‘THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN’
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“Everything you know is about to change!”
I enjoyed ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ so much at the cinemas, that I was looking forward to seeing ‘Prince Caspian’ next in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ film series from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. I hoped to see more Narnia books made into films as ‘LLW’ was well-made by Andrew Adamson and his team.
I was dismayed that it would take a while for ‘Prince Caspian’ to be made after ‘LLW’ since it wasn’t a yearly thing like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy was with a film shown every Christmas from 2005. ‘Prince Caspian’ was to be released in the summer of 2008! I learnt to be patient and looked forward to it.
I was delighted to see ‘Prince Caspian’ at the cinema and be brought back into the world of Narnia again. It was a different experience compared to ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, but a refreshing one at that. I wanted to know how Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy would help Caspian.
I remember reading the book ‘Prince Caspian’ before seeing the movie at the cinema. After seeing the movie, I noticed the structural changes made that were different from the book to the film. But I enjoyed ‘Prince Caspian’ as a film and find that it’s an underrated film compared to what ‘LLW’ was.
For those who haven’t seen ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, four children Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy were made Kings and Queens of Narnia by Aslan the Lion after they defeated the White Witch. After ruling Narnia for many years, the children returned back to their lives in England.
The title refers to the character of Prince Caspian who summons Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy back into Narnia using Susan’s magical horn. Narnia is under the rule of the evil Miraz and the Telmarines. Caspian fights for the throne to overthrow Miraz’s tyranny and save the land of Narnia.
This film was released as a 2-disc DVD set with the movie on Disc 1 and special features on Disc 2. I was disappointed there wasn’t a four-disc extended edition of ‘Prince Caspian’ as ‘LLW’ had. They could have added the deleted scenes on the DVD to make an extended version of the film (more later).
Also the DVD menus of ‘Prince Caspian’ didn’t follow the continuity of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ as ‘The Lord of the Rings’ DVDs did. This didn’t make it feel like ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ film series was a consistent DVD series, as the menus should have followed the same as each other.
DISC 1 – THE MOVIE
The film opens with an exciting chase sequence with Caspian on his horse and riding into the forest.
In our world in England, Peter; Susan; Edmund and Lucy are trying to adjust to normal life after a year since they’ve been in Narnia. For Narnia though, it has been a 100 years since the children left.
The four Pevensies soon return to Narnia after Caspian blew the horn of Susan to summon them back. Peter; Susan; Edmund and Lucy are delighted to be back, but notice that Narnia has changed.
They find themselves back at the Ancient Ruins of Cair Paravel, the castle where they stayed and rule in Narnia. Cair Paravel used to be marvellous and majestic. Now it’s in ruins and is long abandoned.
Peter; Susan; Edmund and Lucy soon find the Treasure Chamber where they kept their gifts Father Christmas in ‘LLW’. The four children decide to find out what’s going on and why Narnia is changed.
William Moseley stars Peter Pevensie. Peter used to be High King of Narnia once. Now he has to help Prince Caspian to reclaim the throne and save Narnia. It isn’t easy and he learns some harsh lessons.
Anna Popplewell stars as Susan Pevensie. Susan is glad to be back in Narnia, although she had been getting used to living in England back home. Susan gets to be in the battles with her bow and arrows.
Skandar Keynes stars as Edmund Pevensie. Edmund is no longer the brat he was in ‘LLW’, although he is pretty daring and an action hero since he was a King of Narnia once and helps Peter sometimes.
Georgie Henley stars as Lucy Pevensie. Lucy is lovely in this movie, as she’s keen; open-minded and open-hearted. She sees Aslan when nobody else sees him and keeps having faith him whenever.
The four Pevensies soon rescue a red dwarf from two Telmarine soldiers in a boat. This is Peter Dinklage as Trumpkin. I liked Trumpkin in this movie, as he is grumpy and loveable the same time.
Narnia is now under the rule of the Telmarines; a race of Spanish-like humans from the land of Telmar. They have abolished the old ways of Narnia; and all the old Narnians have gone into hiding.
The Telmarines are led by an evil usurper – Sergio Castellitto as Miraz. I liked Sergio’s performance as Miraz, as he’s a corrupt man who seeks the throne of Narnia and tries to see Prince Caspian dead.
Miraz rules Narnia as lord protector first at his Telmarine Castle before becoming king. Miraz’s Castle is very impressive and foreboding compared to the majestic beauty of castle Cair Paravel in Narnia.
Ben Barnes stars as Prince Caspian. I liked Ben’s truthful performance as Caspian, as he’s a Telmarine boy who was told stories of Narnia by his tutor. He wants to restore the old Narnia when he’s king.
Caspian’s tutor is Vincent Grass as Dr. Cornelius. Cornelius told stories about old Narnia to Caspian in secret and he helps Caspian to escape when Miraz wants him dead and he gives him Susan’s horn.
The chase sequence at the beginning of the film has Caspian fleeing from Miraz’s castle into the Shuddering Woods. There Caspian finds the old Narnians in hiding and there he uses Susan’s horn.
