December 28, 2010 | By: TJS

The Fate of Narnia Depends on You.

“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (as mentioned briefly in my last couple posts) is the latest Narnia movie. Since I’ve started this blog after most of the VDT commotion and news has died down, let me sum up the last year or so for you.

(Note: I’ve put links to stories from AC about each thing throughout this post, so if you’re interested in something, you can read more about it! :D Right click on the link and hit Open Link in New Tab.)

Pre-production was started while Prince Caspian was still being filmed. Michael Apted was hired as director, different from the first two films’ director, Andrew Adamson.

After “Prince Caspian” disappointed everyone, Disney dropped the franchise. But Walden Media (the owner of the rights to make Narnia movies) remained strong and firm and tried to find another partner.

Fox picked up and revived the franchise. With a new director, composer, Production company, and a new child star, the film was given a new and exciting outlook.

The new child star, of course, is Will Poulter, playing Eustace Clarence Scrubb. He definitely does justice to C.S. Lewis’ character, and he steals the show in the movie. Joining him are Skandar Keynes as Edmund, and Georgie Henley as Lucy. They’ve both grown up so much. These movies are not only chronicling the Pevensies’ lives, but the actors’ lives as well! And the King of Narnia, Caspian, is played by Ben Barnes. He is now just the right age for the part, unlike last time. The voicing of Reepicheep was changed a couple of times, but in the end, Simon Pegg played Reepicheep.

The first VDT news (after casting) was we started seeing pictures pop up of the ship being built. I remember thinking how awesome the film was going to be, just when I first saw the ship.

Then there were “spy reports” of people who watched the filming. Then we started seeing interviews, more production photos, short video clips, and promotional posters and websites. was updated to just have the logo of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (with an awesome glittery cursor), and it seemed like forever until they finally opened the site. On the homepage there’s a giant ship, The Dawn Treader; there’s awesome Narnia music playing; and you can “explore Narnia” by “sailing” to each island, which opened one at a time.Other sites like opened later. This film was promoted a lot, with many special screenings and press conferences.

They marketed the film as a “Return to Magic. Return to Hope. Return to Narnia.” I loved that. I wanted the movie to have more of the fun, magic, wonderment feel the first film had. I had hope that it would be a fabulous movie. We also heard that they were trying hard to keep the spiritual themes of the Dawn Treader book alive in the movie. They claimed to have a "renewed commitment to the message of the books" and admitted that they made some mistakes with Prince Caspian. I thought was very promising, since a lot of us Narnia fans care deeply about the spiritual and Christian symbolisms C.S. Lewis put in the books.

The arrival of the Teaser Trailer (which was the event that sparked my friendship with Hannah) came on …… . I liked the trailer a lot. I even videoed the screen so I could watch it again away from the computer. :D

Several small “TV spots” appeared, but then the trailer we’d been waiting for showed up: the Theatrical Trailer. It was awesome. It started (for a change) with the end scene with Aslan, and it was very well done and exciting.

Even more interviews, pictures, video clips, and promotional material was showing up. We heard about Carrie Underwood’s song for the movie, about Joe McElderry and other international artists covering the song, and we heard clips from the Dawn Treader soundtrack. News about special screenings and contests were flying at us full-speed. We news posters at Aslan’s Country were working overtime to get everything reported!

There were special event to promote the movie such as the Regent Street lighting ceremony in London (The whole street was decorated with Narnia-themed Christmas lights!) and some “ice palace” exhibits in the USA (walk-thru Narnia displays in malls).

The world premiere of the movie was on November 30th, 2010, in London, England. The Queen herself attended. (It was her first 3-D movie!) It was a huge event, with a long red carpet, a huge “picture frame,” banners everywhere, and real AND fake snow falling on everyone. One of our administrators, Matthew, got to go to London for the premiere and some private interviews.

Hannah, Kelley, and I were each on our computers at home watching a stupid web cam and snapping screenshots whenever we thought we saw something important. Sometimes we actually got something, like an actress or the queen’s car! While we were doing that, we were busily posting the best pics in a live premiere story, checking Twitter, where Matthew was supposed to be posting updates, and checking another Narnia site to read their live premiere story and twitter updates. We had lots of fun on that crazy day.

After that was the press conference in London and Matthew’s interview with Georgie and Will (Skandar was sick!).

On December 8, Georgie and Skandar came to America to attend a special pre-screening in Kentucky (hosted by the winners of the Operation Narnia contest); then they went to the Smithsonian National Zoo to christen a baby lion cub named Aslan; then they attended the official US premiere on December 9 in Kentucky.

Meanwhile… on the night of December 9, some friends of mine joined me at a theater near us to watch a midnight showing of the Dawn Treader! It officially premiered in theatres on the 10th, and we saw it at 12:30, December 10. (I’ll be posting a video about our adventure soon.) I saw it again that evening because my sister didn’t want to go that morning. Then I went a day without seeing it. On Sunday, I saw it again, since my dad hadn’t seen it yet. So I saw it three times opening weekend.

Then reviews started flying at us full-speed. Only a fraction got reported, mostly Christian ones. I wrote a review, which you can read here. I’ll also post it on this blog shortly.

The first weekend, the movie didn't do very well. It didn't get as much money as either of the former two Narnia movies. But Fox seems to be optimistic. It was marketed as a holiday movie, and it made lots of money playing through Christmas. It also is very popular in international theatres (You wouldn’t guess how much international promotion the movie received!). So in the long run it will probably do very well. And we're hoping that a future "Silver Chair" movie is announced soon! As of today the total revenue is over 225 million dollars.

For Christmas, Aslan's Country made a "Narnia Christmas Tribute" for the cast and crew of the Dawn Treader. It was Kelley's idea, but I put together most of the pages on photoshop from messages fans sent in and images from the movie. You can see the scrapbook here.

Recently the only news has been interviews, for example one with Douglas Gresham about the future of the franchise, news on awards nominations, and a really cool Behind the Scenes clip about the "Transition to Narnia" scene.

I really, truly loved the movie, and I don’t have to make myself say it. Setting aside that it was Narnia, it was an awesome movie in itself. Everything was well done. It definitely had the Narnian, magical, fantastic feel to it. They did their best to stay close to the book and the religious aspects of the book, and I think they did very well.

I hope you get a chance to see it in theatres! Please take your friends and family and extended family! This movie must do well if any more Narnia movies are to be made.

To quote Douglas Gresham (C.S. Lewis’ stepson, who is overseeing the Narnia movies), “Take your friends, and take your enemies.”

In the trailer, Liliandil says to the main characters, “The fate of Narnia depends on you.” This may sound cheesy, but realize, she’s talking to us! The future of the series rests on us. Take up your sword. Gather up your courage. Face dangers and temptation and evil and win! I’m fighting for Narnia. Are you?


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