The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the Trailer
I just watched the trailer for the new Narnia movie. Dawn Treader is is one of my favorite Narnia books and I’ve been anxious about the movie; so much potential for getting it wrong; so many things I desperately want them to get right.
I don’t know…some worrisome glimpses there. Looks like they’ve added a conflict subplot for Edmund—back in England, the war is on, and they won’t let a mere “squirt” join up. “But I’m a king!” he huffs to Lucy. Argh. Even worse, later in the trailer the White Witch appears in some sort of vision to tempt him. Really? Really? Edmund is so beyond that. After his fall and redemption in LWW, he’s one of the staunchest, most honorable young men in either world.
Equally puzzling: Eustace is barely present in the trailer. All the focus is on Edmund and Lucy, and Ian McKellan’s*,** voice uttering vague yet grand pronouncements about their adventure just beginning. No dragon. Scarcely any indication that Eustace is along for the journey at all. Perhaps in this early trailer, they’re targeting fans who know the films better than the books?
The Dufflepuds look good, though.
*I wrote “Patrick Stewart” before. I knew it was Ian; nearly made a Gandalf reference; I think I must have had Patrick’s name lodged in my mind because of Scott’s dramatic recitation yesterday.
**Except!! I am totally wrong. It’s Liam Neeson. LOL! Thanks, Robin, for the heads-up! Oh, these actors with their sonorous voices!
Eustace barely present, and no dragon at all? Ohhhh…. this doesn’t bode well…
On June 17, 2010 at 6:55 am
Oh, I so hope there’s more to the movie than the trailer shows. I love Dawn Treader too, and if they’ve ruined it…..ugh. 🙁
On June 17, 2010 at 7:16 am
Melissa Wiley says:
I assume it’s just a trailer thing…they’re going to have to make us care about Eustace in this film, if they’re going to pull viewers along for The Silver Chair.
On June 17, 2010 at 7:17 am
Not to be nitpicky……but….isn’t the voice Liam Neeson?
On June 17, 2010 at 7:41 am
I wondered where Eustace was, too. As far as I’m concerned, the story of Eustace’s redemption makes the Dawn Treader book. That and the challenging encounters with various island adventures (back to LOST again) are the important parts of Dawn Treader. And Reepicheep, of course.
On June 17, 2010 at 7:42 am
Melissa Wiley says:
Robin, YOU’RE RIGHT! LOL. I’ve added correction; thanks!
On June 17, 2010 at 7:47 am
Charlotte (Matilda) says:
The dragon would have to be total CGI so maybe they just haven’t finished the rendering. There was that tiny bit where Eustace’s eyes were peeking through wooden slats. Maybe that scene is part of that storyline.
If the scene with the White Witch happens when they are floating through the darkness towards the island where dreams come true (The Dark Island), they might have added her as a way of saying that Edmund’s nightmare is to be reminded of what was his greatest weakness, not as a new temptation.
I think maybe the enlisting scene was added just to show how restless and longing for adventure and heroics a boy that age is, especially one who had been a king.
I guess I am a little more forgiving when it comes to artistic license used to translate print to screen. As long as they don’t destroy the integrity of the story, I’ll give them a little wiggle room. Thanks for the link. My kids loved it!
On June 17, 2010 at 8:25 am
Melissa Wiley says:
Charlotte, I love your theory about the White Witch bit. THAT I could handle. 🙂 A dream-temptation makes a ton of sense.
I didn’t so much mind the enlisting scene—I always did think it must have been awfully hard for the Pevensie kids to go back to being, well, kids, not adults, not royalty, in this world. It’s the conjunction of the sulky “I used to be king!” and, later, the Witch saying “You could be king” that bothered me. But I think your take might be right on the money—I really hope so!
On June 17, 2010 at 8:38 am
I’m not going to see it. I mean it. At least I think I mean it.
I found the first two movies terribly disappointing. I am remembering the movie version of Reepicheep and thinking that Hollywood doesn’t do honor very well.
