

        Supported POTC?!?!? Pirates of the Caribean?!? O wait… I see now –> Passion of the Christ=POTC. Stupid of me. I still post this post, for people that have the same weird misunderstanding.

      • BreehyHinnyBrinnyHoohyHah says:

        True…Although I loved Fireproof and Facing the Giants, which actually did really well, considering. They made those movies just few hours away from me, and I supported them as much as I could. I do the same with all the Narnia films. I also try to buy things like soundtracks and I bought the PC Wii game, to support Narnia! But Passion had a much more adult audience to support it, and most un-cultured adults don't even know Narnia has christian themes…ugh.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        No, I meant Passion Of the pirates Of The Carribean!!! dummyhead ! LOL you missed that one? 🙂

      • The Inscrutable Rutabaga says:

        BreehyHinnyBrinnyHoohyHah: I love your name 😉

    • You're right, Starlily. If they don't think they can do better than C. S. Lewis, then why did they basically change the story line of VDT? And Aslan's dialogue with Lucy was the least of the problems with PC.

      • always narnian says:

        I thought that too! They didn't think they could say it better than Lewis? Well it sure looked like they thought better than him, and it turned into a huge mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! C.S. Lewis' work was BRILLIANT! DO they realize how confusing the movie is for people who haven't read the books, and how terrible Aslan was portrayed????

      • Starlily says:

        I agree, Laura Elizabeth. The dialog with Lucy and Aslan in PC didn't bother me very much. But it DOES bother me when they change the entire direction of the plot (like in VDT) and change core themes and messages.

        Wow, I don't think any of my comments have ever gotten this many replies posted on it before (even if not all of them are direct replies to me). Maybe it's because I got the first comment. Anyway, I know it's a little juvenile of me, but I'm flattered! 😛

      • Aslan's #1 fan says:

        Prince Caspian was a good action flick, but the smooching seen, and the attitudes, turned me off. Though I watch it off and on they defidently thought they were smarter than Lewis. But VDT? Na…when I read the articles about the changes made Director Apted was very oppologetic when he said the reason was that it didn't have a certian tention. And then he said that works great in the book but a hour long movie? No Fox and Apted deffidently know their not better than Lewis. Sorry don't buy it. 🙂

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        @laura, cs lewis didn't write a film script, though. they are two different things, books and scripts. but i wish they had stuck closer to the book, cause they are really taking HUGE liberties. they apparently are trying to update the chronicles for a modern audience, but i think they should realize by now they are making a mistake with that tactic.

    • It's nice to see the creators of the narnia movies admit to their mistakes with PC and even VDT. Now lets just hope they'll make up for those mistakes in The Magician's Nephew, stay faithful to the books, because we all want that, and take their time and a lot of care into making it a great movie, like how peter jackson took great time and care into The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
      I think that's one of the reasons why VDT wasn't that good because they rushed the movie to much by trying to get it to come out 2 years after PC, if they would have released it 3 years after PC, so it would come out in the winter of 2011 instead of 2010. So they would have more time to carefully and creatively work on every aspect of the movie so they would all be great.

      But they didn't they wanted to get VDT as soon as possible putting a lot of pressure on them to rush things. That's the problem with movies these days; the studios want everything to be done as fast as possible, giving the filmakers less time to put more quality into their movies; the people who run the studios should know that quality in movies equals more money at the box office, but it takes time to make that qaulity sometimes for filmakers, especially in big budget blockbusters like the narnia movies. Just look at how it took James Cameron to make Avatar, and what was the end result…. highest grossing movie of all time. And I really hope that the narnia filmakers don't make the same mistake with The Magician's Nephew, because I love The Chronicles Narnia and I really want to see these movies suceed.

      • stateofgreen says:

        I think they had plenty of time to work on VDT since they started while they were filming PC. To delay the release of VDT until 2011 would have been terrible. It wasn't time they needed, it was not having the right 'craftspeople'=writers, production team, director to make a faithful adaptation.

      • I agree with you stateofgreen about what you said about not having the right crafts people for the movie, I'm just saying that lack of time was one of the reason why VDT wasn't as good as it could of and should of been.

    • Puzzle412 says:

      I was a little disappointed to hear that they weren't making Silver Chair next. However, when they said that they were going to make Magicians Nephew, I got kind of excited. I think there are alot of fantastic images in the MN book, I just hope that they can translate it well to screen.

    • daniel says:

      se vcs fossem fãn de narnia mesmo não reclamariam tanto so ajudariam evoluir o filme e o sucesso do meu querido cs lewis

      eu digo eu sou o numero um amo narnia e quero ver natelona todas adpitaçoes dos livros sou fanatico e garanto que se depender de mim eu vivia em narnia

      pra mim narnia e o meelhor filme nao existe melhor e uma forma da pessoas deicharem os problemas de lado viajar em uma fantasia que nao acaba quando a luz se acende no cinema aaquele historia continua tocndo no nosso coraçao fazendo assim espersr anciosamente por outro, alem de mostrar que podemos fazer um mundo melhor.

      entao muito obrigado pela galera da fox por ter resgatado o projeto assim podendo continuar imaginando as fantasias que narnia me permite.
      amo narnia allow azlan.

  2. Pepper Darcy says:

    hmm, well MN should be highly interesting. But I just heard last night that they're talking about a Dec. 2013 release… and… that could be very dangerous. Hobbit 2 comes out in 2013. And how many people are seriously going to watch Narnia over a Hobbit movie that EVERYONE and their grandma has been waiting for since 2003?! *blinks owlishly* I LOVE LotR/Middle-Earth. And personally I'd sooner see that then Narnia. But I'll definately see Narnia. But all the same, doesn't mean I wanna see it slaughtered… :'( I'd like to see SC and LB. HaHB is a tad less important to me, storywise, though I know it's important to lots of people out there… but wow. I was just hoping to see the movies, not see the demise! :/

    • Mayor Wilkins says:

      "And how many people are seriously going to watch Narnia over a Hobbit movie that EVERYONE and their grandma has been waiting for since 2003?!"

      I'm probably going to see them both more than once. 😉
      And I've been waiting for "The Magician's Nephew" since 2005.
      I must have Tilda Swinton playing a live Jadis again.
      Whoot!!! 😀
      Oh, and, if Moonwood shows up….
      John Cleese too. 😉 LOL

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        "Has your Magician, your Uncle, power like MINE???"
        I am so psyched for "MN."

      • Nick says:

        Exactly. I'll probably see both at least four times.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        yeah, i dont think in this day and age people can't fork up another 9 bucks to see both. it's not like we are in a third world country living on 30 cents a day.

      • As I said below, I probably wouldn't go to see the Hobbit 2, since I never saw the first one. But let's say I do go see it. Let's say there are 5 people in a family. If the whole family goes to see both movies, that's $90. But if the whole family go to the matinee(it's like $5 or $6 in my local movie theater, let's say it's $5) it's $50. But, if I wanted to see both movies sooo bad, I would pay for my own movie ticket(regular $18, matinee $10). Anyway, I really want to see MN, so GET IT GREEN LIT ALREADY!!! 😛

      • always narnian says:

        I agree with Pepper. Narnia will get smashed by Hobbit. That's no joke. Not like I like LOTR over Narnia, but they actually followed the books pretty well….Narnia hasn't (exception of LWW being pretty good).

      • Moonwood says:

        Thanks, Mayor…Actually glad they got all this practice before getting to MN !
        –That seems to be the way the producers see it– no story deserves it more…

      • Cal says:

        parents with younger children (the target audience for TCON) are NOT going to take their kids to see the Hobbit because it will be too violent. The earlier HP movies did quite well against the LOTR movies even though released during the same time of the year because they targeted different audiences.

      • Samuel says:

        For myself I will be going to see MN, but most likely not the hobbit, I only watched LOTR a year or so ago, and while I was intrigued by the plotline, I didn't care for tolkien's "universe," many of the creatures or the amount of violence, and I'm almost in my mid-20's. Not saying anything wrong about the movies or the violence it's just my personal preference.

    • Pepper Darcy says:

      oh! I'll go see Narnia, DEFINATLEY! I LOVE Narnia, but… I love The Hobbit that much more 🙂 Though, I wish Middle-Earth had an Aslan 🙂 That's what makes Narnia for me: Aslan 🙂

      And I don't particularly want Narnia to be smashed (not that you guys were accusing me of it 😉 Just saying: that's a bum date to choose. I know lots of people will see Narnia. Always Narnian, our family, our church friends etc. But THAT many MORE people are gonna see The Hobbit 1 and 2! Narnia just doesn't have the same speed/weight etc. that the LotR movies had. They broke records.

      And as much as I love Narnia, as far as *movies* go… Peter Jackson prolly deserves to have the spotlight with Hobbit, after all he gave us with LotR. I mean, he's gotta be the best director ever, as far as faithful, true to the spirit of the book goes. I don't think that following a book 'page by page, word by word, line by line, period and exclimation mark' makes a good adaptation. It can also be a LOSER of an adaptation. I have a few examples, but refrain from saying what 🙂

      I mean, How To Train Your Dragon doesn't look like the book at ALL! and it's one of the best adaptations out there. Even the author LOVED it.

      So, in the long run, Peter Jackson deserves the spotlight, but I still want Narnia to do well 🙂

      • always narnian says:

        Yes, Pepper, I will see it, even though it's been a disappointing ride…… *sighs* (Prince Caspian & VODT that is)
        Haha….But, Pepper, if you think about it a *good* adaption and a *faithful* adaption are different. It may be a "good" adaption, like a GOOD movie, but if it doesn't follow the storyline or make the characters right, than it really isn't "faithful". Faithful is something that follows 😉

      • Dylan says:

        Youre right, the Narnia movies just dont have the speed and building up action that LOTR had, even the books were faster paced. Once they get done with Magicians Nephew (if they do that before Silver Chair), the Silver chair and Last Battle will be bringing back the excitement that LWW brought at the begining. Not only will they "good" movies, they will probably be "faithful" movies. In my opinion, it would have just been better if they stuck a little bit closer to the book in VDT and PC, but the movies were still "good".

    • Dylan says:

      I am very pleased that they are making my both of my fav. books from LOTR and Narnia, but releasing around the same time? This is not good for Narnia, beacause it is has almost no competition with Hobbit. Narnia will gain the attractions of families, but if VDT didnt do as good in box office as expected, then whats gonna happen with MN. I mean when VDT was released, there were no fanrtasy movies out (save Harry Potter)so there was really not much of a problem except that people just dint go tosee it, almost as if Narnia has lost its luster to viewers who have not read the book or aren't Christians. I hope they do change the date, and I hope they don't fail at keeping to the true spirit of the book. I hear some people think that Charn is gonna be the origin of the green mist, but I'm not sold on that one, it doesn't sound plausible if you ask me.

