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The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

6.31 h 52 min2010X-RayPG
Lucy and Edmund are spending a dreary holiday with their cousin Eustace Clarence Scrubb, who is a rather dour and mean spirited little boy. They are unexpectedly drawn into Narnia when a painting of a ship on the wall of Lucy's room comes to life, and the three children fall into the ocean to be rescued by the Dawn Treader.
Michael Apted
Ben BarnesSkandar KeynesGeorgie Henley
English [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Will PoulterEddie IzzardArthur AngelLiam Neeson
Twentieth Century Fox
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4.7 out of 5 stars

4624 global ratings

  1. 78% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Martin TurnerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
Not to be confused with the book of the same name
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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has by far the most spectacular and compelling visuals of any of the Narnia film franchise, but it is by far the furthest from the books in terms of plot and ethos. To me, having seen it in the cinema and three times on the small screen, it grows less watchable each time. It comes across as a film by people who very much wanted to make a spectacular Narnia film, but very much disagreed with what CS Lewis's book was about.

The book Voyage of the Dawn Treader is episodic. Essentially, each chapter is a different island, and each island is a different adventure. What unifies is it the transformation of Eustace, not by a process of moral improvement, but by encountering Aslan face to face, after being turned into a dragon.

The film is about defeating a curse based on a dark island which moves around, swallowing hapless sailors. The dark island is, indeed, one of the adventures of the book, but it is a relatively minor one, though terrifying in itself, as it is the island 'where dreams come true'. In the film, it is introduced right at the beginning, and becomes the purpose of the quest right at the end, with other adventures organised around it. Eustace still gets to meet Aslan, but only after he has 'earned' it, by defending the ship against a sea monster.

It's probably fair to say that the character based adventures of Eustace would have been harder to film, and the episodic style might have been rather bitty, but the result—such as it is—is a film which is disappointing to anyone who knows the book, but not especially memorable to anyone who only watched the film. The Hobbit, film, was widely criticised by people who knew and loved the book, but many others loved it. This film does not have anything particular about it that would make you want to read the books if you hadn't already.

The extraordinary visuals are very creditable, but this ends up being a not-so-good 'Pirates of the Caribbean' for a younger audience, rather than an extraordinary journey at the heart of the Narnia series.
10 people found this helpful
Throda tzenReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
“Stop it or I’ll tell mother!” [Eustace] [2 disc version]
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In this 2010 high fantasy, set 3 years after the second movie, ‘Prince Caspian’, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie are staying with their irritating bookworm cousin Eustace are whisked away to Narnia and rescued by Caspian, who captains the Dawn Treader. Together they voyage to rescue the seven Lords of Narnia who fled from his uncle Miraz.
Chronologically this is the third Narnia story published, but fifth in the Narnia timeline, but that’s mostly irrelevant as it’s basically a stand alone, but it does help to have seen the others otherwise you may not get some of the character interplay, but it’s not essential.
Shedding the Nickelodian ham acting of ‘PC’ this is convincingly acted from the start. Beautiful scenery, dazzling visual effects and an atmospheric soundtrack, this doesn’t take itself as serious as it’s predecessor and is far more fun with some great comedy moments, while the annoying and irksome Eustace keeps you firmly grounded and provides most of the wry humour.
The first disc opens to play, set up [English, Swedish, Norwegian, commentary and subtitles as languages with Danish and English hard of hearing], scenes and extras [deleted scenes, commentary and 3 music videos]. The second disc is brimming with extras.
Children of all ages will be enthralled by this, even sceptical teens. This isn’t as ‘dark’ an atmosphere as ‘PC’ but does posses an eerie supernatural edge with violent storms, sea monsters, dragons and many other weird and comical creatures to keep you entertained. A brilliant and wonderful fantasy for all the family [PG of course!] –even if the younger ones might hide behind the sofa!
7 people found this helpful
Mooncarrot the HareReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 May 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
Goodbye Lucy and Edmund, until the end of time.
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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is by far and away the best of the three Chronicles of Narnia films.

