Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader Blu-ray Impression

Third time’s the charm, or we should say it’s a charm to go back for a third time to Narnia

The land of Narnia is magical and amazing to behold in HD and the latest film, The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader on Blu-ray combo pack, is a film families and fans should embrace. The world is grand and it’s one both gamers and anime fans will also enjoy for the ties it has to both genre. What’s to love about this seafaring voyage? Let’s take a look …

The Story – It’s once again a normal life for the Pevensie siblings as they leave Narnia in the hands of Prince Caspian. As Edmund and Lucy remain with relatives, notably cousin Eustace, it’s Peter and Susan who have moved on to greener pastures that school and America permit. As another encounter with the annoying and push Eustace escalates a unique painting of a ship begins to move and soon the trio of Edmund, Lucy and Eustace are swept back into the world of Narnia. Soon floating in water the group is rescued by Caspian and find themselves on the deck of the Dawn Treader, that’s on a mission to continue the rebuild Caspian began. Eustace finds himself in the world he’s mocked his cousins for ‘creating’ while Edmund and Lucy return to the world they love. Their new calling is to assist Caspian in the search for the seven lords of Telmar, those men loyal to his father who went into exile. The journey is not easy as each adventurer must take on their own internal demons all the while trying to solve a mysterious green mist that consumes Narnian’s. As with all trips to Narnia the going will be difficult and no one adventurer will come out unscathed on this, the voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Of the three Narnia films this has to be the second best after the original (Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) but viewers can’t jump right in without feeling a bit lost, if, they have not viewed the other films. The emotional conflict faced by Edmund is not as deep as that faced by Lucy. Edmund has dealt with many of his issues in the past but not Lucy and it’s fun to see this play out but it’s Eustace who steals the show. He is very annoying, like a little pig that views will detest and his transformation and relationship with the mouse Reepicheep, will change that view. Caspian continues his journey also and getting the (needed?) help of the king and queen of Narnia helps. A grand tale that sees the end of one journey and a brief appearance by old foes and friends shows a turning of the page in the tale of Narnia. As the kids grow older the fantasy of Narnia fades into reality. A grand journey that’s fun and very enjoyable and full of additional content if viewers want to pick up the book.

The Acting and Effects – Edmund has grown and his acting really shines while Lucy does a solid job fighting her inner demons. Eustace does an excellent job of going from brat to sympathetic character while Caspian portrays himself with a royal, humble air that’s refreshing and comes off very well. The voice work, notably Reepicheep, is spot on great while secondary characters all sound, well they can be heard which is all that’s really needed. The animated characters and settings are creative and leave little to the imagination coming out great in HD. Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a visual feast that puts viewers into grand settings, a world that feels real yet so alien and this combined with solid acting make for a great family experience.

Why Gamers Should Care – The world of Narnia is just ripe for an epic RPG that spans multiple movies/books but sadly that has not happened. The reason for it however is why gamers should care as there are amazing settings, story and engaging characters that move these movies along and engage the viewer. These aspects, the framework for an engaging and emotionally attaching game are hard at work in Narnia. As an alternative to gaming the Blu-ray of Voyage of the Dawn Treader makes a great watch.

Why Anime Fans Should Care – The same rules apply to anime fans as they do for gamers thanks to an epic fantasy world but the animate short ‘The Untold Adventures of The Dawn Treader’ if fun to watch and an offshoot, cousin of what anime fans love.

Miscellaneous – Narnia is a series that seems lost in the shadow of Potter and Transformers but shows high production value and a visual adventure that really rewards fans of the books. The bonus content allows those non-readers to get more into Narnia, explore a world really only touched on in the feature film and it looks outstanding in HD, big nosed, high pitched voiced cousin’s aside.

Overall, Voyage of the Dawn Treader is everything there is to love about fantasy. Dragons, monsters, magic, heroes and villains along with talking animals (awesome). A high production value and a story that’s easy to digest even with all that’s left out from the source material. Great looking in HD with a digital copy and actors who seem to get their characters and how they feel. Fans of the franchise should already own this combo pack but for those on the fence take it for a swim, it’s one heck of a fun few hours.

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