Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Ben Barnes (“King Caspian”), Skandar Keynes (“Edmund Pevensie”), Georgie Henley (“Lucy Pevensie”), Will Poulter (“Eustace Scrubb”), Liam Neeson (voice of “Aslan”). Sci-fi action fantasy. Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, Richard LaGravenese, Michael Petroni. Directed by Micheal Apted (Amazing Grace).

FILM SYNOPSIS: On December 10, audiences from around the globe will be able to return to the magic and wonder of C.S. Lewis' beloved world - via the fantastic Narnian ship, the Dawn Treader. In this latest installment of the blockbuster The Chronicles of Narnia motion picture franchise, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace and their royal friend King Caspian, find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to the Dawn Treader. As they embark on an incredible adventure of destiny and discovery, they confront obstacles beyond imagination.

PREVIEW REVIEW: In the first episode siblings found a closet that led to a far-off fantastical land called Narnia and filmgoers were quickly caught up in this alternate world laden with adventure and life-lessons. Both the C. S. Lewis novel and the Walden/Disney film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were a step above most children’s fables as they were full of evocative analogies and spiritually iconic images. And while adventures, not sermons, took center stage, most churchgoers found that the story served to open a rewarding dialogue between parent and child concerning the Christ-like symbolism found in the pivotal Aslan. Chapter two: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian stressed action and style over substance and thought. So, I’m pleased to inform that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader gets back to Lewis’s intent, effectively blending action/adventure with whimsical allegory.

There is a witch in the Wardrobe series – and she’s a nasty piece of work. But the character is symbolic. She’s seductive, able for a while to manipulate and deceive those who should know better. Sound like someone from the Bible? Structurally she serves to caution rather than captivate.

The atmosphere and look of the production reflects a wise use of budget and there’s an optimism hovering around every allusion and parallel the adolescent leads face. What’s more, this Wardrobe fits adults as well as kids (sorry, couldn’t resist). And where the recent Harry Potter was dark, muddled and boring, Dawn Treader is vibrant, clear and absorbing.

PG (though there is no blood and the filmmakers attempt to avoid excessive brutality, this good vs. evil tale does include violence - there are a few jolting scenes and several scary moments; parents should attend with little ones in order to reassure; the kids learn life lessons, the film is pro-family and the spiritual insights are distinctly biblical).

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: The action consists of sword fights, battles with sea serpents and other Indiana Jones-type adventures; respect for younger audience members has been shown, but parents should view along with the wee ones in order to reassure.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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