Many books that are considered classics have been turned into movies. I have seen and enjoyed some of them. In 2005, the first movie based on The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis was released. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was a very entertaining, well done movie even though it wasn't one of my favorites from that year. I just saw the second movie made based on the books, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
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The Chronicles of Narnia series features seven books that were published between 1950 and 1956. The books had been numbered according to the order of publication until 1994 when a the new publisher took over and renumbered the series based on things that happened in the books. The stepson of C.S. Lewis did suggest the new ordering of the books. So far, the movies have followed the publication order. I have seen that a third movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader, is in pre-production. The events from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian did build on what had happened in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, so I do think it would best to see the movies in order.
Before I start discussing the movie, I want to say that I have not read any of The Chronicles of Narnia books completely. I read some of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was in grade school and I had forgotten basically everything I had read by the time I saw the movie version. I do own the books and will probably get around to reading them eventually. Since I have read the book version, I have no idea how close The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian stays to the source material. I’m sure that at least some things were changed since that tends to happen when movies are based on books.
I am only going to mention a few things related to the plot of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. There could be a few minor spoilers to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe for people who have not seen that movie yet.
In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the four Pevensie siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy travelled to the magical world of Narnia where they met Aslan the lion and helped to defeat the evil White Witch. The four then ruled Narnia as kings and queens for years until they were transported back to England within moments of when they had originally left.
A year after they had returned to England, Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy were waiting for a train when they felt something weird and found themselves transported back to Narnia. Once they realized they were back, they were all very happy, though things seemed different to them. They came across some ruins that turned out to be their former home. They figured out that many years had passed in Narnia since they had left and things were very different. Not many magical creatures were left since the Telmarines had invaded. Prince Caspian went into hiding after his Uncle Miraz had a son. Prince Caspian met up with some of the creatures in the forest and started working with them to gain freedom for Narnia again. Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy joined Prince Caspian in his fight.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian was set in two different times in two different worlds. In England, only a year had passed since the siblings returned from Narnia and their adventure. In Narnia, 1,300 years had passed and things were very different there. Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy were considered Kings and Queens of old and their former home was in ruins. The Telmarines had invaded Narnia many years before, driving the magical creatures into hiding in the woods. Only a few short scenes were set in England, so the majority of the movie took place in Narnia. Things there did look different while still looking enough like they had in the first movie to make it clear that it was the same place.
Once again, the Pevensie siblings were transported to Narnia and ended up in a huge battle. This time they were helping the beings of Narnia and Prince Caspian fight Miraz and the Telmarines for control of Narnia. They had to fight to rescue Narnia from the White Witch in the first movie, so this wasn’t that original, but it was still entertaining. During the huge battle in this movie, they were very out numbered and it did seem a lot like the big battle in the first movie to me. Though I may not be remembering right since I haven’t seen it again. It would have been nice if there had been something a bit different, but the plot still worked. There really wasn’t any mystery or suspense in the movie. I wasn’t sure how a few things would work out, but the movie was predictable overall. That didn’t bother me since I still thought that the movie was entertaining.
There was a decent amount of action that was mostly family friendly in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. The Pevensie siblings were having another adventure in Narnia that was entertaining. They did end up having to fight at different times as well. That did add a little bit of violence in some scenes, including two battles. Those weren’t overly graphic, but it was very clear that characters were being injured. A few things that happened could be upsetting to younger viewers.
Once again, several things in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian were created with special effects. Once the Pevensies were back in Narnia, they did encounter a few magical creatures that were at least partially created with special effects. There were different animals, like a badger and some mice, as well as Aslan who talked with realistic looking mouth movements. All of the special effects were very well done and added to what was going on without being the central focus like has happened in some movies.
There were religious elements in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian like there had been in the first movie. The religious overtones weren’t as noticeable, but they were still there. They weren’t overbearing like has happened in some other movies. The movie did deal with belief in a few scenes as well. The good characters had to fight against the evil ones again, something else that was done in the first movie. Some viewers may not like the religious overtones.
The story attempted to add in a bit of romance between Susan and Prince Caspian. I have no idea if that was in the original book or not. It didn’t amount to much and it did seem to be forced out of place with everything that was going on. They exchanged some looks and shared one kiss and that was it.
Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy were the main characters again. It did seem like Susan ended up with not as much to do even though she was usually around. Peter had a bit of a grumpy attitude at times, especially when he was dealing with Prince Caspian. It was like Peter expected to automatically be in charge since he had been High King before. The acting for those characters was fine and I think a bit better from the first movie.
Aslan was the only other character back from the first movie. He was missing for much of the movie though, which did disappoint me a bit. Once he did turn up again, he didn’t do as much as I thought he would. Liam Neeson did fine with the voice for the character. There was a small appearance of the White Witch that didn’t give Tilda Swinton much to do.
Prince Caspian received a lot of attention throughout the movie. He was a young man who wanted to make a difference. He was uncertain about certain things, but was trying to do his best. Ben Barnes was good in the part. Miraz was Caspian’s uncle who wanted to keep his nephew from becoming king. He was not a nice guy. Sergio Castellitto was fine in the part.
Nikabrik and Trumpkin were two of the beings in Narnia involved in the fight to defeat the Telmarines. Trumpkin was kind of grumpy in general and had his own ideas about how to deal with the problem. It was a bit of a different character than I have seen Warwick Davis play. Nikabrik was more involved, or at least shown more, and he became closer to the Pevensie siblings, especially Lucy. Peter Dinklage was good in the part. Eddie Izzard turned up as the voice of Reepicheep, a mouse who wasn’t afraid to fight. He actually did really well in battle, perhaps at least partially because his opponents tended to underestimate him.
Ben Barnes - Prince Caspian
Sergio Castellitto - Miraz
Warwick Davis - Trumpkin
Peter Dinklage - Nikabrik
Georgie Henley - Lucy Pevensie
Eddie Izzard - Voice of Reepicheep
Skandar Keynes - Edmond Pevensie
William Moseley - Peter Pevensie
Liam Neeson - Voice of Aslan
Anna Popplewell - Susan Pevensie
Tilda Swinton - White Witch
Andrew Adamson - Director
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian was an entertaining movie that made a good continuation to the first movie. People who enjoyed that movie should give this one a chance.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe ~ The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ~
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