A couple of weeks ago the latest installment of the Narnia film series was released. We went on opening night and I really loved it! I guess I can't say I was more excited to see this than I was to see the latest Harry Potter, but I did have to think about it for a few minutes. I get more into the hype of HP, but Narnia makes me feel all happy and warm inside.
It was wonderful to see that with a new director and even a new studio, the film is very consistent with the world and feeling created by the first two movies. It feels very much like a believable continuation, picking up with a slightly older Edmund and Lucy, as well as newcomer Eustace Clarence Scrubb as they join King Caspian on board The Dawn Treader. It was great to see Caspian again (having by now thankfully ditched the distracting accent in favor of his natural English inflection), and Eustace was a nice addition, though I'm afraid to say the actor chosen was sort of repulsive at times (and yes, I know that's sort of the point of Eustace, at least at the start, but it made it kind of difficult to even watch him act for a while). The (almost completely) returning cast are always great to see, even as far as Tilda Swinton returning with yet another cameo as Jadis, which would lead nicely to her possibly playing the Lady of the Green Kirtle in The Silver Chair, should the film series continue, and there are brief appearances by Peter and Susan as well. The movie was as faithful an adaptation as the films ever have been, sincere in theme and message, making slight story adjustments as needed, and as appropriate, but maintaining the established Narnia feeling and tone. The score was excellent, incorporating a few new nautical themes while maintaining the major Narnia themes thus far expected, even though a new composer has been enlisted (unlike the composers for other recent franchise films, who totally ignore the iconic themes of the series up until that point... Yes, I'm looking at you, Deathly Hallows composer Alexandre Desplat...).
I admit The Voyage of the Dawn Treader didn't affect me as emotionally as the previous two (especially Prince Caspian--that movie made me feel some kind of miraculous cinematic emotion for whatever reason), but I think that's just because the story structure and one-quest-to-the-next format of the storytelling don't really get to me quite as much. It was still excellent, even if just to see them continue the wonderful series in such a consistent and quality manner.
So it was an excellent evening in the theater, and I was glad to see a good number of people present, though from what I hear, I still fear that low numbers could be the demise of this series from this point (which is, I think, why Disney passed over the reins after unfortunately lackluster box office numbers for Prince Caspian, which is also a bummer since now I won't hear about it on my various Disney podcasts or see it in any capacity in the parks). I encourage everyone to see this movie, take your family, tell your friends, spread the joy. There's so much rubbish in the theaters these days, I think we really need to support when such quality films come out. It seems like a lot of people didn't even realize it was out yet.
I really can't think of a way this movie could have been better. Keep it up, Narnia. I'll be buying my tickets to The Silver Chair around 2012 or so.