  3. Third Comment, again… It's bad that their thinking of releasing it when the Hobbit 2 comes out, but I would reather see MN than H2, since I never saw the first one anyway… 🙂

    • Cristi says:

      Christ's girl says: April 8th, 2011 on 6:04 AM

      Third Comment, again… It’s bad that their thinking of releasing it when the Hobbit 2 comes out, but I would reather see MN than H2, since I never saw the first one anyway… 🙂

      Of course you have not seen the first one. Nobody has. It does not come out until 2012.

  4. Farsight mssngr says:

    Fourth to comment! Wait! They mean that MN will be released 2013 or worse 2014? It's not in the power of Hobbit's box-office (even thou it will make a better gross than MN, not for sure) but why are they doing it farther? they can release it in summer 2012, or early december but not in the same year the Hobbit's release. If they will release MN really far from 2010's VDT, some fans of Narnia can forget the story. and the gap is really too far. Narnia had the 2-3 years gap, but they must begin to film the Magician's Nephew. For me Narnia chronicles is far better than LOTR for Narnia have a great christian studies and moral lessons. Well, what matter what happen, I will be longing to see MN in the big-screen and I will fully support Narnia franchise! GO FURTHER UP AND FURTHER IN FOR NARNIA FRANCHISE!

    • Narnia Fan says:

      I am with you!! NArnia is way much better!! than LTR!!! GO NARNIA!!!

    • Arvan says:

      There's no way they could release another movie next year. These things take a long time to make.

      • farsight-mssngr says:

        YUP, YOU'RE right! making a movie is a very serious thing and it takes long time to finish it. So they must start casting for MN and start producing it!

      • @ farsight-mssngr
        I agree, start CASTING, CASTING, CASTING!!! 😀

    • Dylan says:

      If they release MN in 2014, what are they gonna do, they cant let Will Poulter play Eustace again, he would be way too old. I think its not entirly logical for them to do MN first for 2 reasons, first Poulters age, and second the viewers out there who have never read the books, they would get to confused if they did it out of order, and then they come back to do Silver Chair forgetting what happened in VDT. I think they should just do the series in chronological order, then it would just be a lot better

  5. reepicheep's_fangirl says:

    I'm a little nervous whith where all this is going: back to the VERY beginning, when we were closer than ever to the end, after SC, LB comes. However, I'll have to admit, i'm just glad that there's going to BE another movie. Happy VDT on DVD Day, btw! I'm wearing my Aslan shirt and Narnia silly bandz to commemerate the day! 😉

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      hey!! where do you ger narnia sillybands from???

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        haha, i won them at Regal theater. The had a Narnia contest thingy and i was the only one that entered (i'm not reep's FANGIRL for nothing ;)) and so i won a basket with all three Narnia posters, movie passes, the Narnia Silly Bandz :D, and other cool stuff, like my Aslan shirt 🙂

  6. Not Of This World says:

    I like what he had to say. Ecspesially th part of the undragoning. Wow! Guess what! As I'm writeing this, a Narnia commercial just came on for the DVD and Blueray that comes out today!

    • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

      it must b fate! It's your destiny to buy it!!!! 😀

      • Not Of This World says:

        LOL! 🙂 I hope that the Easter Bunny brings it to us on Easter (I have two younger sibbilings 🙂 ).

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        haha, i have one younger sibling. 🙂
        However, i do not think it is a question of AGE but of MATURITY when it comes to the Easter bunny (and Santa, too). I obviously fail the maturity test. I just want VDT on DVD and candy! 😀

      • Not Of This World says:

        LOL 😀 I agree 🙂

      • LOL…I have 2 younger siblings(a pain but I love them), so fingers crossed for VDT on DVD! 🙂

  7. What's still frustrating me is that they found an excuse for the movie's disappointment that has nothing to do with them. The Narnia franchise box office isn't falling in America because of any book sales correlation. It's falling because of the way the movies are made/marketed.

    I still love the movies, but the more they emphasize money or "popular characters" over a quality movie, the less money they will actually make.

    • Watziznehm says:

      Very well said! (Though I have a slightly different opinion of the films.) It makes no sense to blame the books popularity! Eragon is a pretty popular book, but the movie didn't do well in theaters because it was poor quality! Therefore, I'm a little uneasy that he's insisting on side stepping the fact that they didn't make a top notch film.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      almost no average person in the USA knew it was even opening when it did, just hard core fans waiting for it. And it's not turning out well trying to make a deep meaningful book into a shallow bang em up series, you end up pleasing nobody.

  8. Clive Staples Sibelius says:

    Michael Flaherty said: <<"Visually, I was pleased with it. But yes, there was a response where people wanted to see lion paw firmly placed in dragon flesh and ripping it off. That was a common disappointment.”>>

    I have to take Mr. Flaherty to task here. Seems like he's having a joke on some fans, saything they wanted to see fleshly violence. That isn't necessarily the case. What we wanted was a real, moving undragoning FOCUSED on the undragoning. What we got was a rushed, namby-pamby undragoning that was focused on fighting the green mist.

    I have outlined in another place how this could have happened. Mr Flaherty is right in saying we don't "see" it happen in the book, but nevertheless it is described. My suggestion would have been to have Boy Eustace have that much-missed conversation with Edmund. Having brief flashbacks to the actual event, you can avoid all the skin tearing but still show Dragon Eustace skin-less, and DO show Aslan drag him and drop him into the pool. This is not hard. Even the BBC version showed these events without going all R-rated on us. Grow a backbone.

    Of course, that would have required them to follow the book on a major major point, and that apparantly is out of the question.

    • 8SilverSky says:

      Every now and then I see comments telling that the undragoning was rushed and incorrectly timed. I have to disagree.

      The battle is going on and the audience (we) is wildly anticipating what's going to happen. However, we also know that Eustace is wounded and is not doing "well". At what seems to be a climatic point in the battle, we cut to the undragoning: a moment of noise and crazy to a moment of quiet and serious. We know something important is about to happen. Otherwise we would never have cut away from the battle-scene at all. It works really well.

      Remember, LWW did the exact same thing: Peter's army clashes with the Witch's army, and after some crazy fighting shots, all of a sudden we're back to Lucy and Susan, who then witness Aslan's resurrection. That was very well done.

      • Arvan says:

        That battle should not have even been there, and even so, the undragoning really was rushed. Aslan's resurrection scene is so long that I forget about the battle and actually get caught up in the scene I'm watching. That's good film making. In VDT, I didn't have time to forget about what was happening elsewhere. Indeed, a huge problem with VDT is that we hardly ever get a breather; there's always something big happening. (Also, having Eustace taking part in the battle really does make it look like he earned his undragoning.)

      • 8SilverSky says:

        I agree that the undragoning scene could have benefited from some extra screen time.

        I'm okay with the placement of the battle with the sea-serpent in the movie: if they really had time constraints for the total run of the movie, then another scene with the sea serpent would only have added to the already quick pacing of the movie. Combining the sea-serpent with Dark Island was a well-thought out solution.

        No matter how long Aslan's resurrection scene was, it was still a very small scene compared to the rest of the Battle of Beruna (which, logically, should not have been there either).

        Eustace earning his redemption is a different topic, but I don't think it feels like that. Eustace (cowardly) flees from the battle clearly not wanting to be a part of it any longer, leaving the rest of the crew to fight for themselves.

        Nonetheless, I still really like how the undragoning was adapted; it's probably in my top 3 favourite scenes of VDT.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        if the undragoning scene was any shorter, it would have needed to come with cliff notes to understand it. look at the wiard of oz, when dorothy is back home in bed at the end. feel how time is giving for the audience to digest the scen.e and let it sink into their hearts. then by the time comes for the last line, "there's no place like home", you FEEL it WITH her, not just observe it. Timing is everything, and the undragonibng was like a blip that barely gave your soul time to digest it.

      • 8SilverSky says:

        Yet the undragoning IS memorable.

        I haven't seen The Wizard of Oz. Eustace, like Dorothy I suppose, has some quiet time at the end of VDT where he hangs up the painting, reflecting on the things he learned in Narnia and respecting them. Everyone will remember that the turning point of his character was the undragoning. It's not a scene that easy to forget, and that is what's important.

    • Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!! That conversation between Edmund and Eustace was what the undragonning really lacked! I personally wouldn't have minded if they hadn't showed the undragonning at all, just the conversation where Eustace tells Edmund about it, how he couldn't do it on his own, and then Edmund shares that he was once a traitor. I think the whole movie lacked a bond between Edmund and Eustace – they never really showed a huge relationship between the two in the film, and I missed that from the book. The whole thing would have been much better had they not been in the midst of battle in the first place.

      • stateofgreen says:

        I strongly agree with Clive Sibelius and Ionic Bonding Rocks too on their views of VDT! A lot of interesting relationship dynamics between Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace from the book simply were not explored in this movie. I can't believe Mr. Flaherty says they listen to the Narnia police?

        An Edmund and Eustace scene after the undragoning would have had so much heart in it. I was expecting as much as when Edmund was redeemed in LWW and had the scene where he remeets his family. Those sorts of scenes give a movie emotional intelligence, quality, and HEART! Plus I agree they didn't want to go in depth with any character development at all. I would gladly have character development with heart over dragon flesh ripping or green mist battles any day.

      • Anhun says:

        The problem isn't the lack of policing. It's a lack of inspiration. They had a lot of the nuts and bolts of VDT in there, but there wasn't a strong artistic vision.

        I had no problem with their depiction of the undragoning, I just didn't like the fact that they took out the conversation that happened after wards. I think if the undragoning had been chopped up and told in flashback, it would have lost a lot of it's impact.

      • always narnian says:

        YES! They NEEDED the conversation between Edmund and Eustace. It was such an important & amazing talk! It was so awesome…So good allegory. 🙂 I was not pleased AT ALLL with the undragoning in VDT…..:P

      • stateofgreen says:

        Well if they made the undragoning mainly a standalone scene that was a bit longer and did no flashbacks I would guess it work just as well. What was personally lacking for me was the build up to the dragoning….but I'm repeating myself again. Agreed the visual/artistic inspiration was sorely missing.

      • I actually thought that the way they portrayed the undragonning was okay – it showed that Aslan was the one taking the scales off, while it wasn't at all scary. However, without the conversation following afterwards, it was meaningless. :'( Edmund and Eustace have a unique friendship in the book after Eustace is returned to his human form, because they have so much in common: redemption by the grace of Aslan. Without the conversation in the film, this relationship is non-existent, which disappointed me greatly.

    • stateofgreen says:

      Yes there was a complete lack of creativity in not showing the undragoning in flashback. That could have been done very well with Eustace telling Edmund about it and going to flashbacks about his undragoning without any sea serpent battle at all. But that would mean following the original book plot….

