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THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA:
THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER

After finding safe harbor for the first two productions at Disney, the C.S. Lewis franchise has pulled up anchor, and a cruised over to 20th Century Fox for the third installment film series: namely, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER ($40). While certainly an entertaining family film, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER seems less epic than the first two film adaptations, which may have more to do with the nature of the story than the scaled back budget imposed on this third production. As one might have guessed from the title, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, is a swashbuckling, high seas adventure, as opposed to the grander landlocked stories involving large armies engaged in epic battles.

The premise of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is set after the events of PRINCE CASPIAN, with the younger Pevensie children, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) in the company of their disagreeable cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter), when water begins pouring from a painting of a Narnian looking sailing ship. The water transports the Lucy, Edmund and Eustace into an ocean in Narnia, where King Caspian (Ben Barnes) rescues them and takes the three onboard the vessel Dawn Treader. Caspian is on a voyage to rescue the seven Lords of Narnia, who were banished by his uncle Miraz, and he invites Lucy, Edmund and Eustace to join him in his quest. As it turns out, the seven Lords of Narnia each possess a sword that will be needed to defeat an evil green mist, which has caused the disappearance of countless Narnians. The quest takes the Dawn Treader and its crew to various uncharted islands, where Caspian, Lucy, Edmund and Eustace find themselves tested by various perils, as well as the green mist, which preys on their fears and foibles. As I stated above, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is an entertaining family film; the film offers plenty of action and adventure; none of which becomes too dark or harsh for younger viewers. The cast of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER also features Gary Sweet, Terry Norris, Bruce Spence, Bille Brown, Laura Brent, Colin Moody, Tilda Swinton, Anna Popplewell, William Moseley, Shane Rangi, Arthur Angel, Arabella Morton, Rachel Blakely, Liam Neeson and Simon Pegg.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER was shot digitally at 1.78:1, and then matted to 2.35:1 for theatrical printing- this presentation unmasks the full frame. Compositions look fine, but one will notice extra "headroom" and "foot-room" in many shots, where visual information could be masked without compromising pertinent details. Additionally, the CGI effects all appear to have been completed at 1.78:1 for high definition viewing at home. For the most part, everything appears quite sharp, very nicely defined and quite dimensional, especially during brightly lit exteriors. The image is finely detailed and well textured throughout the presentation. Colors are usually well saturated and appear completely stable, plus the flesh tones are highly appealing. Blacks appear true, while the whites are crisp and clean. Contrast and shadow detail are excellent. There are no flaws in the elements from which THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER was mastered. End to end digital, there is no actual grain in the image, but there is a bit of noise in some of the darker scenes.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER features an aggressively mixed fantasy/action movie sound design. Sound effects envelop the listener and come at them from all directions. All of the outlying channels are well utilized for the smooth panning of sonic elements throughout the soundstage. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is spectacular; the musical component is full-bodied, plus all of the sound effects come across in a convincing manner. The bass channel is deep, full and shakes the ground when required. Voices are cleanly and distinctly reproduced, plus the dialogue is easy to understand. French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Michael Apted and producer Mark Johnson. Appearing under the headings of Goldwater Island, Lone Islands, Magician's Island, Dawn Treader, The Dark Island and Ramandu's Island, Featurettes and other programs include the following: Explore Goldwater Island, Dragon Discovery, Explore Narrowhaven, Minotaur Discovery, The Epic Continues, Explore Magician's Island, Dufflepud Discovery, King Caspian's Guide To The Dawn Treader, The Secret Islands: Untold Adventures Of The Dawn Treader, In Character With Liam Neeson, In Character With Georgie Henley And Will Poulter, Direct Effect: Michael Apted, Making A Scene, Explore The Dark Island, White Witch Discovery, Serpent Discovery, Portal To Narnia: A Painting Comes To Life, Good Vs. Evil: Battle On The Sea, Explore Ramandu's Island, Reepicheep Discovery, Aslan Discovery, Liliandil Discovery and VFX Progression. Deleted Scenes, a Theatrical Trailer and Search For The Seven Swords Match Game close out the standard supplements. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray, while disc three provides a Digital Copy of the film. Ten Collectible Post Cards are also included in the packaging.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is entertaining family fare. The Blu-ray looks and sounds pretty terrific. If you are a fan, this Blu-ray is a worthwhile acquisition.

 
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER 


The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader [Blu-ray] (2010)

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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