The artistry is superb and a number of scenes from the book have been imaginatively visualised to the viewer's great pleasure. Coriakin's island of the Dufflepuds and his mansion with the evening sunlight streaming through the hallway merit a special mention for evoking a haunting atmosphere. The soundtrack has memorable moments. In particular the score for the scene where Aslan `undragons' Eustace is both grave and moving; and conveys, in a way words never could, the majestic pity in the grace of this act of charity of the King of all Narnian Kings. Will Poulter is worth watching for his performance as the boy with the almost-deserved name. And there's the cameo role for Douglas Gresham (who is also the voice of the newsreader in the first film).

However, all true Narnians will be sad that this is very likely the last of the big screen versions of these tales. This can be seen in the fact that the scriptwriters and producers have done a very clever job of incorporating significant stylistic elements from the other books into this film without altering the story too much.

Narrowhaven, deserted in the evening light, is Charn under its red sun. Bells announce the arrival of danger, as the ringing of one does in The Magician's Nephew . The hall of the governor is modelled on Charn's hall of images. The `snakes' of green mist do the service of representing the green snake that kills Rilian's mother and, in human form, abducts him, in The Silver Chair (the mist `abducts' the Narrowhaveners). Eustace slashing with the sword at the enveloping `snakes' of green mist is Rillian fighting the Green witch-turned-serpent (and this scene serves as Eustace's reappearance to save Narnia, which occurs in The Silver Chair).

The Green witch herself appears in the form of Tilda Swinton's green-tinted White witch. She dies when Edmund kills the sea serpent (a snake), in the same manner as the Green witch when Rillian attacks her with his sword. Ramandu's daughter is their guide, doing the service of Puddleglum who is the children's guide in The Silver Chair. She descends from the sky like the stars in The Last Battle. Lucy speaking the spell beautiful, and then waking, is Jill Pole in the castle of the giants when Aslan makes her see clearly, in a dream during a rainy night (there is a storm at sea), what she see ought to have seen (and Jill is given her own inclusion at the end of the film).

The Calormenes and their defeat at the fight at Anvard get a mention in Caspian's summation of the state of Narnia. Gale is reminiscent of Aravis from The Horse and his Boy, who likewise leaves home for an adventure. Susan's liking for lipstick is given a graphic representation - and a reversal when she wants to go back to Narnia (it should have been because she is 'once a queen in Narnia, always a queen'). And the flooding of the bedroom, and by implication, Earth, at the beginning of the film is the flooding of Narnia in The Last Battle; both are the same apocalyptic image.

So there we have it: five books in one film.

If there should be a major criticism of the film it would have to be about its underlying ethos. Everyone knows that Lewis was a Christian and his stories are `about God'. Yet the alterations in the story that have been made to give the film a necessary flow of tension and relief suggest something else.

Dark Island is described as a place of `pure evil'. It sits opposite Ramandu's Island, where Aslan's Table is located. This implies the existence of two equal and opposite powers competing for control of the world. This is dualism, something Lewis argued against. For Christian cinema-goers, the idea that darkness is in itself evil or is the symbol of evil is certainly not scriptural.

The seven swords of Aslan (invented for this film, but perhaps inspired by the tree of protection that Aslan once plants) have to be aligned to release `healing' energy and put the world right. This is a typical motif of a philosophy called monism. Its religious derivative, pantheism, is something Lewis wrote strongly against. However if the seven swords are intended to be representative of the seven novels then that would be an appropriate tribute.

There is another problem with the addition of the seven swords. Coriakin tells the travellers that they must lay the seven swords on Aslan's table on Ramandu's Island in order to destroy evil. He sent the six lords to do just that. However at that point in the film one sword has already been left behind on the Lone Islands and another on Goldwater Island. So the lords could never have fulfilled their mission. This illustrates the problem of scriptwriters trying to change and complicate the original plot of a book. What was obviously necessary for the film version was to make a visible and central evil opponent. This has been done by orchestrating the sea serpent and Dark island into a crescendo. The book lacks this as it is simply a journey (an illustration of the journey of faith).

This inconsistency with the seven swords could never have been passed off in a book. This is because the reader has to constantly use his or her imagination as they read. That it can pass unobserved in a film shows how much the medium of film hoovers out the audience's imagination.