Susan’s horn is one of the gifts given to her by Father Christmas in ‘LLW’. It is used to summon help at the greatest of needs. Susan left her horn behind when she left Narnia for Dr. Cornelius to find.
The old Narnians in hiding are the talking animals; dwarfs; centaurs; fauns; minotaurs; etc that live in hiding from the Telmarines. They have every reason to be angry with their home robed by them.
Caspian recovers from a blow to the head inside Trufflehunter’s Den. This is where he meets Trufflehunter the badger and Nikabrik the black dwarf. Caspian tells them of his plight from Miraz.
Warwick Davies (who played Reepicheep in the BBC version of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’) stars as Nikabrik the black dwarf. Nikabrik is very suspicious of Caspian and isn’t willing to have him as king.
There is a special character from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ called Reepicheep. This a talking swashbuckling mouse voiced by Eddie Izzard. Reepicheep is courageous and brave, despite being a mouse.
There’s also Cornell John as Glenstorm the centaur. Glenstorm is a noble and wise centaur who has seen the stars and is willing to help Caspian in his cause against Miraz and the Telmarines for Narnia.
Caspian meets all the old Narnians at the Dancing Lawn. Although initially accusing him for stealing their home, Caspian makes his case and manages to win their confidence in him to save Narnia back.
The Telmarines also include Alicia Borrachero as Prunaprismia, Miraz’s wife. There also Pierfrancesco Favino as General Glozelle and Damián Alcázar as Lord Sopespian who both plot to have Miraz killed.
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy follow Trumpkin in order to get back to Caspian and the Narnians. It’s a very dangerous journey as they have to cross a gorge and avoid the Telmarines seeing them.
One of the obstacles is the Fords of Beruna, which is now replaced by Beruna’s Bridge. The bridge is built by the Telmarines in order to cross the river of Beruna so they could destroy the old Narnians.
Peter; Susan; Edmund and Lucy soon meet Caspian and join him and the Narnians to reach Aslan’s How. It was interesting how the four Pevensies interact with Caspian more compared to the book.
Aslan’s How is a mound of earth and rock built on an ancient site – the Stone Table. The Stone Table was where Aslan was sacrificed and killed by the White Witch before he resurrected to life in ‘LLW’.
Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) makes a return to ‘Prince Caspian’. Lucy is the only one who sees Aslan and it’s interesting how the Pevensies cope without him and they make mistakes in the movie.
There is an action scene in the movie that wasn’t in the book and that’s the Raid on Miraz’s Castle. This is an attempt by Peter to overthrow Miraz’s forces at his castle, but it ultimately fails in the end.
There is also a dark scene of ‘sorcery and sudden vengeance’ from the book in the film. A werewolf and a hag attempt to resurrect Tilda Swinton as the White Witch, which was a scary scene to watch.
Eventually, the Telmarine armies arrive before Aslan’s How where the Narnians are based. Peter soon challenges King Miraz to a duel of single combat. Will Peter defeat Miraz in this single combat?
Whether Peter will win or not, the Battle of Aslan’s How takes place. This is a battle for the Narnians freedom against the tyranny of the Telmarine forces. Will Caspian restore Narnia to its former glory?
The DVD special features of ‘Prince Caspian’ are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a commentary with director Andrew Adamson and actors William Moseley; Anna Popplewell; Skandar Keynes; Georgie Henley and Ben Barnes. The commentary was enjoyable and entertaining to watch with the film.
DISC 2 – BEHIND THE MAGIC
On Disc 2, there are three making-of documentaries including ‘Inside Narnia: The Adventure Returns’; ‘Sets of Narnia: A Classic Comes To Life’ and ‘Big Movie Comes To A Small Town’. It was lovely to hear director Andrew Adamson’s thoughts and the actors’ thoughts on making this movie.
There’s also ‘Pre-Visualising Narnia’ and ‘Talking Animals and Walking Trees: The Magical World of Narnia’. These are interesting featurettes on how ‘Prince Caspian’ was developed in pre-production.
There are also some deleted scenes to see from ‘Prince Caspian’. I really wish these scenes were put into an extended version of the movie, as they’re great scenes and have more connections to the book. There are ten deleted scenes and all are given introductions by director Andrew Adamson.
There are also ‘The Bloopers of Narnia’ that feature some hilarious outtakes from the movie. There’s also the ‘Secrets of the Duel’ featurette; ‘Becoming Trumpkin’ with Peter Dinklage and ‘Warwick Davis: The Man Behind Nikabrik’. It was nice to have these two featurettes focus on the two dwarfs.
‘Prince Caspian’ is a great instalment in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ film series. I enjoyed seeing it at the cinemas in 2008. I wished it was shown at Christmas time and earlier in 2007. But it was fantastic to be transported back into Narnia again and see how the filmmakers adapted the book into film.
I was looking forward to seeing what would happen next in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ film series and hoped to see ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ soon at the cinema. I liked the performances of William Moseley; Anna Popplewell; Skandar Keynes; Georgie Henley and Ben Barnes as the heroes.
‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’ rating – 7/10
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