Friday, 15 December 2017
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Thursday, 29 May 2008 00:00

ThumbnailWhen Disney released The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe back in 2005 my anticipation stemmed from a deep love of the books by C.S. Lewis. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read those books! The film was visually beautiful and well crafted, but to me and many other Narnia lovers, it was lacking something we couldn’t quite put a finger on. I just didn’t feel the emotional connection I was expecting. The second installment takes the emotions to the next level, but strays from the beloved source material.

Prince Caspian marks the return visit of the Pevensie children to Narnia. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy have been frustrated by being back in England after having lived a lifetime as Kings and Queens in Narnia. Peter is especially troubled, having gone from being High King to schoolboy in rather short order. No sooner do they wish for things to change than they are whisked back to Narnia, this time 1300 years after their own reign has ended.

The Telmarines, a race descended of pirates from across the sea, have been ruling Narnia for hundreds of years and have driven all the old Narnian creatures into hiding. The forest spirits have gone to sleep and the rest wait and gather numbers hoping for a chance to reclaim their freedom. Hope comes in the form of a Telmarine Prince named Caspian who is forced into hiding when his greedy uncle Miraz seizes his throne. Caspian carries with him the legendary horn that calls the Kings and Queens of old to his aid. But no one is expecting the legendary saviors to be children once again.Thumbnail

The young actors have certainly come a long way in their abilities, most notably Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley as Edmund and Lucy. It’s good news to see them both signed on for the third installment The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Newcomer Ben Barnes is making teenage hearts beat as the chiseled Prince Caspian. Peter Dinklage does a fantastic job of playing the crabby dwarf Trumpkin. He has very expressive eyes that bring a lot more depth to the character. Another new character is introduced named Reepicheep (voiced by Eddie Izzard). This noble swashbuckling mouse brings to mind very obvious comparisons to Puss In Boots from Shrek.

Director Andrew Adamson, brings a darker tone to this sequel and really tries to inject some emotion into the script. He gets good performances from the young actors, but unfortunately takes it a little too far by adding a clunky and unnecessary romance between Caspian and Susan. It springs up out of nowhere and fans of the books will know it also leads nowhere. No expense was spared on the special effects and they look incredible. The many species of Narnians are beautiful to behold including griffins, centaurs, minotaurs, lions, tigers and bears (Oh my!). Spectacular set pieces include a brief return of the White Witch (scene-stealing Tilda Swinton), and a gigantic water spirit called upon by Aslan himself.