By Tomokata 21 Comments
Just watched the new trailer for Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and as the title says, I am concerned.
For those who have not read the book, the premise is pretty simple. Prince Caspian is now King Caspian and Narnia is at peace. The country has rebuilt and the Telmarines who stayed behind are integrated into the utopia that can only be found in fiction. So, Caspian decides that he is going to find the Seven Lost Lords of Narnia, gets a cool ship named the Dawn Treader, his favorite talking mouse chevalier, and off they go.
In our world, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, two of the four kings and queens of Narnia, are staying with Eustace, their highly obnoxious cousin who delights in eavesdropping on their conversations about Narnia and being a prat about it. They manage to escape to a little used room and begin talking about their favorite subject and how are they ever going to get back? Eustace crashes the conversation, and eventually the three children get drawn back into the world of Narnia through a painting of a sailing ship on the wall.
Naturally, they join up with the Dawn Treader and head off with Caspian and crew on a series of rollicking adventures. Eustace learns that being an annoying git is no way to go through life and has a change of heart. Lucy and Edmund learn that the reason Peter and Susan didn't come was not because they were not there, but because they were too old. One needs a child-like belief in Narnia in order to go to Narnia.
The book is not so much about Edmund and Lucy as it is about Eustace. The Chronicles are morality plays, and Voyage is about how even someone seeming to be the most obnoxious scum can have a change of heart, putting yourself in someone else's shoes, appreciating what you have, and basically Why You Should Be Nice.
The trailer for the movie has some of that, the painting, glimpses of some of the island adventures, etc. They also have a few things that made me go "Hmmm..." Eustace, the key player in the book, is barely in the trailer at all. If they don't have his dragon bit, I will be highly put out.
The White Witch, however, is in there saying she could make someone her king. Eh? The White Witch is gone. There is no hidden pocket of evil minions for them to run into who keep the belief in her alive, which is how she "contacted" Edmund in Prince Caspian. Them encountering her makes no sense, whatsoever.
In the Aslan narration of the trailer, he mentions that Narnia is in grave danger. Eh? No...Narnia is not. That's why Caspian felt it was all right to leave. Yes, the Kings and Queens of old will show up when Narnia is in danger, but that's not the only time they can show up. The book is not about Narnia. The book is about Eustace.
There are flashes of Susan and Peter in their kingly and queenly armor, with their kingly and queenly weapons, fighting. lolwut? These could be flashbacks, which is what I'm hoping. This could be happening on one of their island adventures, and it's not really Susan and Peter. But if it's not...I simply can't figure out how they tie in the two elder siblings, or my worse fear, it's not a flashback at all, but a flash forward. To The Last Battle. This is bad. If they're foreshadowing Battle already, what about the three intervening books, which have nothing at all to do with the four Pevensie children? Are they skipping directly to Battle for the next movie?
I believe that The Magician's Nephew was reordered to be the last book, instead of The Last Battle, but Nephew is perhaps, canon-wise, the single most important book of the series, going in depth not only into Narnia, Aslan, and the White Witch, but tying everything back to the first book as well. The Silver Chair is something of an odd acid-trip and my least favorite book, and doesn't really offer much by way of Narnia, but it does offer a lot by way of showing you the world is not just Narnia, there's a lot more there than this relatively tiny nation. A Horse and His Boy is my second fave book of the series, and if you love Narnia, is a must read. It expands on mentions in the other books, and gives you a picture of how Narnia fits in with the rest of its world.
And Susan isn't even IN The Last Battle as a queen, period.
I thought The Chronicles of Narnia were going to be The Chronicles of Narnia, not The Chronicles of the Pevensie Children.
I am probably reading way too much into a simple trailer, which is designed to grab your attention and want to see the movie. I get that out of context bits are often put together to intrigue a potential customer into spending their money on the product. But my faith in Hollywood, practically nonexistent at this point, is not leaving me hopeful. The arrogance that scriptwriters have in taking classic stories and "reimagining" them so they'll "better work" is what screws things up. No, you don't have to reimagine anything. They're classics because they already work. If they didn't work, they wouldn't be classics.
While I am not quite yet disappoint, I am, as said, very concerned.