On June 17, 2010 at 9:01 am
I was disappointed in the films as well. The tiniest of changes bugs me. My daughter doesn’t seem to care for that genre in the slightest so I doubt she’ll be interested either. I did make her finish the series, but she didn’t enjoy it.
On June 17, 2010 at 10:06 am
I felt much the same when we watched Lord of the Rings, and they had Faramir tempted by the Ring. He was NOT tempted by the Ring, thank you very much, Peter Jackson. His brother was.
On June 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm
We are very much looking forward to seeing it, but the first thing out of all our mouths was, “where’s Eustace?!” And then ds asked, “will they remember the part when he’s a dragon? Cause that’s the best part!” I agree with him completely. My other ds was just thrilled that they showed Reepicheep in the trailer…as far as he’s concerned, that whole book was an ode to Reepicheep, lol.
On June 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm
Nancy Piccione says:
Oh, so excited to see the trailer. Our whole family is waiting and hoping so much for a good version–I’m just going to live in hope that it will be good, and of course that there will be a dragon. And that Reepicheep won’t be quite so cheeky as he was in the Prince Caspian movie version.
On June 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm
Amy C. says:
I’m with Jamie. Except that when I say I mean it, I don’t really mean it at all. 🙂 I’ll see it as I did the first two, and probably be disappointed but also find some things to love because I can’t bring myself to not love Narnia, even in an approximation.
What Hollywood doesn’t do well is joy. That, for me, was what was missing from LWW and PC. The whole journey to the Stone Table in the film was fraught with the terror of the spring flood instead of the book’s joy of the spring growth. And in PC, no joy from Caspian at meeting Peter and Edmund, just tension and testosterone. And of course no Bacchus. But to cut Hollywood some slack, I’ll say that I don’t know how they could pull off joy without seeming cheesy (or, as with Bacchus, potentially obscene). So maybe they just knew their weaknesses and left well enough alone. Once I realized that the absence of joy was my beef, I was a bit sad but able to enjoy the movies for what they were.
Still, I wonder where I’ve seen joy portrayed well in a film, wordlessly. Can anyone think of examples?
Hoping, with you, that the movie is a pleasant surprise.
On June 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm
Thanks for the heads up Lissa, I didn’t see the trailer…
That way I wont be too disappointed when I see it. Why don’t they stick the real story?
Why do they have to change things around?
And no dragon?
On June 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm
Melissa Wiley says:
No dragon in the trailer, but I think Matilda’s theory is sound: the dragon CGI may not be trailer-ready yet. The film doesn’t open until around Christmas, I think?
Amy C, very interesting take on the lack of joy. I didn’t see Caspian. (I think Scott took the girls?) Films with joy beautifully portrayed: there’s a fun topic! I feel like several are dancing in the back of my mind, just out of reach…hmm, The Water Horse, when the boy takes his first ride? Oh, and speaking of rides!! Does *anything* top the joy of that moment when Elliot’s bicycle flies past the moon in E.T.? That amazed, triumphant laugh?
On June 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm
Karen Edmisten says:
Joy in a film: Nina, when Jamie comes back from the dead in Truly, Madly, Deeply and they sing “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.”
On June 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm
After my disappointment in LLW, I never saw Prince Caspian. I just wasn’t sur eI could handle it. Narnia to me is about the closest I can get to heaven this side of the Jordan. Literally the first books I remember reading. The books I’ve read most often and which are most dear. I don’t think I’m going to watch any more of the films. Not unless they get rave reviews from the toughest critics who tell me there are no sour notes. I think Amy i right about the lack of joy. I didn’t feel that wonderful awful joy of Aslan’s anticipated arrival with the thaw. Do you remember how in the books the Beavers whisper that Aslan is rumored to be on the move send a thrill of joy through the hearts of the Pevensie children? You didn’t even know who Aslan was and yet you knew when he finally came it would be like Christmas morning. Or the joy of the romp after the Stone Table cracks…. Nope, sorry. I’m too picky about translations of my favorite books and not able to be forgiving about these in particular.