      • Spot on, Stateofgreen. And now we face the heart of the problem… why couldn't they just stick to the plot of the book? (That was a rhetorical question – we know why) I think the more important question is why the filmmakers thought some evil green mist was more exciting than Lewis' amazing story. Yes, audiences like battle scenes. So why didn't they go into more depth in the Lone Islands? It wasn't exactly a battle, but it had strategy in it as well, and I think that audiences enjoy strategy, not just mindless fighting. And what about character development? Contrary to popular VDT filmmaker beliefs, audiences enjoy character development and strong bonds between each of the characters. Which brings us back to the all important CONVERSATION that was MISSING from VDT. In the film, Edmund showed little interest in Eustace's transformation at all! *head desk*

      • stateofgreen says:

        VDT really is another (bit deeper) version of the LWW redemption story. Aslan died for Edmund. With VDT Eustace is dying to his old self. The change to Eustace's character after he was undragoned is another core point that the book more fully showed. That's why Edmund's thoughts about Eustace's conversion are key as you say as Edmund has already been through it all and he could empathize with his cousin's experience.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        Ionic, I read an article from 2001 in "THIS ROCK" magazine that said they were planning on making the chronicles in a more secular fashion to introduce the average audience to it. That's why the christianity is being downplayed. and when you do that to a christian book, they obviously got stuck on plot points and had to invent some more secular angles to the stories. Some people involved quit because of it and commented about it. It's just too bad they couldnt make the series in an earlier age when the christian storyline would have been respected.

      • stateofgreen says:

        @High Queen Shelly Belly-interesting you say that because I had thoughts that if VDT had been made in the '60s it might have been a more faithful version.

  9. Patrick says:

    I can’t see the release date being that much of a problem were LOTR The Hobbit is concerned, they have their fans and Narnia its own. Personally I like and can’t wait to see both and as The Magicians Nephew is my favorite of all the books could not be happier. However we do need Tilda Swinton (who I read is eager to reprise her role as the white witch) and Jim Broadbent as professor Kirke.

  10. Shastafan says:

    They take the "Narnia Police" most seriously? I'd like to agree with that, but VDT doesn't prove that…

    Anyhow, at least the kept Aslan's lines the same at the World's End. That was a relief! And even if the undragoning wasn't the best, I hope people don't see it as Eustace earning it.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      if they did, it's their own predjudice which leads them to misinterpret it.

  11. ANÓNIMO says:

    I HATE JUSTIN BIEBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • FOG (friend of God) says:

      Don't say "hate". Inside he's probably the same as you. Maybe you just don't like the music. Just keep praying for him though. I'm sure he needs it. 🙂

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      JESUS loves him. justin is your brother. and brothers over look each others bad music. LOL

      • Anhun says:

        You obviously don't have any brothers. 😛

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        LOL. wel yes i do have a brother, but he's more into playing hendrix -lol

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        haha, yeah really, High Queen Shelly Belly. I have a LITTLE bro, so the choice of game might b a little different 😉
        Haha, you know i'm just kidding 🙂
        eww, it's kind of scary to think of him as my… *gulp* BROTHER. I mean, ik what u mean and stuff, but still…
        And by the way, what does hating Justin Bieber have to do with Eustace being undragoned? Are we saying Justin Bieber should turn into a dragon? Uh…

      • Not Of This World says:

        Dragon or not, Justin Bieber's voice sonds the same to me 🙂

  12. FOG (friend of God) says:

    I like how smoothly he talks. I think that everyone did a lovely job of all three movies. I know how difficult it can be adapting a slow-going book. "Slow-going" as in you read a chapter and are satisfied then you read the next with the same effect.

    I would have preferred to hear from Andrew Adamson, though, on his thoughts about the movie. I'm sure he sat back and watched the movie thinking, "Now I would have done that differently" or "That wasn't quite what I would have gone for". I know I would have been the same way.

    I'll have to watch VDT tonight one more time to give my full opinion on the movie in its entirety. I plan to write a review ASAP after that. I've gotten my whole family and friends excited about this film. And I have had several "Come to Jesus" talks with the people who didn't like one thing or another about the movie.

  13. ken says:

    Personally I found Aslan clawing the sand while Eustace feels cuts on his dragon skin one of the most profound moments of the story. I am very glad they showed this scene.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      yeah, i thought pawing the ground way more symbolic actually, showing his power MORE by just making a symbolic act- and the secular audience would NEVER have understood if it looked like Eustace was clawed apart by Aslan.

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        I totally agree. I think the scene showed Aslan's majesty and radience as a lion and as the King of Narnia. Simply by leaving a mark in the sand/ roaring, he can totally change a dragon into a boy. I think it almost shows, and i hope this doesn't sound cheesy ;), that if you submit yourself to Aslan, he can renew you help you become a better person.

  14. Braden Woodburn says:

    Very interesting. I just got back from Walmart and bought the 2 disc pack. I didn't want just the movie itself, so I wanted the 2 disc packd with the extras and although it would have been great to have a 3 disc, one of those was for a bluray, which I dont have so it would be pointless. Still, I hope Dawn Treader does well on sales now that it is out today!

    • Pepper says:

      You think you'll be satisfied with a DVD player forever? Just wait till you get a nice big flatscreen, then you'll wish you'd gone ahead and gotten the Blu-Ray combo packs.

  15. Twinimage says:

    Always nice to hear such remarks about these scenes, but that doesn't really make what they did to the rest of the scenes in the films any better.
    It's like an alcoholic saying they recognize they should stop drinking and that they want to stop, but they keep drinking none the less… ok, well, something like that. ;P

  16. Fireflower says:

    I am WAY glad they didn't have Aslan actually rip the dragon skin off of Eustace-dragon! Even though that's what in the book, I think it would have made me sick watching it!

    • Clive Staples Sibelius says:

      There's more than one way to skin a dragon. I just don't think they came up with the best way in the movie.

  17. Queen C The Gentle says:

    OMG…I just finished watching VDT on Blu-Ray, this is my 1st time watching it and I'm still crying…Ed+Lu not reurning to Narnia?Pete+Su weren't in the movie very long…and Caspian has grown into a man.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      I agree, I will miss them!!!!!!!!!!!! seeing Caspian standing all by his lonesome watching the kids leave was heart renching! just seeing the photo chokes me up!

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        ik!!!!! the first time i saw it in theaters, i was with my best friend, and she's not the kind of person that can cry over a movie, if you guys know what i mean. 😉
        But I myself was totally trying to keep myself from sobbing and when "There's A Place For Us" came on, I figured my efforts were pointless. 😉 I mean, "There's a place out there for us/ more than just a prayer/ or anything we've ever dreamed of"? That just about does it.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        I cry buckets when i see the music video with all the clips!!

  18. Lucia says:

    i think they did it well better than PC in VDT.
    I don't know it was the best,but anyway,I love Aslan!!!

  19. Generally I loved Aslan's dialogue at the end. Almost exactly like the book and gave you that strange sense like OMG he's in our world too?! His chat with Lucy in PC was okay, a little cut short of what the book said, but still close and seemed good. And the paws in the sand thing was good, in my opinion, but since the movie was too fast paced it got sped up too and dissapointed people.

    • Pepper says:

      Yes, of course He is in our world too. And yet some people *cough* Liam Neeson *cough* don't realize what his "other Name" is.

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        yes, true, I agree. Sometimes, though, i feel like other people are being… "put down" by others because they're "a secular audience" or "they just don't understand". I don't mean to point fingers at anyone, i really don't, but sometimes i just wonder…

  20. narnia luver says:

    The best overall movie was And always wil be lww, it just has that magic feeling: ))

  21. Clodsley Mole says:

    "Right, but you know what? It's those Narnia police types—the people who understand these books and who love Lewis—that we really pay attention to. There's a lot of people who want to see these films succeed. So when folks who really know Narnia see it and don't like it, we take that a lot more seriously than we do the reviewer who doesn't really have a real interest in the book…. So we try to err in the direction of the people that love these stories."
    Mr Flaherty could have listened to us a lot more carefully while finalising the VDT script. He really could have done.

  22. Non-negotiable Comment says:

    Q: "So what kind of reaction are you getting from those people about Dawn Treader?"

    A: "There's agreement that we are getting things right thematically. In terms of Reepicheep with that Aslan-size hole in his heart, getting that right. In terms of Eustace talking about no matter how hard I tried I couldn't do it myself, the idea that redemption is something that has to be given; it can't be earned. For the most part people have agreed that we've done a good job with those themes."


    I would characterize Eustace's redemption as conflicting and somewhat ambiguous. What he said about it, and what he appeared to have to DO for it, seemed to be at odds with each other. But, at least that's debatable. He can make an argument for that position. I grant that. I wouldn't refer to that sequence as "a good job", but the mediocrity of the overall effect of it was not entirely unexpected, so it didn't bother me irreparably. The portrayal of Reepicheep's longing for Aslan's Country, however, was a COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURE of this film. I would say it was the primary deficiency of the script. And that's saying a lot.

    That was NOT the Reepicheep of C.S. Lewis. Like everything else in the adaptation, he was sedated, dulled, sanitized, misused, ignored, and his contribution almost completely wasted. Mr. Flaherty seems to be a nice enough man, and he claims to want the films to reflect the books. But, when I read something like that, it's very hard to have any faith in the people guiding this ship.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      you are right on, as usual, Non. but i'm happy this Reep was a step up from
      pC's , who was a raving nutcase and totally miscast. when i heard the originaal actors comment on the PC dvd extras, i said to myself-"are you kidding? did ypu even read the book? you are portraying him as the total opposite of his intended character!!" at least VDT veered more toward him being gallant and chivalrous, instead of murder happy for sport.

    • Moonwood says:

      I agree that Reepicheep's character in the movie was not C S Lewis's Reepicheep, that was disappointing…at least they had that great moment on the beach between him and Eustace/dragon,
      but that was not Reepicheep.
      'sedated, dulled, sanitized'–quite right…

  23. Queen C The Gentle says:

    Georgie and Skander if you're reading this then I would like you to know we all love you and will miss you in the Narnia series.

  24. reepicheeps archer says:

    Attention: For all the Suspian romance haters it was like 3 whole years ago! Its done with! OVER! So please drop it!

    • reepicheeps archer says:

      Sorry if I was rude. But its just ridiculous that poeple keep talking about. Anybody agree?

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      i enjoyed Suspian very much. it brought balance to the film for the audience that haden't read the book (which is most of the movie going audience, let's face it.). i thought it needed MORE romance to balance out the endless, mindless battling. keep in mind we had no idea at the time that caspian was 12 in the book.still, they needed to age him up so he wasnt getting engaged at 14 in vdt. and would it even be plausible for 2 people that look like them to be alone at that age and not be attracted after the things they had been through together to bring them close?

      • Anhun says:

        Not sure where you're getting 12. The book doesn't state his age, it only says that he's the same age as Peter, who comes across as being somewhere in his early to mid teens. The Hooper timeline says that Peter is 14 in PC.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        caspian-13: PC 16: VDT and 66: SC says narniaweb character profiles. my bad.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        i keep thinking of the actor in the bbc one , he's so young looking in 'pc.

