The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +2

William Moseley, Georgie Henley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes as Caspian, and Tilda Swinton as the evil witch. Fantasy/adventure. Written by Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely. Directed by Andrew Adamson.

FILM SYNOPSIS: One year after the incredible events of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the kings and queens of Narnia find themselves back in that faraway wondrous realm, only to discover that more than 1300 years have passed in Narnian time. During their absence, the Golden Age of Narnia has become extinct, and Narnia has been conquered by the Telmarines and is now under the control of the evil King Miraz. Narnia's rightful heir to the throne, the young Prince Caspian, has been forced into hiding as his uncle Miraz plots to kill him in order to place his own newborn son on the throne.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I object when fantasy films such as the Harry Potter series require you to first study the novels in order to comprehend the movie. A film should stand on its own. So, Im pleased to tell you that although reading the classic series by C. S. Lewis would add to the enjoyment of this cinematic adaptation, it is not required. And where the Harry Potter series is dark, muddled and stale, the Narnia tales are vibrant, clear and fresh. Wardrobes follow-up offers witty dialogue and doses of clever humor, swashbuckling derring-do, a magical spellbinding look, and lessons reminding of the spiritual and practical need for a Christ-centered life.

Co-writer/director Andrew Adamson (who helmed the first installment, as well as Shrek and Shrek 2) has constructed a well-told good-vs.-evil parable that is enhanced by computer-generated effects rather than overshadowed by them. The atmosphere and look of the production are reminiscent of the magic good old Walt himself brought to his best screen stories. Indeed, theres an optimism hovering around every allusion the adolescent leads face.

Though this sequel is more action driven than the first episode, character development has by no means been abandoned. Between the many arm-chair-grabbing battle sequences, the intricate plot and the growth of the main characters will likely serve to open a rewarding dialogue between parent and child. The Christ-like symbolism found in the pivotal character Aslan and the meaning of Gods seeming silence at times in our lives are addressed with transparency.

Now, about those arm-chair-grabbing battles; this aspect of the feature does require a warning. The book tells of warfare, but its one thing reading about such tumult, while quite another viewing such combativeness in graphic and lengthy detail. The studio and director worked closely with the MPAA folks to ensure a PG rating, the filmmakers carefully avoiding too much blood, gore and guts. But there is a graphic visceral style that bombards the viewer with one video game-like fight scene after another. While Im no psychologist, it cant be argued that moviegoers are ensnared in a cinematic culture today that assaults the human psyche. Though we seem capable of adjusting our nervous systems to the amount of aggression special effects departments can produce, is this metamorphosis an evolution God intended?

This is a four-star production, but I would hesitate to subject children under ten to its seamless magical illusions. It can be difficult for little ones to tell whats real and what isnt. For instance, seeing a huge bear nearly attack little Lucy may be too disturbing for little ones. That said, for older children and their parents, this is an action-packed, fun and spiritually rewarding addition to the film series.

Lavish, Inspirational and Fun.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Disney/Waldon Media

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Though staying within the restrictions of the MPAA, there are many battles and often our young leads find themselves in perilous situations; during battle, the leads kill many of the opposition, but they also show mercy to the villain; Lucy is nearly attacked by a bear, who is killed by an arrow; we see a childbirth.
Sexual Intercourse: A romantic but innocent kiss between Susan and Caspian.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Children and Above

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (