Saturday, April 9, 2011

FILMonBLU-RAY: The Chronicles of Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Review)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
2010 - 20th Century Fox
Released on Blu-Ray & DVD on April 8, 2011

# of Discs: 3 (Blu-Ray, DVD & Digital Copy)
Runtime: 113 minutes

The third film set in the magical world from C.S. Lewis' fantasy books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader takes place three years after the events of Prince Caspian and brings back Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley) to the world of Narnia. This time around their crabby cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) comes along when the three are swallowed into a painting back to Narnia where they join King Caspian (Ben Barnes) and crew on the magnificent Dawn Treader. They find themselves on a wondrous journey through uncharted seas, mysterious islands and confront their very own fears to save Narnia once again.

Much of the story has the characters traveling on the Dawn Treader, a majestically designed ship that was the clear focal point for the film. They visit several islands on their journey to rescue the seven Lords of Narnia that were once banished, each island with its own look and problems. The Lone Islands is their first stop where they battle slave traders and become aware of a mysterious green mist that people were being sacrificed to. Later islands reveal a magical pool that transforms anything it touches into gold, cursed treasure that turns Eustace into a dragon and Aslan's Table where three of the lost lords sit in a spelled sleep.

Much like the characters' zigzag journey, the navigation for the special features disc is much the same. It is a cute idea to separate the features with a map display of the islands the characters visit, something I have seen before on older DVDs like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but it is also a frustrating method to use to get around. Without a detailed explanation of what each extra is and where it is to be found, users are left wandering aimlessly and having to guess at the titles of the extras as to what content is held inside.

The packaging is very much like the navigation of the special features, an original design that veers away from the typical Blu-Ray case and instead the cardboard structure has folds with sleeves where sit the discs on each side and the middle holds a selection postcards with photos from the film.

Whether it is a result of knowing that Disney was no longer involved with the film series or not, there was a definite look and feel to the Voyage of the Dawn Treader that was different from its predecessors. Despite the film nearly being two hours in length, the story felt like it needed ten to fifteen more minutes to help support some of the character developments that happen between Lucy and her sense of self and with Edmund and Caspian.

Having not read the book I cannot speak towards the adapting of the story, but some points like the Dufflepud characters seemed more silly and pointless than useful to the story or the main characters. Eustace was wonderfully portrayed as an annoying boy, and that made the transformation of his character along with the bonding to Reepicheep that much more compelling. Fans of the previous films should find this next chapter in the story an interesting watch as well as fans of actors Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley, who have both matured as actors and shine in this film with their elevated roles.

Look to buy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Blu-Ray over at Amazon for only $19.99.
Check out GeekPlate's Tumblr for today's The Chronicles of Narnia themed picspam.

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