Then there is confusion about where temptation comes from exactly. Does it come from the 'darkness within', as Coriakin says? Or does it come from outside, as Lucy says to Edmund and Caspian by the underground pool that turns everything to gold? The Gospel view of the source of temptation is the human heart (a person's conscience, will and affections). The book, illustrating the journey of faith, was in a strict sense about resisting temptation. The idea that there is light and dark within each person, and they only have to turn to the light, is an idea that begs the question that Lewis asked: What makes light so attractive? Why turn to the light when the dark can get you what you want equally well (as the pantheist Nikabrik turns with alacrity from Aslan to the servants of the White witch in the story of Prince Caspian)? The attraction to the light must come from without.

After being `undragoned', Eustace says, "It wasn't all bad being a dragon. I think I was a better dragon than a boy". Why, then, be `undragoned' at all? His speech implies that a dragon is someone who has good and bad inside them, and all that is required is to turn them inside out like an old sock for them to be as right as rain. Whatever this idea is, it is not the Christian theology that Lewis wrote about. The spell that Lucy recites to make the unseen seen equates psychology, psychiatry and theology as acceptable means of making things visible. What can `enquiring within', the practice of the first two of these three things, reveal to you if out of the human heart come evil thoughts?

The scene where Lucy uses the spell on board the ship to make herself beautiful has been illustrated in a striking way in this film. The change from the stormy weather to the complete calm of a sunlit morning is very evocative of Lucy's change of mood from disturbance to resolute action. But is it what Lewis really intended? Lucy does not 'doubt her value', a morally neutral act, but rather commits the sin of jealousy. Nor does her action in the book wish herself away. In the book Lucy becomes a Helen of Troy figure; the face that launched a thousand ships, and a war.

All this may seem to weigh heavily against any possible enjoyment of the film. However, I think we can use one of Lewis' own metaphors here. All these things objected to above can be regarded as the wasps that buzz around while you are having a picnic in a beautiful part of the countryside. You needn't let them stop you having the picnic or enjoying the view.

All true Narnians who will miss Lucy and Edmund until the end of time can certainly enjoy this film until that time when time does indeed end.
11 people found this helpful
Ken DReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 July 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
A movie for all.....
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Great DVD, the third and the last one that was made from the C.S. Lewis collection. It may not be the best of the three film but it is still a great family movie for all to watch from Primary School Age til 100+. It's the type of family movie that will keep the whole family quiet until the final credits role. I can't remember what I paid at the time but at a much higher cost than £3 I though it was good value then. Buy this DVD (for £3) and you have exceptionally good value for your money.
One person found this helpful
BookloverReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 June 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
Chronicles of Narnia - Voyage of the Dawn Treader
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Regardless of what age you are if you grew up with the Chronicles of Narnia you will enjoy this film adaptation of the book. The books of course will always contain more detail but the film still does it justice with it's rather fetching special effects. The young man cast as Eustace is well worth seeing as he really brings to life the obnoxious little toad that is portrayed in the original books. The only downside for myself was the loss of Ben Barnes accent in the new film - personally I think they should have kept it (ok so I found it a bit of a turn-on!)- but young or old alike it's a true family film which everyone will enjoy.
Gatekeeper197Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 October 2013
3.0 out of 5 stars
An okay entry in the series...
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When the Voyage of the Dawn Treader was released, I was unsure how I would find it as the book is not one of my favourite entries of the series, mainly due to the lack of a central villain. Unfortunately, this entry is a step down after the last two movies, though the main characters are as good as ever and Will Poulter is a great addition to the cast. Thankfully with the problems apparently sorted out concerning the franchises future, my personal favourite of the series The Silver Chair should be on the horizon very soon.
2 people found this helpful
Simon BinningReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 November 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
Keeps up the standard of the first two parts
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This third film in the series could well have dropped off a little, particularly as some legal and other issues got in the way of actually making the film. However, the creatives have avoided distraction, and the film is every bit as good as the first two.
For my money, forget the religious understory, just treat them as grand adventure stories, and you'll not be disappointed. There are a few niggles, and one or two weak points, but overall, it is thoroughly enjoyable for children and adults alike (most of these films are wasted on kids!)
One person found this helpful
Jane AnnReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 April 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good family film
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If you love the Narnia series the family will really enjoy this film. I may be almost 70 but really enjoyed it.
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