December 29, 2010 | By: TJS

VDT Midnight Premiere

This video goes with the last post (my review). Both were completed right after seeing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for the first time Friday morning. This video (of before and after the midnight premiere on Friday) is hosted by myself and Molly. :)

My Dawn Treader Review

This is my Voyage of the Dawn Treader review, as posted on Aslan's Country. See the original post here.

Susanofgp’s report/review after seeing the movie for the first time at a midnight premiere Friday morning!

Warning: Spoiler alert!!!!!!!

When I saw Prince Caspian, I was determined to like it, because it was Narnia, and all of the same actors were going to be in it. I knew they were making big changes to the story, but I wanted to like it anyway. It was a good movie, and it was Narnia, but they strayed far from the book, so I didn’t immensely love it.

With The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I didn’t have to make myself like it. I really loved it, and I’m proud of it.
One reason may be because I had prepared myself and watched all of the trailers and clips and read different reports of how the story was going to be changed. Those who have gone spoiler-free and expect it to be exactly like the book (p.s. that never happens.) will be disappointed. But I had researched and understood the plot changes and why they had made them, so the movie was exactly as I expected! If you admit they’re going to change some things for the good of the movie, to move it along or whatever, then you’ll be fine with it.

I got to see the film with friends at 12:30 Friday morning (December 10) at a theatre near us.
The characters that stuck out to me the most after seeing it for the first time were Edmund: He’s a very strong, main character and has really grown up. Lucy: She’s a lady: strong, beautiful, hopeful, and encouraging to Gael and the boys, or I should say, men. Caspian: He is now definitely a king and a leader. Eustace: funny, horrible to the other characters, exactly how C.S. Lewis described him. Reepicheep: He definitely is more caring and gentle, and I must say, cute, than in the last film, but he still holds on to his fierce fighting skills and disposition. He becomes a true friend of Eustace’s by the end, and it really touches Eustace.

It was in “digital 3-D” which was cool only because it made the movie look more “real.” The 3-D made it clear that one character was behind another, but you can tell that from 2-D also. I’m not sold on 3-D yet. I don’t think it made that much of a difference, especially since not much “popped out” at you.

I couple things that would be confusing for a fan of the book:

They added this element of “the green mist,” which just gives form to an evil force that’s lurking everywhere and is always is aiming to tempt the characters to sin. We see it when Lucy is tempted to read the beauty spell, in the water at Deathwater Island, where Edmund and Caspian are enchanted, and around Eustace as he tries to place the last sword on Aslan’s table.

Speaking of the magic swords, they are gifts from Aslan to Narnia. To defeat “the green mist,” all seven of them must be laid at Aslan’s Table on Ramandu’s Island. The swords help you keep track of which Lords have been found already (each Lord has one of the swords) and puts a more fatal weight on their quest to find the lost Lords. When the swords are all together on the table, the green mist, the sea serpent, and the witch all disappear, and all is right again.

The witch and the sea serpent are things Edmund dreams up while they’re in Dark Island, the place where nightmares come true. The white witch does not come back to life, though she tries to convince Edmund that, “I will always be alive in your mind, silly boy.” It makes it look like Aslan’s victory over her wasn’t complete, and the witch could always return. But just remember who’s saying it. The witch herself. The essence of evil and lies.

In our world, Jesus conquered Satan when he paid for our sins and then rose from the dead, but that doesn’t stop Satan from trying to convince us that he is still in charge. At the end of time, Satan will be thrown into Hell, and Jesus will be acknowledged as the true ruler by all. For now, though, we are tempted to do evil every day. This displeases Jesus, but he never stops loving us if we one of his children. This is what “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” captures. C.S. Lewis said it represents “the spiritual life” of a Christian. I think the film encourages you to stay strong and never give in to temptation.

My opinion on the witch is that she should have been like Tumnus, a character only in LWW. I wouldn’t mind seeing her in Magician’s Nephew, but please don’t put her in Silver Chair!

The adding of the older Pevensie siblings in a few scenes was a nice touch. Those who see the movie and aren't Narnia fans will recognize actors, and those of us who are Narnia fans will be glad to see our favorite actors coming back, even if just for cameos. Peter and Susan don't come back to Narnia in the book or the movie, so don't worry about that.

Another addition was Gael. While she is a good actress and gives younger girls a character they can relate to, she doesn’t really add anything to the story. Lucy has a chance to prove she has learned her lesson when she tells Gael to be herself and not be envious of others, but that’s it.

Some things they took out were: Ramandu and the song he and his daughter sing as the birds fly from the sun to eat up all of the extra food. In the book, Edmund calls this the truly most exciting moment of their journey. There are a few other parts that were altered a bit (Slave Market scene, the Magician’s Island). They combined some islands and shortened many of them to help the movie move along faster. It did seem very fast, partly because the story is episodic. The one island that is drawn out is Dark Island, which they combined with the sea serpent battle and made the climax of the movie.

But I thought they did VERY well. I absolutely adored the movie overall. Some things I LOVED:
A picture on Susan’s desk of the four kids wearing their school clothes from “Prince Caspian.”
The last scene, complete with the line, “In your world I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. That is the very reason you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” I thought that everyone’s acting was fabulous in that scene.
The lighting: the color didn’t seem as beautiful as the clips online, but the lighting was cool because they made great use of the sun.
The cinematography: I love the shot from the dragon’s point of view, flying toward the ship.
The music: I didn’t notice it that much, which is the nature of movie music. But I did notice a few themes I had heard online, and they were great.
There were also many lines, that were very profound, and I loved. There were also many that made me laugh out loud! Some good lines: “You’re a boat in a magical land, can’t you row yourself?” -Eustace. “In England we have mousetraps for that sort of thing.” -Eustace. “Treasure.” -Edmund, “Trouble.” -Caspian. “I’ll bet this morning you didn’t even believe in dragons.”-Reepicheep. “Aunt Alberta will not be pleased.” -Edmund. “Without you, your brothers and sister would never have known about Narnia.” -Aslan. “I spent too long wanting what was taken from me, and not what was given. I was given a kingdom; people.” – King Caspian.

Lots of things were put in that help lead up to “The Silver Chair.” For example, the evil “mist” itself is green and is accompanied in Dark Island by a sea serpent, which ends up looking a lot like a giant serpent, and a witch…. Hmm…
The green mist also represents kidnapping, as villagers are “fed” to it and disappear.
When Eustace asks, Aslan tells him, “Narnia may have need of you again.”
In England there is a small reference to Jill Pole.
While there is no mention of Caspian and Liliandil’s marriage, they definitely kept it open with Caspian saying something like, “I hope we see each other again.” So it ends like the book does, except without the epilogue. They will probably mention Caspian’s marriage in “Silver Chair,” because if they don’t get married, how else can the series continue!?
This movie made me want to see another made, and I think Silver Chair is the obvious next movie. I dearly hope we will hear news of its being made soon.

I hope you can see how much I loved this movie. I loved it so much, I forgot about my soda! (which is something I never do.) While there were inconsistencies with the book, most of them were added for a logical reason and don’t detract much from the message of the story. The characters were all very strong, the lines were great, and the special effects (especially the dragon) were awesome. I cannot wait to see this movie again, and I’d encourage all of you to go see it and encourage your friends to go see it. For Narnia! And for Aslan!

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?
December 25, 2010 | By: TJS

Aslan's Meditations: Room for the King

This post was written by Hannah Dokupil from Aslan's Country. God inspired her to write a beautiful post, and it really blessed me. You can see the original post here.

All three times that I’ve seen Dawn Treader so far, there is one line that particularly stuck out to me – not in an odd, awkward way – but that it was done very, very well, and it got me thinking.

When they are being taken captive by the slave traders on Narrowhaven, two men have Caspian’s hands behind his back, and he desperately yells to them:

“Listen, you insolent fool! I – am – your – KING!”

But they paid no heed: instead they bound him and locked him in a dungeon.

The slave traders didn’t know Caspian was their king. They didn’t know that he had come to set things right on their island and to bring peace. They didn’t know he was the one they should be following.

As the Christmas season approaches, it got me thinking – that’s what the Romans did to Jesus when He was born. Obviously He couldn’t cry out Himself, but the skies shook with the glory and celebration of the birth of our King and Savior.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:13-14)

It says ‘Look, world – a KING has been born. Your King, your Savior, the Messiah’

But as Christ grew and taught, that’s also what the scribes, Pharisees, priests, and mobs did to Him. Scorned Him, beat Him, refused to believe.

How obvious would it have been to the slave traders if they had taken a second look at Caspian? They might find a signet ring, Peter’s sword – maybe treasure, wealth, and fame. They could look at the way he dressed, talked, acted, and carried himself. All these things that would show them in a heartbeat that Caspian was, indeed, a great king.

It doesn’t take more than this second look to see this about Christ. Had the Romans really sought to find out just who this Man was – they might have found something completely different than the mobs and crowds seemed to cry.

Would the slave traders have seen Caspian differently if they were torn, broken, and living in poverty? The people of Narrowhaven did. In the battle on Narrowhaven, there are a few shots of the people – and you see in their eyes a kind of wide and awestruck wonder and excitement. I can just imagine them thinking “who are these people who have come to save us? And why?”

It is for those who humble themselves to look at who Christ really is that He saves.