    • Mayor Wilkins says:

      I don't have a problem with discussing various points from all the movies.
      But for those who still can't wrap their heads around things like Suspian and such, I would have to agree. Get over it and move on. It can't be very healthy to hold on to all of this negativity. At some point you have to make a decision. Way I see it, there are three options available:

      1. Like it.
      2. Learn to like it. This is where I believe some of the Narnia Film Nay-sayers have trouble. An inability to adapt to what is given to you. You may not like The Green Mist at first, but finding a way to enjoy it (or perhaps cope with it) is not impossible. I've done it. I think The Green Mist is awesome. But I had to think about it. I had to use my own imagination. Some purists here have a complete inability to deal with the finished product.
      3. Hate it–but move on. Constantly griping about Suspian or The Green Mist or whatever is not going to accomplish anything. The Narnia films are what they are. Either like it, learn to appreciate it in your own way, or don't like it. But if you hate it, move on.

      • Non-negotiable Comment says:

        But, Mayor Wilkins, YOU constantly gripe about the people who "constantly gripe". Isn't that a form of negativity that YOU should "let go of"? If criticism bothers you so much:

        1) Refute it.
        2) Ignore it.
        3) LEARN from it.

        I love the subtle inference that criticism of something YOU happen to like is somehow "unhealthy". Classic, classic Narniaweb. Thumbs up! Nice job. Heh.

        By the way, I loved the first film, was content with the second, and couldn't stand the third. Does that make me a book purist, or a film apologist? Please define me!

        This place is just awesome. I mean that.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        I guess it boils down that this is a FAN site, not a Hater site, so people get bummed when the flicks are put down TOO harshly.

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        Fair point.

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        What can I say? You're right. When you're right, you're right.

        "YOU constantly gripe about the people who "constantly gripe". Isn’t that a form of negativity that YOU should 'let go of?'"

        *face blush*
        What can I say? I'm sensitive. These movies are something a very much love.
        I get upset when people on a movie fan site tear it to shreds.
        There's nothing more I can say. You do have a point.
        Maybe I really should just ignore it.
        It's a shame though that there is so much in-fighting here between people. And this time I include myself. There seems to be a lot of back and forth fighting. What can I say? It bothers me.

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        Ah, well, Mayor Wilkins, it is a fallen world. Therefore, not all of us can truly appreciate Narnia to it's fullest extent. 😉
        I do get your point, however, it's sad that people totally shred the movies AND others apart as well, due to opposite oppinions, etc. I do appreciate your passion for Narnia, Wilkins, you want what's best for Narnia, and I appreciate that. 🙂

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        I choose Door number 2!!!!!

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        maybe we should start a site where people can go unload about dispointing elements. if i was tech savvy i'd do it, but im not

  25. elton says:

    i cant wait for magicians nephew i think it will be a great film

  26. ~DaughterOfEve~ says:

    Okay, so it seems like they know what needs to be done but they aren't doing it. I was expecting Aslan to dig his claws into Eustace and tear the scales off. That would have been so unique and so amazing! Why did they have to copy something that had already been done?

    I was happy with Aslan's dialogue at the end of the film. it was an improvement from PC but why do they have to make the mistakes, know that they are making a mistake and them have to correct it later? Can't they just do it right the first time? They know what they have to do and if they want to keep the spirit of the books alive then do it!

    MN will be a great film. They just have to do it right and stop relying on the visual effects. There is more to a film than just the vis effects.

  27. PuddleCheep says:

    I'd like to address the descision of releasing MN next instead of SC.

    Really guys. When is the perfect time to make MN? There is no perfect place to do MN. The same thing with HHB. Those 2 books can be read any time before the Last Battle. They're not connected to the Pevensie/Eustace storyline that runs through 5 of the books. Why should we be so mad that the Silver Chair isn't next. You guys would all react the same way if MN was released after SC and before LB. And with the franchise in jeporady, MN is the most likley to rekindle the excitment for Narnia and get enough money to continue the rest of the films.

    For those who think people would forget LWW, Walden could maybe work with Disney to rerelease the film in theatres in 3D like Disney did with Toy Story 1-2 before 3. Also making a new edition of the film for home video will also stir more interest.

    • Anhun says:

      You assume that everyone who is against MN as Narnia 4 feels that way for the same reason. According to you, people think that MN would somehow benefit from being made later rather than sooner. In fact, I have not heard a single person argue that point.

      There are a number of reasons why the pro-SC crowd want that movie next. The most common reason is that people feel that SC would suffer (possibly irreparably) from coming after MN rather than VDT. Some are concerned that Will P would have to be replaced. Others are concerned that the chronological link between VDT and SC will be broken. SC follows the continuing story of the the new hero who is introduced in VDT. To introduce Eustace, switch to a prequel that doesn't even involve him, and then go back to Eustace might confuse audiences.

      My own personal reasons for not wanting MN next are as follows:
      MN is extremely hard to adapt. The entire flow and sense of purpose in the story depends on the psychological narrative, rather than the action or the dialogue. The psychological narrative, when not connected to action or dialogue, is the part of the book that is most likely to be lost in translation when a book is adapted to film. Of course, you can always turn narrative into dialogue, but that can become awkward and tedious after a point. Basically, without the book's connecting narrative, the plot will come across as pointless and incoherent. The movie will get dreadful reviews, and audiences are likely to shun it, having already become leery of the series since Prince Caspian.

      • Moonwood says:

        The lack of narrative ( which is central in the books ) is the main reason the movies have been hard to adapt. Luckily, there are different ways to get around this, with a very good script, music and a lot of creativity.
        Were you are wrong, and it makes it difficult to take you seriously, is were you assume they will not do it right. They have improved since the PC disaster, and there is no way you can know that the movie will be bad, when the producers have not even found someone to write the screenplay.
        Maybe you just can't stop venting your bitterness at not getting SC next…

      • stateofgreen says:

        I think bitterness is the wrong word to use. Disappointment would be a better word. I'm sad they're not making SC but not bitter (that implies that a person really can't ever get over something). If they make the rest of the movies with good quality I would be really happy.

      • Reepicheep says:

        Part of the reason why both PC and VDT failed was because of how far they both deviated from the their respective books. Although it worked with VDT, PC's changes resulted in its Christian messages being drowned out and it became kids going into a fantasy world and killing everyone there, that's why I personally think it's the worst in the series. Whereas LWW was faithful to the spirit and story of the book, and if Walden wises up and makes MN as faithful as it could possibly be, then it will be as successful as LWW, and so will the rest of them.

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        As far as VDT goes, I hear "Best in the series" as often as I hear the opposite.

        I personally enjoyed it A LOT more than "Prince Caspian." As far as the potential success of "The Magician's Nephew" goes, I think there is so much passion for it on the part of the producers and the film makers. Every chance they get, they mention "Magician's Nephew" and it's like a light goes off in their eyes. They WANT to do "MN" with a mad passion. That kind of drive is very likely to produce some kind of success, I would think.

        Tilda Swinton has always seemed equally motivated. She has called it her "favorite" on a number of occasions. So it's probable that she will reprise her role as Jadis in complete glory. And let's face it. Aslan and The White Witch are the most iconic and popular of the film characters. Tons of Neeson and Swinton… I can't see how that could go wrong.

        And now, permit me some selfishness. 😛

        If I get "The Magician's Nephew" film with Tilda Swinton as Jadis and Liam Neeson providing the voice of Aslan…. I'll be happy. That's all I'll need. I'm not saying I wouldn't like to see the other films made. I hope they make all seven. But if I get "MN" with Tilda Swinton, I'll have what I want. As long as I like "The Magician's Nephew" movie, I really don't think commercial success will matter as much to me.

        That said…. there is great potential for commercial success. 😉

      • Non-negotiable Comment says:


        "So certain are you? Always with you, it cannot be done."

        Your arguments regarding the complexity of the story, and the imminent doom of the production, continue to be nonsensical and grossly exaggerated. It's a SIMPLE, beautiful, very easy to follow concept, integrating the creation story with Lewis' patented morality tale of a young boy facing temptation and the possibility of great personal loss. THAT'S ALL THEY HAVE TO FOCUS ON. The rest of the elements are ancillary. Is it easy to adapt? Nothing in life worth doing is "easy". But, I don't see how this is any harder than adapting the story of Jesus as a lion being sacrificed to save four kids from Finchley who walk through a wardrobe the size of a universe and have fish 'n' chips with talking beavers.

        The key to adapting this book, as it is with ALL of the Chronicles, is to focus on what you FEEL after reading it. What does this story MEAN to me? What have the characters just been through? What was the HEART of Lewis' message? To disseminate the information sequentially, and systematically evaluate each individual story element in terms of its ease of cinematic adaptability, is a waste of time, and results (as we have seen with 'Dawn Treader') in a product that is almost completely compromised, entirely devoid of any genuinely moving sentiment, and does not represent the author's intended meaning. What can an INTELLIGENT filmmaker take from the book, and them complement those elements respectfully and coherently with additional material (if necessary), in order to represent the heart of the story in a recognizable and entertaining product of the cinema? THAT is your starting point. Never, EVER evaluate any potential solution to a problem in life with: "Why bother? That won't work!" I mean, if ever there was a message that these books would NEVER want to convey, it's "If you think it's too hard, don't try."


        Why are you so afraid to try ANYTHING that's even the slightest bit ambitious? Your posts just drip with fear, and an outright hostility towards the unconventional. There are no guaranteed successes in life. It's the passion, intelligence, and sheer blood, sweat, and tears of the filmmakers that produce entertaining fare, NOT how "safe" and "easy to adapt" a story is. Have FAITH in the stories. What's the point, otherwise?

      • Anhun says:

        @non-negotiable: First of all, you're wildly exaggerating the difficulties in adapting LWW. LWW is not the story of a Jesus Lion sacrificing himself for a bunch of children who walk through a wardrobe. It is the story of a group of children who discover a magical land, and undertake a journey to save their brother from the clutches of the White Witch. The focus is on the children's perspective, as it is in all of the books, and that sense of perspective is easy to maintain since the children are the focus of most of the book's action. Also, while there are a number of side adventures along the way, the overarching story is pretty straight forward, and they don't lose sight of their mission.

      • Non-negotiable Comment says:


        The point I was making with 'Wardrobe' is that ALL of these books, including the most well known and beloved of them, can *appear* to be unappealing and impossible to adapt, if you want to make a case for them to be so. And you clearly do. It's finding the heart of their magical qualities, as I just said, that makes all of the difference in making a coherent, entertaining cinematic product of reasonably mass appeal without compromising it beyond repair.

        Digory's "mission" in 'The Magician's Nephew' is to learn that he cannot make his mother better by himself, no matter WHAT power he manifests. That easy solutions and quick power only make things much, much worse in the end. This message is VERY clear and CONSISTENT, not only for him, but for Uncle Andrew and (on a far worse scale), Jadis. The book NEVER loses sight of this, and the integration of this message into the beautiful and solemn imagery of Narnia's creation makes for a FANTASTIC story for any filmmaker with the intelligence and drive to represent it appropriately. It is NOT the unworkable mess you are painting it as. I simply do not understand why you are so afraid to try something different, because the status quo is NOT working.

