the beast within
by Andrea Elizabeth
I just spent most of today battling traffic and distance to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in the last metroplex theater it’s playing in. This third movie is much better than the second in my opinion, so I hope Narnia’s reputation is redeemed enough to ensure the rest of the seven get made. The criticisms in this article, which compares it to Harry Potter, may be valid, but I consider them almost apples and oranges. Dawn Treader is more in the battle-the-monster style of Sinbad the Sailor and The Odyssey where Harry Potter is more modernly fast paced and complex. The Dawn Treader’s special effects make the monsters and water effects less distracting than earlier Hollywood attempts at those. The water wall at the end was pretty Cecil B. DeMillish however. Since I enjoy the older type of storytelling, I didn’t mind the flaws pointed out in the article. Dawn Treader is more kid-friendly as well without the shocking Harry and Hermione nightmare and Voldemort’s sadism.
[added] If I may make a more specific comparison, the magic in Harry Potter is pretty scientific and less dependent on another world. The magic in Narnia may seem random, but that could be because it relies on an unpredictable, benevolent Other and not tried and true combinations of elements or words. The Incantation book is presented as working in a way of summoning and not independent conjuring. It does bother me that there are new and random agents like Fr. Christmas and the blue star who pop in from nowhere, but I always feel that way when new characters are introduced. I want to stick with the original click, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Lewis’ new characters feel like they at least have an interesting ancient history that we may get to find out about in the next world.