Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader|
Actors: Warwick Davis, Jonathan R. Scott, Sophie Wilcox, David Thwaites, William Todd Jones
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Television
Prince Caspian calls Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susan back to the magical land of Narnia in his most harrowing time of need. Led by Aslan, the children help young Caspian to defeat the corrupt King Miraz, and restore Narnia ... more »
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Kurt A. Johnson | North-Central Illinois, USA | 08/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Preparing for their summer, Lucy, Peter, Susan and Edmund suddenly find themselves summoned back to Narnia. A lot has changed since they were last there, centuries have passed, and many humans of Narnia no longer believe in Aslan, dwarves or talking animals. Among those who do, though, is Prince Caspian, future King of Narnia. Caspian's uncle is trying to kill him, and he needs the children's help. [Color, originally aired in 1989, with a running time of 1 hour.]The second story picks up Lucy and Edmund visiting their cousin Eustace. When the three children are drawn into Narnia, they join an adult King Caspian on his quest to discover the fate of seven of his father's counselors who were banished under the regime of King Miraz. Adventure and lessons await the children and the crew of the Dawn Treader! [Color, originally aired in 1989, with a running time of 2 hours.]These movies (actually three television episodes) appear to be based quite closely on C.S. Lewis's books of the same titles, though I must admit that I haven't read the books for a long time. Overall, I found the acting better in these movies, and the special effects much better. (Also, the character Reepicheep is played by Warwick Davis, the star of the movie Willow.)Once again, I liked the lessons that these movies taught, and the Christian themes that run through it. My children enjoyed watching it (an important consideration), and we all liked discussing it. I think that this is a great family movie, one that I highly recommend to you!"
Voyage into another world
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 10/17/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In the December, C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" will follow in the footsteps of Lewis' pal Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings Trilogy," with a gleaming new big-screen adaptation, full of top-notch CGI, costumes and settings.
In the months before it's released, however, it might be time to dust off the 1990 BBC adaptations of "Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader," crammed into one long movie. The first half suffers from the hokey production of the first film, but the second half blossoms into a fantastical sea voyage.
It's been months since the Pevensies went to Narnia through the wardrobe, and now they waiting for a grim summer vacation. But they don't know what changes have gone on in Narnia. Young Prince Caspian has been raised by his cold uncle King Miraz (Robert Lang) ever since his father's death, with only an old nurse and an aged part-dwarf professor as his friends.
But when Miraz's queen has a baby son, Caspian finds himself on the run, and is taken in by the "Creatures in Hiding," talking beasts and magical people. But that isn't enough to ensure victory. Caspian blows the Horn of Queen Susan, and the Pevensies are whisked back into Narnia to assist the young Prince and his ragtag army in reclaiming his throne.
No sooner have Lucy and Edmund gone to their "awful cousin Eustace"'s house, than a painting on the wall draws them in -- and deposits all three kids beside a giant Narnian ship. Caspian, now a young man, takes them on board and explains that he's on a mission to find some loyal lords who Miraz exiled from Narnia.
But the voyage only gets more dangerous, with the group being captured by slavers, consumed with greed over "gold water," taken captive by invisible creatures, attacked by sea serpents, and Eustace is even turned into a dragon when he greedily claims a treasure trove. But the greatest threat is ahead: the very edge of the world.
It's a tricky thing to take two books and mash them together into one big movie, and it's a credit to the BBC that these stories aren't completely unwatchable. In fact, they unfold at a quick but steady pace, paying plenty of attention to the individual characters. The first half has several flaws, but the second half makes up for that in drama and severity.
This is less fantastical and more battle-oriented than the first movie of this series, especially given Peter's rather flat duel with Miraz right before war breaks out. But the filmmakers take time out to dwell on the minor characters like the sailors, Reepicheep the warrior mouse, and the lovably skeptical dwarf Trumpkin. You gotta love someone called "Big Mick."
Unfortunately, the movies do suffer from some decidedly hokey special effects; dragon-Eustace shifts size and looks absurd, and Miraz's army is clad in Ye Olde Dungeone and Dragone Armoure, complete with black bat motif. Very "Batman goes to the Renaissance Faire." The special effects are redeemed somewhat with a dazzling Dawn Treader, creepy Sea Serpent, and a centaur that still looks better than "Harry Potter's."
Barbara Kellerman still cackles and squeals, and Sophie Wilcox still whines all the time. But the two Caspian actors do an excellent job with their roles, both as a young naive boy and as an experienced king. David Thwaites is the breakout role here, taking Eustace from a whiny brat who gets under everyone's skin to a mature young man who thinks of others first.