        There is no magic formula for HOW to tell a story. There are only good scripts and bad scripts, and intelligent filmmakers and hacks. I know I am not particularly well liked here because of my near complete loathing of the 'Dawn Treader' film. But, at least I gave it a chance! I was very hopeful of the production up until I actually saw the film. I just don't understand how you can be so completely defeatist and bitter about the IDEA of attempting something that COULD turn out to be very satisfying. You vastly, VASTLY, underestimate both the power of the medium of film, as well as the wonder of these books, in the hands of skillful, passionate craftsmen.

        It's not the structure, it's the story. It's not the tools, it's the carpenter.

      • Anhun says:

        "in the hands of skillful, passionate craftsman." . . .

        You're forgetting that we're talking about the same production company that tried (unsuccessfully) to turn LWW and PC into Lord of the Rings, and turned VDT into "Barney the Purple Dinosaur of the Caribbean."

        We also disagree on the central plot of MN. It is much more complex than a quest to save his mother, although his longing to save her is certainly important to the story. MN is about Digory's spiritual journey from confusion to darkness into light. At the beginning of the story, his whole world has been turned upside down by his mother's illness. Yes, he wants her to get better. But he also longs for answers, although he doesn't know the right questions. In the barren red lands of Charn he plunges into a spiritual darkness. Forgetting about his mother and abusing his friend, he comes face to face with the ugliest part of his own soul. Then, when he comes to Narnia he awakens to his capacity for virtue. Aslan gives him the gift of nobility, honesty, sacrifice, and the truest form of bravery, just as he gives the animals the gift of life and speech. I feel that the symbolism and spiritual metaphor of the book is so powerful, and that Digory is one of the most beautifully developed characters in literature. That's why I have no interest in seeing a shallow, glitzy blockbuster epic version of this book. Also (and again we go back to the structure) that sort of "give the people what they want" treatment will result in a thoroughly lousy movie that almost no one will enjoy.

      • Non-negotiable Comment says:


        My reference to skilled craftsmen is clearly THEORETICAL. We have NO IDEA who is going to write or direct the film. You are speaking in absolutes: "Can't be made! Don't try! No hope! All is lost!". I'm looking at POSSIBILITIES: "The right people with the right approach CAN do this justice." If Walden is intent on treating this book in the same ghastly manner in which they adapted 'Dawn Treader', then, yes, there is SINCERE cause for distress. We don't know ANYTHING about the production yet. I'm HOPING they've learned from their egregious errors with the last film. Your complete defeatism at this point is ridiculous.

        Furthermore, I did NOT state that the story was merely a "quest" for Digory to save his mother. THROUGH his mother's illness, Digory learns to accept that some things are completely out of our control, and we can't force things to be right by taking immoral and dangerous shortcuts. This is the same lesson that Uncle Andrew eventually learns about dabbling in the occult, and one that Jadis never learns about the price of absolute power. These are universal themes about dealing with suffering, pain, and our heart's desires that are CONSISTENTLY stressed throughout the story. The story never "loses sight" of anything. It's a brilliant weaving together of the birth of this fantastic universe with the very basic themes of longing that all of the characters face in some way. Digory had a happy ending, but the point is, we can't FORCE happy endings. We have to hope for the best in life, but be prepared to accept the worst with grace and faith. Once Digory accepted God's will for his mother's life by handing over the silver apple, he came out of that "darkness" that you mentioned. There is NO PROBLEM representing this book on film IF the filmmakers understand the story, and are passionate about representing it faithfully. "Faithfully" does not mean a highlight reel of selective sequences that are word-for-word transcriptions from the book, strung together with no coherent structure, complemented by every fanboy wish list, thrown in with the kitchen sink. It means producing a film that represents the essence of everything I learned from, and loved about, a wonderful book, in a respectful, entertaining, and accessible fashion.

        I refuse to accept that this is impossible, and I refuse to give up on anything just because it's not "easy".

      • Moonwood says:

        Very interesting insite into the depths of MN, Nonny and :
        ' Your posts just drip with fear ' –I love it . . .

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        i don't see ANYTHING hard about adapting MN- it looks pretty easy to me-

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        "Barney the Purple Dinosaur of the Caribbean."

        Funny. 😛

        Except that I very much liked both Eustace Dragon and The Sea Serpent special effects very much.
        I also have to agree with Non-Negotiable on the points of "MN."

        Just my two cents. I think "The Magician's Nephew" has the greatest potential of the remaining books to be as good as "LWW" was if put into the right hands. The core story is solid and would make for a smooth transition onto the big screen. It is not hard to adapt. And it has a small cast for much of the picture.

        The two kids, Jadis and Uncle Andrew for the most part until all the Narnian stuff begins to happen in the middle. That kind of story, with only a few key players, should be easier to follow and could potentially make for interesting relationships.

      • Anhun says:

        [Anhun rolls up her sleeves] Well it looks like I have 3 points to counter-argue, so I'll start with the most absurd.

        1. Non-negotiable said "Digory learns to accept that certain things are outside of his control."

        If anything, the book has the opposite message. Life is full of choices. There are many points in the story where Digory has the power to make choices that will ultimately have a profound effect on him and the people he knows. In Charn, he has the choice to satisfy his curiosity about the bell, or to leave it be and return to the Wood. Against Polly's advice, he chooses to ring the bell, and he gets exactly what he wants. But there are repercussions . . .

        In Narnia, Digory has the choice to take the apple illicitly and give it to his mother, curing her of her cancer. He could have had exactly what he wanted, but as Aslan later explains, there would have been grave repercussions, yet again. Digory decides to have faith in Aslan, and do the right thing for the creatures of Narnia.

        While, the idea of resignation in situations that are beyond your control is important, that is not remotely what the book is about. Choosing to do the right thing when "immoral short cuts" seem so much more appealing is something else altogether. In fact it is worth noting that if Digory was resigned to his mother's death, he would never have considered that he could find the Land of Youth, he would not have gone exploring in other worlds, and he would never have found his way to Narnia.

      • Anhun says:

        2. Shelly said "It looks pretty easy to me."

        In any film, it is important to have an emotional thread. A character, a relationship, or some purpose that takes you from the beginning to the end. Now LWW, SC, and HHB are comparatively easy to adapt (on the script-writing end), because they have all three.

        MN, the book, is purely character-driven. Now, that in and of itself, does not spell doom for a film adaptation. There are plenty of wonderful films that focus on a character, rather than a "quest" or a relationship. Here's the problem: getting the audiences to focus on that character. While the book is told in 3rd person limited from Digory's perspective and, thus, never loses sight of the emotional thread of Digory's inner battles, that sense of perspective is much harder to achieve in film, particularly when the character spends so much of the book on the sidelines watching what's going on.

        Consider what would happen if the film-makers took a purely literal interpretation of the action and dialog of the book:

        We start out the film, and are introduced to Digory and his situation. Audiences become emotionally invested in Digory, and want to see what happens to him. They follow his adventures until he gets to Charn and awakens Jadis from stasis. From the time Jadis comes on the scene, she completely dominates the action and dialog of the book, while Digory is quickly reduced to an overawed observer. In the film version this means that the film will suddenly become "Jadis story." The film will continue to focus on Jadis until everyone arrives in Narnia. Then, like that, it suddenly becomes the story of Aslan and Narnia. Aslan dominates the proceedings until he charges Digory with the task of retrieving the apple. Then, it becomes Digory's story again. This dramatic, periodic shifting in focus will leave audiences with nothing to hang onto emotionally. For much of the film, Digory will be reduced to a "green mist" if you will, a flimsy device connecting random, unrelated events.

        Now, a number of people have mentioned that MN would include a lot of amazing visuals. This is true, but interesting visuals do not in and of themselves sell a movie. It has to come together and make sense.

        Basically, in order to make a version of the film that makes sense and is faithful to the spirit of the book, they will have to make additions and or alterations in order to ensure that the audience stays with Digory. That in and of itself is a potential minefield, particularly if you consider how they handled Peter in PC. Seriously, you don't have to be a "rebel without a cause" in order to have psychological depth.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        switching plots back and forth is taught in scriptwrting 101. Main plot, and subplot weaving in and out for interest. that's what you saw in the sacrifice of aslan and the battle being interwoven, and PC : battling interwoven with lucy meets aslan scene. and battle plus undragonig interwoven.

      • Anhun says:

        I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting. How would that apply to MN, where the "main plot" occurs mostly in Digory's head? Or are do you think they should have the concrete events of the story taking place at the same time? Basically, the problem with that analogy is that "How Jadis found her way to Narnia" and "How Aslan created Narnia" are stages in the story, rather than subplots. They are not the point or purpose of the book, but at the same time they are not secondary or beside the point. Finding the balance between those two extremes will be tricky.

    • Moonwood says:

      Quite right. But forget about Disney, I think; not much chance there.

    • Reepicheep says:

      Dunno, people remember LWW very well, in fact, more so than the last two.

  28. Starprincess says:

    The only thing that stumps me is why they don't consider how much older the actor who plays Eustace will be if they do The Silver Chair after the Magicians Nephew. That's one of the biggest deals that many of us vewers have. I wouldn't like to see another person take that role because the actor has gotten to grown up to play that part. Don't movies take about a year or two during the making process?

    • stateofgreen says:

      We really don't know what Walden/Fox is thinking in regard to Will Poulter's future with the franchise. From the way they've been going I'm inclined to think they are thinking more about dollar signs than that and am really afraid they will take so long to get to making Silver Chair (if they even ever do) that they will have no choice but to do a recast. 🙁

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        they won't recast, he was the biggest hit in vdt. and they are not sticklers for the book ages.

      • Pepper says:

        Even if they do wait so long as to have to re-cast, there's no shortage of spoiled brat kids, surely they can find one that looks and sounds like Poulter. 😉

      • stateofgreen says:

        @High Queen Shelly Belly…can we really know that they won't recast?

      • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

        stateofgreen- no, we cannot be sure, but we CAN hope that her majesty High Queen Shelly Belly is right (great name, btw! ;)). Hoping is the most we can do right now. And besides, maybe we want Will to look a LITTLE older for SC, i mean, there's make up in hollywood, guys 😉
        And Pepper, Will Poultler himself is a very sweet guy, almost anyone that has ever interviewed/worked with him will agree. I find it rather amusing that such a sweet person could act like such a brat. I think that illustrates PERFECTLY what an amazing actor he is. 😉

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        why, thank you fangirl! 🙂 state of green, i will bet you a dollar they won't recast. and i'll bet he has an an agreement signed to do sc if they produce it. believe me, they dont want to recast him.

