As you probably read by now, I’m reading my way through the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Finally I also found the time to check out the (so far) last movie adaptation that was made. It’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third installment.
Lucy and Edmund are pretty annoyed: they have to spent the summer with their rather awful cousin Eustace. An adventure seems to be at hand, when the three kids get sucked into a painting and find themselves on board of the Dawn Treader, Caspian’s ship.
As it turns out, the young king is searching for seven lords that had been sent into exile by his uncle. Of course the Pevensie kids are stoked to help, but what about Eustace?
Book vs. Movie:
As always, I’ll begin with the book and I have to say I was rather disappointed. This is a children’s book but I had hoped for more. The story is just too easy. Whenever something bad happens, Aslan pops in and -boom- everything is fine. This was also the case in the last books but in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it really is extreme. It just make everything to simple. There is no real struggle.
Another point I notice by now is that some plot points seem like Lewis simply thought of different bits but didn’t really know how to connect them. So in this case he just had the crew travel from island to island and on each one of them weird stuff is going on. And whenever Lewis couldn’t think of a way to get the characters out of trouble of to make a link between two plot points, he simply sends in Aslan.
As you can tell, I’m not very fond of the book. It disappointed me all the way through and to be honest, the only reason I even finished reading is because it’s -fortunately- very short.
However, the movie did a far better job. First of all, they changed quite a bit. Although I usually vote for sticking to the novels, in this case it added a lot to the story. Especially some parts of the story that were solved in a matter of seconds in the book made far more sense in the movie.
Furthermore, I love the special effects. All those Narnia creatures look like there are real. Awesome job! Another point I have to mention is that I enjoyed Ben Barnes far more as Caspian in the film than in the last one. His character finally behaves the way he should (whereas in the book he often ended up annoying me).
One more point I really liked about the adaptation is that the original illustrations from the book are featured in the end titles. So it’s totally worth watching all the way to the end.
So all in all I have to say that in this case the movie is far better than the book. The novel is a rather shallow thing, that doesn’t bear any surprises.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!