On June 20, 2010 at 7:37 am
Amy C. says:
Ooh, thanks for the reminder about E.T! Yes, yes! And Karen, now I’ll have to add Truly, Madly Deeply to the Netflix queue. How many lovely things I’ve forgotten, and how many to discover . . .
On June 20, 2010 at 10:54 am
Karen Edmisten says:
Amy, Truly, Madly, Deeply is not a perfect movie (a few big flaws, actually) but there are some really sweet, really lovely things about it, and it’s one of my favorites.
Melanie, I was not at all forgiving of Prince Caspian. Really annoyed with the movie on several levels. Annoyed with the first one, too, in some of the same ways you were. My kids have been willing to forgive, saying, “If you don’t expect it to actually be the Prince Caspian story, it’s a fun movie,” but I can’t forgive that easily. 🙂
On June 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm
I wrote about why I hated Prince Caspian at the time, and I should probably go back and read the post again when Dawn Treader comes out so I am not tempted to shell out for the tickets. I love the idea of a well-done version of Dawn Treader. Seems unlikely to be an improvement on LWW and PC, though.
On June 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm
Melissa Wiley says:
Jamie, that’s a heck of a post. Excellent. Thanks for sharing the link. I didn’t see Caspian. Your description of it makes me heartsick. Caspian asking the Witch if she can guarantee success? Horrors.
Come on, Dawn Treader. Be *right*.
On June 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Thanks, Lissa. 🙂
On June 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm
Amy C. says:
Thanks, Lissa, for having such a comfy combox for your friends to crash in. 🙂
Jamie, wow. Great stuff here. Reading your post on Prince Caspian, I’ve been realizing that seeing Narnia in film form is a lot like running into a childhood friend, one who’s been changed by time and life’s events. I have to ask: are the changes cosmetic (wrinkles, a bad haircut)? Are they unpleasant but forgivable (say, a nervous laugh that distracts and annoys me but doesn’t change my overall opinion of the person)? Or are they soul-altering changes, a total rejection of the very things that made us friends in the first place? No question, a Narnia stripped of joy and goodness is different at its core; is this film-Narnia so stripped that I can’t find my old friend here? I don’t know. Maybe enough remains; maybe I can go into denial about the changes and love this stranger for old times’ sake; maybe we need to part ways. Hard to know which way I’ll go when the Dawn Treader finally arrives. I expect I’ll wimp out and wait for those of you who blog to give me your reviews!
So many questions raised for me: Will someone who sees and likes the movie read the book and get to know the Narnia I love, or reject the books because they first loved film-Narnia? Is a book a friend that changes with time or stays the same? If I can make relationships with fictional characters so complicated, is it any wonder I’m so awkward with real people? 🙂
Who knew that “Hey, wanna catch a movie?” was so fraught with peril? 🙂
Thanks, again, Lissa, for your virtual hospitality. I don’t blog, for reasons you’ve discussed in other posts (afraid of treading on the privacy of my loved ones), but I greatly appreciate the chance to discuss interesting topics in your space.
On June 23, 2010 at 5:12 am
Joy in a film? The very end of Millions.
As for honour, I guess you should look to the old british war films- battle of Britian or A bridge too far. Also there’s a moment in Flyboys where a german pilot shows a great deal of honour.
On July 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Mark S says:
I’ve just seen the trailer and I’m pretty suspicious too, that the overtly Christian themes will be cut. ie: no references to the slave trade; no “un-dragoning” of Eustace and no Lamb at the end of the world. I hope I’m wrong, but if any of these are cut then this and the rest of the series will be a write-off as far as I’m concerned. Some producer somewhere, I bet, made a decision: You want money? Then cut the Christian stuff. The series is becoming eye-candy and popcorn-muncher fodder. At least we still have the books.
On July 18, 2010 at 9:15 am