      • stateofgreen says:

        I'm hoping along with everyone one of you. 😉

  29. Seiko says:

    If they must wait until 2013 than a late November-early December b4 Hobbit 2 (to me it will be the one of that series with the least interest) would be better. Seriously it would be better to release it in November-sure they wont' have the holiday crowd, but what kind of competition will they have?
    But, in any case, I don't think it'll have more competition with Hobbit 1 or 2 than it did with Deathly Hallows before it and then Tron: Legacy right afterwards.

  30. The Inscrutable Rutabaga says:

    Well! I'm glad MN is coming next; I love that book. And the reasoning Mr. Devin Brown gives in the link from the article is very good. Audiences need to remember LWW to get the full picture of MN. The time to make it is now, not later. And it's my favorite book 😉
    As for VotDT… in my opinion it was by no means perfect. But I never yet saw a movie that was. VotDT was different from the book… and yet for me the feel of island to island adventure was the same. Reepicheep was wonderful. I loved him, more than I did in the book, in fact. Some parts were a little rushed… but the scene at the end of the world was powerful and had me in tears of joy and longing. Deep and unquenchable longing for "Aslan's country". I think if only for those few moments (and I quite enjoyed the rest) the whole movie was worth it.

  31. Reepicheep says:

    I don't see why you all hate it so much, I thought it was the best series, even after I read the book AND watched the first two movies before seeing it. I thought the undragoning was fine, although I can think of a way of doing the undragoning with Aslan's claws that isn't R rated. They could've had Aslan clawing the skin off and the skin would come off in layers like shedding, that would've been acceptable, right?

    • Reepicheep says:

      The best in the series I meant.

    • Moonwood says:

      I didn't hare, most liked it, the haters make more noise…

    • Mayor Wilkins says:

      I rank the movies in this order:
      1. LWW
      2. VDT
      3. PC

      Frankly, I've never understood the hatred for "Dawn Treader."
      It's a very moving picture. I loved every minute of it. 😀
      I've watched it about 4 or more times already.

      There's a lot of complaining here.
      I try my best to ignore it. That doesn't always work.

  32. Liz says:

    I liked the VDT film. It's good. Not perfect, but good!
    The first time I liked it, but was somewhat confused by the changes. Luckily I saw it again, and liked it much better.
    I can recommend seeing it several times to everyone!! I'm glad I did! Despite the changes the VDT film is still way better than a lot of films out there; with it's good, sound moral messages. Much better than a lot of stuff, my small pupils watch.
    I look very much forward to the DVD coming out in my country.

  33. Holly says:

    It seems to me that if The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe made the most money, coincidentally being the movie that followed the book the closest, maybe Walden and 20th Century Fox could try the method that has worked the best (sticking with the book) for The Magician's Nephew. I know that they can't put everything in and that a book is different from a movie, but they've really messed with the story lines for the last two books.

  34. Holly says:

    It seems to me that if The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe made the most money, coincidentally being the movie that followed the book the closest, maybe Walden and 20th Century Fox could try the method that has worked the best (sticking with the book) for The Magician's Nephew. I know that they can't put everything in and that a book is different from a movie, but they've really messed with the story lines for the last two movies.

    • stateofgreen says:

      @Holly–That is so completely true! With LWW the additions were the fewest. And when they did add something, like the frozen river scene, it moved the story forward/enforced the existing story/plot rather than completely disrupting it.

  35. Sad-girl says:

    I'm pretty sure none of the narnia movies will do good with the audience unless all of the pevensie children are in it. 🙁 that leaves us with horse and his boy and last battle.

    • Queen Susan the Gental says:

      I'll miss the Pevensies too but in the last battle, sniffle, Susan isn't in it. She turns away from Narnia and Aslan! I can't belive that she doesn't believe!
      (by the way, I REALLY like the Horse and His Boy. It's my favorite book beside the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!)

      • Sad-girl says:

        I love the horse and his boy 😀

      • Cross Trainer says:

        it is possible that Anna Popplewell could be in Last Battle. They could have a shot where the setting changes and shows how she lives in contrast to believing in Narnia, or they could have a conversation between her and one of the brothers where she goes, "do you all still believe those games we used to play? how childish" or something like that. We'll never know until we see. Optimism 🙂

  36. Bob says:

    blah blah blah blah blah. Religion is on the way out, fact is on the way in, and Narnia can survive without all the bible thumping. It's a story, not a sermon.

  37. Jake says:

    I think they succeeded (mostly) in capturing the spirit of Dawn Treader the book in Dawn Treader the film. They certainly did a much better job than with Caspian, and in my humble opinion, they captured the characters even better than they did with TLTWTW.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

    God bless and save them all!

  38. Non-negotiable Comment says:

    Mayor Wilkins, I do understand your frustration. I can speak only for myself, but I say this with the utmost sincerity, and I hope you believe me. When I criticize any aspect of these films, it is never with the intent to upset, inflame, or belittle anyone who likes something I don't. I encourage you, and everyone else who may not share my views, to embrace anything in life that you're convinced you love, and hold on to it dearly. In fact, if there were no films left to make in this series, I would, by default, probably have to agree with you as to the pointlessness of it all. But, that's just it: there ARE more films to be made, and I think, in some small way, legitimate, impassioned criticism can MAYBE make a difference for THOSE films. You never know who might be reading this, and it's important that, in whatever way we can, this community expresses itself, clearly and consistently, regarding what we like, and do NOT like, about the films. I know many, many people are satisfied with the 'Dawn Treader' film. That's perfectly fine. Unfortunately, I cannot accept that the film was, in any way, a worthy adaptation, or a quality product of the cinema.

    'Wardrobe' was imperfect, but oh, so beautiful. I adore it to this day, and I can happily live with its flaws. 'Caspian' tried its darnedest to surpass its rather barren premise. For the most part, I think it is a shockingly admirable adaptation of the most difficult to conceptualize (and dullest) of the books. Did it move me? Not really. Was some of it totally wrong? Actually, a lot of it was. But, I still can't help but admire what Adamson was able to do with it. Technically, it's easily the best of the three films. There's merit to the film, without it being especially endearing or memorable. I give it a respectful nod of the head, without really caring if I ever see it again. And, yes, Moonwood, the accent was "totally stupid". I know, I know.

    'Dawn Treader' was just a marathon of disappointment, shock, disbelief, and near complete disillusionment. It was everything I didn't like about the first two films, but amped up ten times, and without even a cursory attempt to restrain the level of contempt with which the screenwriters seemingly regarded the spirit of honour and nobility at the heart of the story. As a fan, it broke my heart (yes, I have one). It not only broke it, it put it in a blender and made coronary smoothies with it.

    Despite our differing opinions, that doesn't mean we can't find common ground. When I point out what I perceive to be the flaws of the production, it's not to beat anyone over the head, or because I love the sound of my keyboard clacking. What I'm trying to convince people of, and I readily admit that it's often a losing battle, is that, regardless of one's level of satisfaction with 'Dawn Treader' (or either of the previous films), it could have been so much better! These films can STILL be so much better. I just think that this fan base has been shamefully, consistently, taken for granted by the film's producers, and the… passivity… of the reaction here often saddens me.

    I desperately wanted to love all of these films, equally and completely. The truth is, these films have not loved us back as much as we have wanted to love them. In fact, after this last chapter, I think it's verging on an abusive relationship. In short, I gots me some beefs.

    Regardless, I just want people to CONSIDER the possibility that we can demand more. I really think that if you carefully read what I, and others, have to say about our disappointment, that, eventually, you will come to appreciate that the criticism comes from a good place, and that we just may have a point, occasionally.

    This is a very lovely little community, and despite what many think of me, I am not here to "poison" the atmosphere. Yes, Queen Shelly, you are right. This is a fan site. I am a fan. I LOVE these books. LOVE 'EM. I just want so badly for them to be treated better than they have been thus far.

    • Mayor Wilkins says:

      Thanks, Non-negotiable.
      I think we do indeed share some common ground.
      Hopefully, "The Magician's Nephew" will be made a better film if indeed folks are reading these points. 😉 "Magician's Nephew" has so much going for it.

      I'm sorry if I "go off" on people sometimes. I just have become so tired of having to refute criticism and defend what I love. My passions get the better of me. That said, I realize that it's not all bad. There are many people on here that I do enjoy having discussions with. 😉

    • Moonwood says:

      I think you are correct ( I do like VDT, but it is nearly offensive that it was not way way more–plus Aslan scenes cut out !?!? ) It is important to respectfully make known the aspects of the movies we didn't like, for as you wrote, we do not know who may be reading. I think it would be cool if you, I, and Mayor ( and anyone els for that matter ) would work on a concise list of aspects of MN that we feel would be unacceptable to change. Mayor and I started one a while back; at the very least it will be fun to make.
      At best it would show up on the forum often enough ( as we contribute, argue, and whittle it down… ) that there is a chance a producer will see it ( JOHN CLEESE AS UNCLE ANDREW !! )–sorry– as the general opinion of the book fan base, and take it into consideration…

      • Moonwood says:

        I also, LOVE these books…

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        yes, that would be a positive action to take, and send copies to the powers that be also

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        I think the most important scene to include would have to be Jadis tempting Digs in the garden with the silver apple. Tilda Swinton would totally rock that! I should say, that's probably at the top of MY personal list. 😉

  39. claireyy says:

    I don't think they need to change anything in MN, and I don't want them to change anything really. haha. MN has a nice storyline that can include lucy or eustace in it if they want and still can follow the orginal story.
    I am nervous for MN.

    • Mayor Wilkins says:

      Try not to be nervous just yet.
      Changes here or there are inevitable.
      But "MN" will probably be a little easier to translate onto the screen (as opposed, for example, to "PC"), and that should result in less changes to the overall narrative.

      If they get Tilda back to play Jadis, I'll be happy. 😉 That said, there are certain things they really must include in "MN" (in ADDITION) to Tilda Swinton) to get a passing grade from me. For example:

      1. The Bell and the Hammer
      2. Jadis witnessing the creation of Narnia–and hating it.
      ***3. The temptation with the Silver Apple.**** (A big MUST for this)
      4. Aslan's tears when it comes to Digory's mother.

      These are just a few things. I think I'm going to re-read the book before the film comes out, of course.

      • Moonwood says:

        The flash of a thousand stars suddenly appearing, while joining aslan’s song in their icy voices

        ‘We are the empress Jadis’
"A voice in the crowd at the lamp-post calls Jadis ' Hempress of Colney ‘Atch ' Can’t you see the look on Jadis’ face when they all start laughing ?

        The flash of fire ( that burns nobody ) that turns Narnia’s dumb beasts into beasts that are self aware!

        Digory’s temptation by Jadis to eat the fruit of life, and noticing her face now very pale, with that messy stain of fruit around her mouth…

        We MUST see good color on Jadis’ face until she eats the fruit ! —She is not the White Witch yet

        The creation of life must look like it is a direct result of Aslan’s voice

        A faithful, word for word account of the first face to face between Digory and Aslan

        The answer to the comment that Aslan could have supplied them with food for the journey: ( paraphrased ) ‘I think he likes to be asked'

        Mayor :
        1.) I love the moment when Jadis listens to the song/music of the lion and understands it is a magic stronger and different than her own, and so says, "This is a terrible world, we must fly at once. Prepare the magic." I CAN NOT WAIT to see Tilda’s face at this particular moment. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic. Maybe the same kind of thing as her "Impossible" face, only with a lot more anger in it?