Two stories in one -- the first rather flat, the second graced with some genuine chills and heartwarming moments. "Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader" has some serious flaws, but it's definitely worth watching."
Another two adventures in the magical land of Narnia
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 05/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Granted, the special effects in the BBC's adaptation of the C.S. Lewis Narnia series are minimalist. The animatronics of Aslan, the original lion king, are less than what Abraham Lincoln was doing in the Hall of Presidents at Disneyland forty years ago. But somehow in the final analysis that does not really matter for enjoying either "Prince Caspian" or "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." All of the kids who end up in the magical land of Narnia treat Aslan as if he was real and the production has great costumes and above average sets. Beyond all that, the stories are enthralling enough that the limitations of the special effects end up being rather inconsequential.
"Prince Caspian" finds Lucy (Sophie Wilcox), Edmund (Jonathan R. Scott), Susan (Sophie Cook), and Peter (Richard Dempsey) return to Narnia, not through the wardrobe but in response to the call of Prince Caspian (Jean Marc Perret), the nephew of the King Miraz, the despot who is now ruling the land. The evil king wants to kill Caspian, the rightful heir to the throne, and it is up to the four siblings to take up arms and magic potions to help those who follow Aslan's banner to set thing to right.
"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" begins with Lucy, Edmund, and their annoyingly obnoxious cousin Eustace Scrubb (David Thwaites) being drawn into a painting of the Dawn Treader. Aboard they find Caspian (Samuel West), now King of Narnia, who is on a voyage to find the seven lords of Narnia that were banished by the evil Miraz. Consequently we have a series of visits to various islands offering a whole variety of adventures, which makes this the much more ambitious story of the pair on this video (and twice as long). The major subplot is getting Eustace to grow up, stop acting like a spoiled brat, and accept the fact that this is Narnia and there is no British Consul to be found.
Some people will not be happy with the limitations of this television production, but it is a television production and certainly in keeping with the grand tradition of other BBC productions we have seen in the past. Aside from the special effects the look of the production is totally appropriate. The children tend to act like children for the most part, even when they are dressed up in armor and whacking at people with swords (think about it; that is rather hard to carry off). Yes, this production is not as good as the books they are based on, but we knew that going in boys and girls. For those who need special effects to be first and foremost, a new production is coming out soon that may rectify that supposed deficiency. But hopefully it will have the heart and soul of this one."
An Improvement over the Last
Jedidiah Palosaari | Fes, Morocco | 04/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These two books come to life are better than the first attempt, with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Perhaps because special effects are less called for in these two books, the poor quality of the movie effects is less visible than it was in the first movie. But there are definite improvements too. The costumes look much more real- I don't think that's a person in a badger costume, I think that's a rather large badger, albeit still primitively done. It helped that in some cases they used shorter people in this movie. The centaur is superbly done, as a computer is actually used, planting a human body over a horse. There is thankfully very little of the rather silly drawings on the film that were so common-place in the first movie. And it is always a challenge to do a movie on water. With such a low budget, I was thinking they would not be able to do a convincing Dawn Treader. But it is very convincing, and very like the book's description of a small boat that can service 40 men.
The children's acting, while good in the first movie, has also improved. And the new actor, playing Eustace, greatly adds, as you feel he is a total prig, but then also feel his deep emotions as he becomes a dragon and changes through his whole being.
While most of the sets look like they are some place in England, frankly, in Lewis' mind, they probably were someplace in England. That's how he writes most of his books, from his imagination growing up, and what he had seen.
The main draw back to the movie is less authenticity and faithfulness to the texts. It happens when you put two books into one 2 hour movie. There are major sections of Prince Caspian missing, and parts that feel rushed and unexplained, leaving the first half somewhat more boring. The climatic scenes in which Aslan makes everything in Narnia set right again are missing- but again, this would have required a bigger budget to create, with trees winding over bridges and tearing them down. There is no explanation of how the humans came to dominate Narnia, or where they go afterward (as there was in the book). Some of the best theological bits from Dawn Treader are missing- as when Lucy eavesdrops on her sister, and learns from Aslan that no man is given to know what might have been. Or when Aslan has to dig his claws into Eustace the Dragon to remove the skin that Eustace can't remove himself. Two longer movies could have made these adaptations even better.
Prince Caspian (Narnia)
The Silver Chair"