Page to Film: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

"Take the voyage. Live the adventure. "

Book Release:  1952   /    Movie Release:  2010

(Unlike other reviews on the site, the 'From Book to Movies' feature has to reveal spoilers to make sense.)

Link to the Book Review

   Introduction / Brief Movie Thoughts

After coming off of Prince Caspian, I was a bit hesitant for this one. I didn't care for Prince Caspian. The story in the book was interesting and I had hoped it would keep with it to succeed. Also, Disney sold the rights after Prince, and Fox is the studio which made this one. Think overall they did an admirable job.

The movie was filled with high adventure but wasn't afraid to pause for moments to provide emotional breathers. There were changes but the basics were kept the same and they tried, clearly, to keep the sense of high adventure and recurring honor that the book held.

Caspian is played by a different actor this time (he's hot, by the way) and everyone does an excellent job. While it's true Susan and Peter did not return to Narnia again as said in the last movie and book, they did have a role as actors in this one in brief cameos. Lucy and Edmund are older as years pass between the movies, which fits their life changes as they're supposed to be older anyway, and they act just as well - if not better - than before. Reepicheep, that beloved mouse, is again in this movie. He's a focus as he was in Prince Caspian and this is a joy to behold.

The effects were awesome - from the sea monster, to the dragon, the sea storm, the star woman's inner glow, everything. They did a great job again with Aslan and CGI effects. His voice was played by Liam Neeson, I never realized this until the end credits.

   Biggest Differences

I think sometimes they changed island scenes to heighten adventure, other times because the time of a movie does not allow all the book details.

They ended up leaving out much of the island emphasis and shortening/speeding it up with the first few islands, while the last islands were all blended together as one event. Probably for time emphasis but not sure. I do wish they had kept the adorable Monopods bouncing around the ship and being shown that they were still a joy to behold despite their changed appearance. It may not relate as well to movie viewers and could have left out for this reason, but in the book form it worked well. Also in the book she was not transformed into Susan, but instead into a beauty of her own, so beautiful it would cause wars, death, doom and destruction. When tempted to use the spell, Aslan came out growling. Awesome. In the movie this was slaughtered a bit so lost a little. Instead they played into the movie that she is envious of Susan's beauty and would like to be her instead.

With Death water island, this time (as in the book) it was Edmund and Caspian tempted by the dark side and arguing over their greed. In the book this made clearer. In the movie it could have just been coincidence if you didn't already know the story. I think the direction could have been clearer.

The biggest change is they added a darkness overall that followed them and lived in the waters. It was this darkness that was the cause of Darkness island and their nightmares coming true, Lucy's tempting to follow the magic books spell of beauty, Edmund and and Caspian's human weakness of greed. I would have preferred to keep all the islands their story instead of unifying them by an invented, fog-like monster.

   Glad the Movie Kept

Most of the islands, the importance of the dragon, the adventures in order, Aslan's last speech and the mouse choosing to continue on his own.

   Who is the Big Winner?

The book is the winner.

They did a great job making this a movie and did what was possible. However, the book had time to delve deeper into the history and emphasis of each island. It also could explore more indepth about Reepicheep and Caspians desires to see the end of the world and Aslan's land over their own responsibilities.

   Movie Trailer