        2.)*** The garden temptation of Digory. No question, this MUST be included, pretty much as close to the book as possible. I know Tilda could pull this off. We have seen her temptations in "PC" and "VDT" and they were extremely effective. Just put an apple in her outstretched hand and you’ve got a good start. The Bell and the Hammer

        Aslan’s tears when it comes to Digory’s mother.

        Moonwood says: –this last is a very important image !
        Aslan has not yet touched the children's foreheads with his tongue, either… This is such a lovely display of affection.

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        ‘We are the empress Jadis’
"A voice in the crowd at the lamp-post calls Jadis ‘ Hempress of Colney ‘Atch ‘ Can’t you see the look on Jadis’ face when they all start laughing ?

        Oh yes!! Thousand times yes! Tilda will go nuts on all those guys. Can't wait. 😀

        Moonwood: We MUST see good color on Jadis’ face until she eats the fruit ! —She is not the White Witch yet

        Agreed. But I'm not too worried on this point. I'm sure Isis Mussenden (if she returns for costumes) will do something very special with Jadis's wardrobe. There may be an evolution from chain to ice or from rock and earth to ice. Sort of in reverse from what we saw happen in LWW. LWW moved from ice to chain. We may see the reverse as the film goes along. But she is not the white queen until she eats the apple. I don't think they will ignore this. Even Tilda has read this book, and I'm sure she knows that there is a progression from Empress of Charn to White Witch. 😉

        Moonwood, I think you and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to "The Magician's Nephew." Cheers! 😉

  40. Kelly says:

    Nice to know the produers can admit that they went wrong with PC. After reading this, I'm glad they kept the World's End dialogue with Aslan the same. It stil seems strange to have MN next, but if it gets more money for the rest of the series, then I'm happy. 🙂 I hope they stick to the book more with MN, like they did with LWW.

  41. glumPuddle says:

    Interesting that he says they take the opinions of fans most seriously. Because fans overwhelmingly voted to make SC next.

    • nic says:

      There's a difference between being interested in what is said to automatically agreeing, just like in reading and writing.

      • Mayor Wilkins says:

        I kind of love the assumption that choosing "Magician's Nephew" over "The Silver Chair" was an easy decision for them to make. If you remember, Douglas Gresham and Michael Apted (though he knows less) both said the leading opinion was that "Silver Chair" come next. Add to that the indicators that Eustace would come back, etc…

        They probably wrestled with what to do for a while. Ultimately they chose the one they think is going to make them the most money. Sorry, but they do have to think about money with these ventures. And all those connections to "SC" in "VDT" can be made when that film is made later.

        But to assume they just said "Ooh, 'Magician's Nephew'" is kind of silly. I highly doubt that's how it happened. I also believe they do value the opinion of the fans. But ultimately they chose the movie that would make the most profit. More profit means the likelihood of finishing the whole series.

        Yes, I want "MN" next. I've made no secret of that. But I think it probably came down to this….

        "SC" which could potentially bomb…… and then nothing…..
        Or "MN," which features two of the most iconic characters and a story that ties into the most popular book (and movie), which might be a big success… and then they decide to finish all seven.

        I'd rather have them make all seven than just make a so-so book like "SC" into a so-so movie and scrap the series.

  42. Matt Taylor says:


    The Chronicles of Narnia movie theme on guitar ^ 🙂 Some of you may have seen before.

  43. Matt Taylor says:

    Would prefer 'Silver Chair' next, but would gladly take 'Magician's Nephew' 😉

  44. I really think if they go out of order it would ruin everything. Silver Chair all the way!!! I just ordered the 3 disk VDT too, it should come in soon 🙂

  45. i just wanted to know how dvd sales went on vodt having read the comments–i like non-negotiables comments except i think each successive film better than the previous i cant speak for the illiteracy of the american movie public i didnt cause it the films are worth the cash good investors should consider it a series francis schaeffer would probably approve and be proud to support it with their artistic time thank you

  46. Ted C says:

    The question regarding the end should have been why was the entire end of the movie different from the book? I waited years to see the end translated into film and what was made was not the same. It made me glum.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      this is the official reason why, they decided to make a narnia sereis reching out to the secular audience , hence the christian symbolism has been intentionally watered down.

  47. Fbfnarniagirl99 says:

    I totally agree with Tedc I was a little bummed out about the movie

  48. farsight-mssngr says:

    UHHHH. Narnia on Easter. I Hope that Narnia fans will watch Narnia this holy week and this easter in their dvd's or blu-ray's! Narnia will be a very great movie this holy week and easter. Can't wait for "The Magician's Nephew"! rather than LOTR cause Narnia films teaches us great education and it can bring us closer to GOD ( IF we read the books deeper and watch the movies deeper). They must satrt casting, producing, and as well as FILMING! HAven't anyone of you see C.S. Lewis' 'A year with Aslan' book? It's really great book. I think it's now out at bookstores! LONGING FOR MN! GO FURTHER UP AND FURTHER IN!

  49. Anhun says:

    3. "Your complete defeatism at this point is ridiculous."

    It's not defeatism, it's realism. So far, every one of the the Walden Narnia films has been told in an epic/quest style of storytelling. Every. Single. One.

    Now, in the case of LWW, it kind of worked. The story is pretty straightforward, and the magic and uniqueness of the original book was able to shine through, so that the film rose far above generic fantasy. PC wasn't, in my opinion, nearly as good as LWW, but I don't think the epic treatment was to blame for that. In the case of VDT, it did not fit at all. While I don't think VDT had the potential to be a great film, it could have been much better if they weren't trying to fit it into a generic mold. If they thought VDT could be reworked into a standard quest story, what's to stop them from trying the same with MN?

    • stateofgreen says:

      They're all quests. Agree that the 2nd and 3rd movies were treated too "epic-ly". Personally VDT's a very intimate sort of book for me which they overblew as you say. If only they would let the stories just be themselves. 😉

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        yes, i ,keep hoping for more "pastoral scenes", life on the ship, playing chess, laughing together, actual dialogue, bonding moments, a tour of the ship to lucy and ed, life aboard, etc.

  50. Freya says:

    Anybody checked the numbers lately? VDT is trailing just behind PC now, only $4 mill left and the score is even. It's the little ship that kept sailing. I loved both movies though, great entertainment and good moral.

  51. Non-negotiable Comment says:

    I don't know, Anhun…

    It seems to me that declaring complete and utter defeat without even considering the possibility of how something can be accomplished is far more "absurd" than any of the points I've brought forward. But, I'll leave that to others to decide.

    "If anything, the book has the opposite message. Life is full of choices."

    The exercising of free will is NOT the same thing as being "in control". That's the most dangerous tenet of humanism: that the power to solve our problems is WITHIN us, and is manifested through what WE choose. Baloney. Enlightenment comes with SUBMISSION to God's will. In the garden, Digory witnesses the effect of Jadis' free choice to steal and consume the apple. He doesn't know, exactly, how she will suffer because of it, but he knows that what she has done is WRONG. He understands that serving Aslan is more important than satisfying our own immediate needs. Even more important than saving his mother's life. He acknowledges that his mother may die, but he accepts that she is better off IF that is His will. OBVIOUSLY, Digory is not "resigned" to his mother's death at the beginning of the story. No kidding. He is freed from the burden of watching his mother die when he puts her fate in GOD's hands, NOT his own. It is NOT about what WE decide, it is about having FAITH in what GOD decides FOR us. The right choices cannot be made if one isn't receptive to God's will. Remember the dwarves at the end of 'The Last Battle'? Their stubbornness prevented them from SEEING the truth. Choices are ancillary to submission.

    Digory gained control when he realized that he never HAD control. Stolen, illicit power is the ILLUSION of control. Faith is the real thing.

    THAT is Christianity, THAT is Lewis, and THAT is what these books are "about".

    "It’s not defeatism, it’s realism."

    You can call it "realism" if you want. I call it laziness and a complete lack of vision. It's astounding to me how you condemn Walden's efforts with 'Dawn Treader' when you seemingly share so much with them. You have no faith in the books, you have no faith in the medium of film.

    "If they thought VDT could be reworked into a standard quest story, what’s to stop them from trying the same with MN?"

    We don't KNOW who "THEY" are yet.

    Who is writing the screenplay?

    Who is directing the film?

    Have the producers LEARNED anything from their many mistakes?

    The pieces of the puzzle MATTER. The biggest failure of 'Dawn Treader', to me, wasn't even the horrific script. It was Michael Apted's complete passivity in not CARING that the script WAS awful. This is the SAME thing that happened with his Bond film. He mailed it in because he simply did not have a passion for the material.

    Something along the lines of: "That's what you want? Well, fine, then. I'm just the hired hand."

    The character-driven scripts that he's shot, and had a personal interest in, are INFINITELY superior to his more mercenary attempts like 'Dawn Treader' and 'The World is Not Enough'. When a director CARES about a property, he will FIGHT for it more. He will put more of himself INTO it, and try to preserve its essence. He will find better, more creative, ways to solve problems. The approach and attitude of the filmmakers MEAN EVERYTHING to the final product.

    Maybe you're right. Maybe this will be a colossal cinematic failure. But, you CANNOT ASSUME that it WILL BE. You don't have ANY basis to make that claim. There are as many, if not many more, reasons to believe that the film could be wondrous and beautiful. Unconditional surrender is a nice, safe option, but it sure doesn't accomplish very much.

    "A man on the moon?!" Impossible!

    "The Berlin Wall coming down?!" Never!

    "A black President!!" Dream on!

    Making a good movie out of a beautiful book is within the grasp of humanity, I should think.

    • Anhun says:

      What reasons do we have to think that the film will be that good? Now, I love visualizing. I can sort of imagine a psychologically-driven version of the film that I personally would enjoy. But it would be a very weird movie and would turn off the family audiences that are critical to the commercial success of any Narnia film. The odds are nil to none that they will go with that interpretation.

      What is your visualization for this "great" movie you talk about? Your arguments seem to consist of general analogies and the "we don't know" tag line, rather than specific ideas to support the concept of MN's cinematic potential.

      • Non-negotiable Comment says:

        Anhun, I have never used the "'we don't know' tag" to further ANY argument. I have only used it to demonstrate how weak YOURS are. There's a salient difference. *You* are outright declaring this film to be a complete, abject failure before it's even entered pre-production. *I* am
        saying that yours is an unsupportable viewpoint, because no one knows ANYTHING about the production yet. You can sit there and type until your fingertips turn blue, but you have NO BASIS to declare ANYTHING as a complete certainty about the film yet, apart from your obvious bitterness that it's being made. THAT, I grant you, is certain.

