The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

  • Review Date: December 6, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2010

Common Sense Media says

Engaging third Narnia adventure is fun for tweens and up.
  • Review Date: December 6, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2010

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Narnia movies are filled with positive messages about selflessness, self-sacrifice, and generosity. The characters, with the exception of Eustace (at first), are brave and want to help the Narnians defeat evil. As each of the main characters is tempted, they learn to make the choices that work for the greater good. Some of the messages could be considered religious, but it's not overt.

Positive role models

Aslan is an almost perfect role model, dispensing sage advice and guiding the characters to make the right decisions. The three kids are also positive role models -- as well as very relatable -- because they overcome their fears and insecurities for the good of Narnia. King Caspian doesn't surrender to his temptation to stand before his father before it's time. Instead, he honors his commitment to be the best king he can be.

Violence

The Pevensies and King Caspian and his crew battle the elements and their own fears that turn into reality -- like a giant sea serpent that dozens of men try to bring down with swords and arrows. There's a fair bit of sword play and sword fighting, but no one is killed. On one island, people are "sacrificed" to the sea, so a girl looks horrified as her mother is whisked away on a boat, presumably never to be seen again (spoiler alert: all ends well). A few characters look dead but are actually in a deep sleep. Two characters nearly turn on each other but only because they're under an enchantment. The White Witch appears, but only in Edmund's mind.

Sex

In one brief scene, Lucy looks at a couple who are flirting with each other and embracing. A star manifests herself as a beautiful woman, and both Caspian and Edmund look completely taken with her. An ongoing theme in the movie is that Lucy wishes she were as beautiful (and attractive to the opposite sex) as her older sister, Susan. 

Language

Some British insults -- like "sod," "what the blazes," "bleedin," and "thick" -- as well as "crap," "shut up," "idiot," "oh God" (as an exclamation), and the like.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the third Chronicles of Narnia installment is, like its predecessors, a tween-friendly fantasy adventure. In general, you can expect the same level of special effects-heightened battles/violence and minor language as Prince Caspian. While there's little inappropriate content for older elementary-schoolers and up, younger kids may be frightened by a few scenes with a giant sea serpent and others set on an island where people are routinely sacrificed. Like all of the adaptations based on C. S. Lewis' classic books, there are some mild allusions to Christianity, though nothing overtly religious is said (Aslan does reference the "other name" he's called in the regular world). The film offers positive lessons about collaboration, selflessness, and overcoming personal doubts and fears, and the three central kids all grapple with self-worth issues that will be very relatable for tweens. Note: The movie's 3-D images add to the intensity of a few action sequences, particularly the battle with the giant sea snake.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this adaptation of C.S. Lewis' third Chronicles of Narnia book, the two youngest Pevensie kids, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley), are staying with their aunt, uncle, and obnoxious younger cousin Eustace (Will Poulter). They make the best of their unhappy situation ... until one day, when the seaside painting in their guest room comes to life and sweeps them (and unbelieving Eustace) onto the Dawn Treader, the royal Narnian ship of King Caspian (Ben Barnes). Caspian explains that he and his crew are on a mission to find the seven "lost lords" of Narnia, who were dispatched by his father ages ago but were never heard from again. To restore peace to Narnia, they must track down the lords' enchanted swords and lay them at Aslan's table. As Caspian, the Pevensies, and the crew of the Dawn Treader navigate treacherous waters, they're each tested by an evil mist that emanates from an ominously dark island.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Chronicles of Narnia series isn't exactly The Lord of the Rings saga, but, THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is surprisingly engaging. Yes, it follows the less-glamorous younger siblings and their insufferable on-screen cousin, but that's true to Lewis' story and allows for Edmund and Lucy (and Keynes and Henley) to mature and show that they're as worthy as Peter and Susan to fight for Narnia. Simon Pegg replaces Eddie Izzard as the voice of Reepicheep, and once again the sword-wielding mouse is a highlight of the action -- in this case helping Eustace grow into a brave defender of Narnia.

Director Michael Apted, a master at nuance and character development (he made both the groundbreaking documentary series 7 Up and the Oscar-winning biopic Coal Miner's Daughter), smartly focuses on the relationships between the main characters rather than the action. There are still some special effects-heavy sequences, but it's not mind blowing. So Apted chronicles how Lucy deals with her desire to be as beautiful as her older sister and how Edmund struggles with his jealousy over living in Peter's -- and now Caspian's -- shadow. These are believable younger sibling "issues," and it makes the Pevensies -- and Eustace, who's too logical and uptight for his own good -- incredibly relatable to a tween audience, many of whom are experiencing similar doubts about their self-worth. So although this saga isn't quite as memorable as other epic fantasies like LOTR and the Harry Potter movies, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a worthier-than-expected journey.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how each of the main characters was tested and tempted and yet came out victorious. What insecurities did each of them overcome? What is the movie's message about pride and beauty?

  • For those who've read the books, how faithful is the film to the story? 

  • Why do you suppose the Pevensies can't return to Narnia once they've grown up? What is it about getting older that makes your time in Narnia come to an end?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 10, 2010
DVD release date:April 5, 2011
Cast:Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes
Director:Michael Apted
Studio:Walden Media
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Book characters
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action

This review of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN January 17, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

A strong plot and strong characters continues a wonderful movie series.

For those who were disappointed that Reepicheep didn't have enough screen time in Prince Caspian then fear no more; he receives a fairly large part in the movie, most of which he spends antagonizing Eustace, Lucy and Edmund's cousin. Peter and Susan appear only briefly in a sort of daydream of Lucy's where she is Susan. This, I suppose, is nice because you are opened up to the two youngest Pevensie's and learn more about them without the older two stealing the spotlight. Edmund attempts (and succeeds) to fill his brother's shoes while also letting Caspian rule since he's the current king of Narnia. This proves to be a little hard when a certain green mist pits them against each other at one point, almost causing them to come to blows. Luckily, Lucy steps in and stops them. Some images like the giant sea monster (it kinda freaked me out) that Edmund accidentally conjures from his mind would definitely scare younger children. At the same time though, the strong Christian background and theme shines through: Aslan actually says to Lucy "In your world you shall know me by another name." That surprised me that Disney would be so outright with religion, but it was still overall very entertaining. Comments? Questions? Concerns? Email me: ogormanscommonsense at yahoo. :)

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 8 years old April 10, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Teen, 16 years old Written bybluelego94 December 29, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great For Everyone!

It was yet another great Narnia movie. It was very funny, it had action, and it was a thrilling adventure. I think it was better than Prince Caspian. For those of you who read the book, it isnt as bad as some movies that go from novel to movie, they did a decent job with it. Its rated PG and I think that is a good rating. The only thing that was bad was a scary monster in it but it looked pretty cool. I would recomend this to my friends and family. You should probably go take a look. I hoped this helped you. Have a nice day.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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