Why Prince Caspian Still Divides Fans | Talking Beasts
Podcast: Play in new window | Embed
Podcast: Play in new window | Embed
Today marks 15 years since the release of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, a film adaptation that continues to divide readers of the beloved book. In this episode, the podcasters take a fresh look at the movie.
Watch the post-show chatter.
Something I think is really refreshing about rewatching the first two Narnia movies is how they’re clearly trying to make the CGI feel real and solid. I feel like modern fantasy popcorn movies, at least those for kids, have given up on making the effects look real. Even watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which came out two years after Prince Caspian, you can see this. Everything is so obviously animated. Not saying every effect in the first two Narnia movies is perfect but I feel like they’re always trying to make them look real.
Something the Narnia movies weren’t good at, which Rilian touches on in this podcast episode, was exposition. This wasn’t as much of a problem with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe since that’s the simplest story that requires the least exposition. But even with that movie, the characters say they’re going to meet Aslan at the Stone Table but then we never see the Table until Aslan’s death scene. For book fans, as opposed to “normal” viewers, this wasn’t so bad with the first two movies since we already knew the exposition from the book. But it got really confusing with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader where the central conflict was completely original. (Original in the sense that it wasn’t in the book. I wouldn’t say it was the most original story ever.)
I agree that the movie did a good job of making Aslan a big presence in the movie in that you’re thinking about him when he’s not there. I also agree that it was a dumb idea to have the mice mourn Reepicheep with bagpipes. What were the filmmakers thinking?
I don’t really agree with Glumpuddle about the first Narnia movie not establishing Old Narnia very well. I guess I’d say it’s not as great as book, mostly because of how they adapted the beavers, but I think Tumnus’s cave and his whole scene with Lucy establishes Narnia as a charming and magical place. Of course, that’s one of those subjective things.
I honestly kind of love the night raid (minus the stuff about Caspian’s father which is disappointingly cliche and boring.) I really enjoy how they incorporated the strengths and weaknesses of the different Narnian creatures and the details of how things spiral out of control. It might be the only action scene in the three Narnia movies that I find interesting. (That’s not to say I hate every other action scene. They just don’t interest me that much.)
I’d like to push back against what Glumpuddle said about Aslan not doing anything in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie. Did he really do that much in the book? I guess he did stop Edmund and Caspian from fighting, and he did guide the ship out of Dark Island, which he doesn’t in the movie. (He also destroys Dark Island, but I know Glumpuddle dislikes that plot point.) But he still doesn’t do that much compared to the other Narnia stories.
I don’t really agree with Rilian about chivalry being the main theme of the book, but like he says, it’s subjective. I really don’t get what he means about the book being about Peter being a role model for Caspian. I mean, he is but only for a couple of chapters. And those chapters don’t even focus on it that much. I suspect Rilian’s love for the characters of Peter and Reepicheep may be giving him a skewed perspective. But then again, the ideal of chivalry doesn’t have that much appeal to me, so I’m biased too. For the record, I wouldn’t say chivalry is absent or unimportant from the book’s themes. I just don’t see it as the main thing. I heartily agree with Rilian that the movie fails to evoke the romanticism of the Old Days, which makes for a much less emotionally resonant victory at the end. That might be the movie’s biggest problem.
And yet for all that…I still really enjoy it.
I remember following news update on Narniaweb while I was in anticipation of the Prince Caspian movie. This was long before I’ve joined Narniaweb, though.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Caspian and Susan romance. I thought it was a bit forced. I kind of get it’s a cultural and trending thing in Hollywood. Though I’m sure a lot of us are getting tired of a romantic sub-plot being forced into just about every Hollywood production.
I am actually one on one with Glumpuddle with how the movie added so much depth about the sadness that the old days are gone. Sadly though, they cut out the romp with Bacchus and Silenus and freeing the school children. While they had a military victory, but the joy was missing.
I’ve actually liked how they fleshed out Glozelle, by making him sympathetic and conflicted. In the book, he and Sospesian weren’t all that loyal to Miraz. In the movie, while Glozelle was serving as a general under Miraz, he was conflicted about whether he was all that loyal to Miraz or not. That was a change that I’ve actually liked.
So while not a perfect movie, I still enjoy for what it is.
The movie is enjoyable, but there are some problems with the story adaptation. The actor playing Caspian was much too old for the role, and the character of Aslan was placed too much in the background when compared to the book. There was too much made of the battle scenes such as the scene of the castle raid, which was not in the book, and not enough was made of Aslan’s appearances to Lucy. I didn’t like it as much as The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe, which was much more faithful to what Lewis wrote. I postponed buying the blu-ray until several years after I bought the first and third movies, but I finally decided to own it along with the other two films. So I did like it better later, although it is still not my favorite of the three films. I had to be a completist and I enjoyed the music so I also purchased all three soundtracks. I wouldn’t discourage owning all three of the films even if you don’t love all three of them equally.
I enjoyed it – it was my first Narnia experience, also went with friends to the theater actually on a road trip and we were trying to figure out something to do the night before a close friend’s wedding, so it was a fun and memorable experience for that as well.
By the way, I keep seeing a web ad for binoculars pop up and either the guy in the ad is glumpuddle or someone who could be his twin.
Prince Caspian was okay, interestingly enough, I just watched a fan edit of Prince Caspian with Night Raid scene taken out and the Susapian romance taken out and I enjoyed it a lot more. My problem with the Night Raid was not so much that it wasn’t in the book, but that I disliked Prince Caspian for a while because of that scene. But, as much as I dislike the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie, Ben Barnes was a really good King Caspian. I almost wish that they had chosen a different actor for Prince Caspian and let Ben Barnes just be King Caspian.
I understand why they made Caspian older because they still wanted to make him a similar age to Peter and since William Moseley was older than his book age, they did have to cast someone who was older than 13 but, I still wish they had gone with a 16 year old instead of Ben Barnes who was 20 or something. The romance was unnecessary but, I get it all the movies around that time had romance in them, so, it would be hard for Hollywood to push away from it.