        Additionally, you have the word "great" in quotes. Where in these comments have I used that word in connection with an hypothetical film? Unlike you, I have made no absolute declarations about it, whatsoever. What I have said, CONSISTENTLY, is that:

        a) It's a beautiful book.
        b) It is POSSIBLE to make a wondrous film from a beautiful book, no matter how "hard" YOU might think it is to adapt.

        In short, you're accusing me of having (*gasp!*) HOPE! Yes! I do! I readily admit to that.

        My HOPE (in no particular order) for this film is based on the following:

        1) Tilda Swinton. A beefy role for an Oscar-winning actress that the audience loves as "Jadis". Swinton has repeatedly stated how much she would love to portray Jadis in this film. Again, never underestimate the significance of motivated creative talent. Passion makes a world of difference to artists. I would love to see her do the younger, genocidal Jadis justice.

        2) Audiences love villains. You can't get much more villainous than murdering every last living thing in your civilization, merely to retain power. Cataloging the scope of Jadis' sheer evil, again, has a lot of potential to be fascinating. She really does take villainy to a completely different level. There's a lot of potential for the writers there.

        3) Seeing an entirely new world that we've never explored in the films before. Charn could be fantastic on-screen. Not only its sheer desolation and barrenness as Digory and Polly find it in its final days, but the effect of Jadis speaking The Deplorable World. How will this be portrayed, cinematically, to convey the sense of total, mass destruction on a global scale? This is some of the imagery from the book that we want to see on-screen that could be incredibly moving. These are not just mindless visuals intended for eye candy. That's potential for FANTASTIC drama, and I WANT to see it, even as just a flashback.

        4) Audiences also love "fish-out-of-water" stories. Jadis' time in Victorian London has a lot of entertainment potential. I could see this sequence expanded a bit for the film.

        5) A more substantive role for OUR world in the film. Polly and Digory's lives are "grounded" in our world, more so than any of the children in the other stories. There's a subtle progression from our reality into that new, unknown one that gives everything so much more dramatic weight. Theirs is a repressive, ultra-conservative era that would seem, from a cinematic perspective, especially grey in the eyes of young children whose imaginations are so fertile. That Victorian world would contrast superbly against the unimaginable spectrum of colours of a universe being born.

        6) King Frank and Queen Helen. I love the fact that the first King and Queen of Narnia are a humble cabbie and his wife. This so wonderfully depicts how Aslan values what's in our heart, not in our pedigree or résumé. Frank's humility and self-doubt only endear him to the reader even more, and when Aslan starts itemizing the duties of a King, Lewis breaks everything down so elegantly and succinctly, that it just seems so obvious what a true sovereign is:

        "Can you rule these creatures kindly and fairly, remembering that they are not slaves, like the dumb beasts of the world you were born in, but Talking Beasts and free subjects?"

        THAT is BEAUTIFUL. *I* want to see THAT in a film. I don't know if an audience would be as moved by that as I am, but I sure HOPE so. I THINK they might be.

        7) Digory's fantastic personal journey. You and I don't agree on what that is. I think you're missing out on something great. Digory, Uncle Andrew, and Jadis all long for the power of control. Everyone does at some point, to varying degrees. This is very easy for an audience to understand and relate to.

        8) Aslan singing that universe into existence. How they will portray this, I have no idea. That's not MY problem. I only know that, IF they find a way to do it justice, it could be mind-blowing. Again, it's not just mindless imagery. The idea of life being created on a universal scale, out of complete, total love, is something that I want to see portrayed on the big screen.

        9) The creation story itself. This is a component of every major faith. It has universal appeal. Integrating it into the fabric of the story gives everyone in the audience something that they're familiar with, whether or not they see it as fact or myth. It's done in an entertaining fashion, that's both familiar and unique.

        10) The "Reward" Factor.
        One of the reasons why I love 'The Magician's Nephew' is because it explains so many tiny details about 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' without diminishing them. Often, authors never want to explain "why" something exists, or what its purpose is, because they don't want to demystify it, or (more often, probably) they HAVE no explanation for it. Lewis explains why there's a lamp post in the woods, and why the wardrobe is magical, and he does it in a fantastically imaginative manner that ties these two chapters in Narnian history together, organically and seamlessly. The book is a gift to fans. I feel that on every page. It pains me when I talk to people who have read 'The Magician's Nephew' as the "first" book in the series, because I think they lose out on so much by not experiencing that joy AFTER reading the other books. I think the film could serve a similar purpose, if not to the same degree. Books are more intimate, and subtle moments can pass so much more quickly on film, but I think that same kind of "Oh, neat! I understand that now!" appeal could be there for the adaptation.

        11) Strawberry's transformation into Fledge. Another wonderfully insightful sequence that intelligently considers what a suddenly sentient animal might think about his treatment over the years, and how his former master might interpret things differently:

        "What?" said the Cabby. "Not know me? Me what used to bring you hot mash of an evening when you was out of sorts? Me what rubbed you down proper? Me what never forgot to put your cloth on you if you was standing in the cold? I wouldn't have thought it of you, Strawberry."

        "Yes, you used to tie a horrid black thing behind me and then hit me to make it run…"

        That must have hurt Frank terribly to hear that. But, it's something that I had never considered before. What WOULD an animal say if it could speak? I think most of us assume (as Frank did) that our dogs or cats or whatever would just tell us how wonderful we are. But, would they, REALLY? This is a brilliant way of Lewis reminding us that animals are gifts from God ENTRUSTED to us. Be kind to them, and consider them always. Everyone can relate to a moment like that. I would LOVE to see THAT, as well.

        There are eleven reasons off the top of my head. Other than that, I have no basis for hope at all!

        Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you a brief summary of our two approaches to this film:


        Anhun's: "Don't even bother."

        I leave it your hands to decide which is the better approach. Happy Easter.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        Non, you are a fantastic writer!! I'd love to see a whole blog on your narnian commentaries! I've learned so much from you!!

  52. PuddleCheep says:

    I recently saw VDT and HATED IT! I spent over half the movie saying (out loud) "That wasn't in the book!" It was fine for about 10 to 15 minutes. When the swords and changing the islands around came around is when it turned awful. I really liked Prince Caspian despite everyone saying a lot of the Christianity was taken out. The only way I think they did that was when Aslan says he grows every time Lucy grows. The other changes I could handle and actually liked. The only problem for me was Susan kissing Caspian. But VDT made PC look even better. I liked the special effects a lot but after seeing it, I said, "C.S. Lewis would hate this film!" I cannot believe Doug Gresham let Fox do this to one of the best of the series. I really wish disney kept the franchise going. At least they know how to keep most of the original story.

  53. Lauralinda says:

    For me, the thing that I am most disappointed with is the way they altered Peter and Edmund's characters by making them angry that they are not kings in our world. If they understood they books, they would understand that this is not who they are. Edmund is Edmund the Just, and with reason. That does not leave him when he returns to our world.

    If the writers truly understood the characters, PC would not have been nearly the disaster that it was. In VDT, I was okay with the green mist, it didn't alter the characters. But I agree with those who wish the dialogue between Edmund and Eustace after the "undragoning" was sorely missed as it was a missed opportunity in bonding those two characters.

    • Dylan says:

      I agree, I do not like the way they portrayed Ed and Peter, but the main problem I saw, was that Lucy was obsessed with being pretty. I mean, whats up with that, she already knows what shes gonna be like when shes older as a queen, so why does she care so much, its ridiculous. They should have just stuck to the book where she wondered what her friends thought of her, instead of wanting to be pretty. The Book of Incantations had no spells to be pretty, according to the book. I think if they want to be succesful with MN, STAY TO THE BOOK!

      • Bookwyrm says:

        You might want to re-read the book. There is a Beauty Beyond the Lot of Mortals spell that Lucy almost uses. The fact that Aslan warns her off from using it causes her to speak the eavesdropping spell because she's angry at not being allowed to make herself beautiful.

  54. fbfnarniagirl99 says:

    i totally agree with you Lauralinda i meanif they're going to make these movies they should at least get to know the characters so that you get to know what kind of person the are in the movie and the book

  55. Michael McDaid says:

    “With all the Aslan parts, particularly the dialogue, there’s always a very spirited and healthy discussion, and generally any time there’s a discussion, the tie goes to C. S. Lewis. So we always come to the agreement, ‘Listen, let’s not think that we can reinterpret this and do a better job than Lewis. If we disagree about this, if people think there are different ways to say this, let’s just make sure we preserve what Lewis said.’ That’s a mistake we made with Prince Caspian, where we changed Aslan’s dialogue with Lucy.”
    Yeah who can do a better job than C.S. Lewis. I can't believe they changed Aslan's dialogue in Prince Caspian. Hope to see Magician's Nephew green lit. I am sure it will be but the budget may be only $100-$125 million so Fox can maximize profits. I am not sure how much percentage Fox and Walden Media get and who has to put in what. But I doubt they will pass on this movie. Especially since internationally this movie was a hit. It just did not do well enough domestically and that may have been the lack of trying to bring churches into the mix. They will not make that mistake again.

    • Anhun says:

      The lack of trying to bring churches into the mix? They bent over backwards to pander to the christian community, giving pastors advanced screenings, putting out educational materials based on the film. They also made the moral themes much more simplified and overt in the movie than they were in the book, so that it was easier to use VDT as a Sunday school lesson. Faith-based marketing was their main strategy in the US and the attempt blew up in their faces. On the other hand, VDT did pretty respectably in countries where the marketing strategy was more secular.

      The Christian community were not solely responsible for LWW's baffo success, and they didn't support VDT. If there is one thing Fox/Walden have learned from VDT's failure in the US, it was that focusing on Christian audiences will get this franchise nowhere.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        pandering to the SECULAR audience is what is sinking this franchise- the last 2 movies wee secularized and butchered.

      • Non-negotiable Comment says:

        I would argue that they've "pandered" to non-Christians even more by completely stripping Aslan of his divine nature, and replacing it with clichéd humanist platitudes. The point is, don't "pander" to ANYONE. Just respect the books. The Christian message IN the books will come out if the material is respected, yet still be sufficiently subtle as to not "offend" non-Christians. Lewis already thought of this. Why do they even need to discuss it with focus groups? I hate the involvement of anyone who is not a filmmaker in the production of films.

      • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

        actually, iv'e heard about some of the biggest hit movies that changed the ending, for the BETTER, after test audiences said they hated the ending. Like pretty in pink, pretty woman, a couple others i cant think of specifically.

  56. What an encouraging bunch of comments! Really. Haven't visited in a long while. Been so depressed over the hijacking of the DT & PC. But am enjoying the Aslanic insights echoing my own critiques, fears & hopes. Could they possibly resurrect this schitzo franchise with the simple, hilarious, human, profound story of MN?! I mean– The creation of Narnia! The origins of narnia visits! A mom's miracle healing! How do you blow that? I have hope. Thanks fellow Narnians.

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