Have you ever in your life seen a movie that when it ended you wanted to stand and to applaud but before you could let the applause out, the tears began to flow? So it is with the newest and best of all the Chronicles. Yes, the previous episodes were moments in our lives, but The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is bigger and better.
Sweet innocent Lucy (Georgia Henley), who hopes in her heart to someday be beautiful, is the character with whom we stay, and it is through her eyes that we travel, not from a wardrobe, but now by way of the hanging oil of the royal ship Dawn Treader. With Lucy we travel to a restless sea, and back to Narnia; back to the wonder, and the beauty, and back to young Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes), who rules the faithful and dedicated crew of the dragon-prowed vessel with bravery, compassion, and with courage. At one point Lucy, having learned to ‘see the unseen’, reveals an invisible army that nearly overwhelmed her is naught but a throng of little old men, on one another’s shoulders, speaking in deep voices and each with one incredibly huge unshod foot to hop about on.
You will find cousin Eustice, very preadolescent, and very much the Brit, quite mildly obnoxious at first. But through the trials of the search for seven swords of gold, we come to love the young man. He resists at the start every effort by our new friends to humanize him; it is not so much later that he passes through a time in the un-chosen splendor of a strong and winged, and, we concede, gnarly dragon; fierce, and ready to give all to aid his fellow voyagers — his prince, his king, and his cousins. Eustice, stalwart and pragmatic, is portrayed by the boy, Will Poulter.
Eustice is befriended more than the rest by courageous Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg); sword-wielding chief mouse, and self- appointed servant to Prince Caspian. Reepicheep is the most valiant knight in all of Narnia!
Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson), most dominant of Narnians, wise and majestic golden-maned lion, is noble, mysterious, and enigmatic in a leonine, powerful way. When Lucy seeks to “see the unseen” — such as the ‘truth in theology’– we cannot but think of the highly spiritual Aslan. How sad that as the chronicle ends it is Aslan, Reepicheep, and Caspian who remain in the land of Narnia.
All the characters, young and old, are perfect and wonderful. It amazes one to know that motion pictures of this caliber are possible and produced to this day. The visual aspects, including the 3D which is better than most, non-distracting, state of the art and up to the minute, makes the movie better than The Lion,The Witch, and the Wardrobe; and that’s saying something.
With so much wonder, such thrilling script and production, it would be a shame for anyone of any age to miss this presentation of C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader.