If you have not seen The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of The Dawn Treader yet, it may be that you were not aware that it was released this past weekend. The film has been under advertised resulting in an opening weekend with a box office return of only $24 million. Despite this, Voyage of The Dawn Treader is at the number one spot. Perhaps this is due to the millions of fans the franchise has, or it is simply because people want to see it.
The story itself begins with Lucy and Edmund Pevensie living with their Aunt Alberta and Uncle Harold Scrubb because they are unable to join Peter, Susan and their parents in America due to the war with the Germans. Feeling somewhat abandoned, the two youngest Pevensies long to return to Narnia and all of its magic and promise of adventure. Their reminiscent behavior brings them much scorn from Eustace Scrubb, their cousin who is much more interested in solid facts than what he sees as the whimsical delusions of his relatives. Whether it be from the desires of Lucy and Edmund, or the doubting heart of Eustace, all three children are transported to Narnia.
Once there, they are reunited with Caspian who has been King of Narnia since the events that took place in Prince Caspian. He tells Lucy and Edmund that he is on a voyage to find the lost seven Lords who were banished from Narnia by his Uncle following the death of Caspian’s father, the previous King of Narnia.
One destination on this quest is the Lost Islands where the seven Lords were originally banished. Upon their arrival they learn that something is very wrong and investigate. Caspian, Lucy, Edmund and Eustace are all captured by a slave trader and learn that the citizens of Narnia who live on the island are either sold, or fed to The Mist; an entity of darkness and evil which demands the sacrifice. After a daring rescue by Reepicheep the mouse, the crew of The Dawn Treader embark on a gallant and noble quest to find the seven magical swords that will destroy the evil mist once laid on Aslan’s table.
This installment of the Narnia franchise has a slightly different feel than the first two, attributable to the fact that they are on a voyage at sea. That fact could cause some to draw comparisons to another popular sea faring franchise, but Voyage of The Dawn Treader is different in that the central theme of the story is overcoming adversity both from within and outside ourselves, not the journey or the quest. We watch Lucy struggle with self doubt and a longing to be beautiful, Edmund tempted with the desire to be the King he once was, Caspian still distraught with the loss of his father and Eustace hindered by his own inability to fathom anything more important or greater than the world he can see and touch. As we observe, each of them changes before our eyes, becoming better versions of themselves.
Whatever your reason for seeing Voyage of The Dawn Treader is-be it that you love the books or are an avid fan of the film franchise-the latest adventure to Narnia certainly does not disappoint. It is filled with the same splendor, magic and majesty of the first two films. There are battles fought and battles won, but none as great as the internal battles each of our heroes face, reminding us of the wars going on inside ourselves and perhaps even giving us each the hope that we can overcome our fears and doubts so that we can stand tall and unashamed before the world.