Jesus says in Luke 5:32 - I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

So often, we treat God as though He’s just there to help us when we’re in trouble. Just there to be a powerful, magical force who cleans up after us and takes away our pain. Our culture has grown up with the idea that God is a being who needs our worship. Who needs our praise.

What a lie.

God doesn’t need us at all. We, like the people of Narrowhaven, are broken, tormented, and living in the poverty of the choices we have made and the sin that surrounds us.

Yet God wants to have a relationship with us.

Have you ever stopped to meditate on the beauty of that?

Because God is not just a being out there who comes when we need Him, fixes things up, and then leaves so we can revel in the glory of our own accomplishments. He’s not just a god who needs our worship to make Him happy – or a force that must be pleased with certain rituals in order to keep Him quiet and out of the way. He’s not a vending machine who gives us what we wants if we put the right amount in and push the right buttons.

In fact, He’s anything but that.

He is – GOD.

He is not only the one who comforts us in our pain, works out our problems, and requires our worship. He is so much more than that.

He is our Creator, Master, Father, Savior, King, and everything we ever needed. He is so much greater, bigger, and mightier than anything we could imagine. He is glorious beyond comprehension.

Psalm 19:1-3
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.

Psalm 144:3
3 LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?

This God, this Lord, this Creator of all and majestic and high beyond all others – this is the One who humbled Himself to obedience – to the point of death as a human. (Phil. 2:5-8)

I can imagine Jesus thinking…or maybe even wanting to yell out to the world: “I AM YOUR CREATOR! YOUR SUSTAINER! THE ONE WHO DIED FOR YOU!”

Not only did Bethlehem have no room for their King when He was born, but the world didn’t either.

Like the slave traders though, the Romans disregarded whatever evidence there may have been for Kingship and beat, tortured, mocked, and killed Jesus – the very man who had come to save them.

And what about our world today?

Especially during the hubbub of the Christmas season – it’s so easy to forget about Christ – who He really is and what that means to us.

Christmas may not have been when Christ was really born – but how often do we get caught up even in the idea of “giving” or “helping” others – and lose sight of the real reason we live and breathe and do anything?

1 Corinthians 10:31 says therefore whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Every breath I take, every move I make, should not only recognize Christ as my King and Savior, but proclaim it to anyone I encounter.

Puddleglum, in The Silver Chair, he emphatically states

"I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."

Do we live as though we have Christ in our lives, that we acknowledge Him as King? Or do we trample Him, lock Him up under the excuse of “business”, “work”, “holidays”, “this is important”, or whatever other ideas we come up with?

When we hear Christ say “I – am – your – KING!” what does that mean to us? Do we respond by continuing about our normal lives as if Christ was never a part? Or does it move us to worship and bow before Him because He IS our King?

1 Timothy 1:17 - Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
December 21, 2010 | By: TJS

First Thing's First

I think I must let you know that I work for Aslan’s It’s the third largest Narnia fansite in the USA.

Well… I don’t exactly work for them. I volunteer. But it still is a job. I enjoy it, and I take it seriously.

Hannah Dokupil (one of the founders and administrators of Aslan’s Country) is a speechian in the NCFCA (which I competed in for two years), and I got to know her over Facebook. I was ecstatic when I heard she ran Aslan’s Country! (I had been a humble reader for years.) We kept in touch, trading ideas about the new Narnia movie coming up, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

Then one day I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be fun to help with Aslan’s Country? I could at least help write stuff for the cast bios or something. Hannah surprised me by asking a couple days later if I would like to work for the site, reporting news!

Me? A news reporter? For Narnia!?!?!?

It was a bit daunting, but thrilling. I told my parents about it, and they were both happy for me and urged me to take the offer. I did, and I have been reporting news for Aslan’s Country ever since.

I won’t tell you our special way of communicating and sharing Narnia news and other things because it’s a secret. :D It wouldn’t be special otherwise.

I thought I’d mention Aslan’s Country first off because I’ll probably be linking to stories from AC or quoting them a lot. :D

It’s also the biggest Narnian thing in my life right now, so i thought you should know about it.

Here are some of my stories if you would like to read them:

My first story: Two new Dawn Treader Songs!

My favorite stories: New Soundtrack Clips and Credits, NEW CLIP: Dragon attack, The Hidden Story of Narnia, and Christian Controversy (below).

My longest story: Christian Controversy

My latest story: NarniaFans Talks to Douglas Gresham

Blog Headers Archive

This is an archive for the blog headers I use. I'll move each image here when I'm done with it. :)

2/14/12 - 6/29/12

11/27/11 - 2/13/12

6/23/11 - 11/26/11

5/13/11 - 6/22/11

2/23/11 - 5/12/11

2/19/11 - 2/22/11

12/21/10 - 2/18/11

A link to my blog.... for other sites.