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Family Film Review
Published: Wednesday, December 08, 2010
In this film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, Georgie Henley and Aslan the Lion are shown in a scene from, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."
Children 10 and older will delight in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader'

World War II is raging over England as "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, " the third "Narnia" installment, begins. But the only action takes place in Narnia, and it is fantastical and nongraphic, so the film is fine for kids 10 and older. (It might be thematically confusing for those younger than 10.)

The two younger Pevensie children, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes), return to the magical land of Narnia without their older brother and sister in this 3-D installment, based on C.S. Lewis' third book in the series. Though the (bloodless) battle sequences are poorly rendered, the characterizations have deepened, and the religious metaphors now focus more simply on the need for faith and purity of heart.

It's 1943, and the younger Pevensies are visiting their snooty cousin Eustace (Will Poulter). In their bedroom, the painting of an ancient ship on the high seas reminds them of their time as exalted royals in Narnia ("The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," PG, 2005; "The Chronicles of Narnie: Prince Caspian," PG, 2008), which Eustace views as bunk. The painting comes to life and floods the room. Lucy, Edmund and Eustace emerge floating in the seas of Narnia, where King Caspian (Ben Barnes) and his crew on the Dawn Treader rescue them. He is on a mission to several mysterious islands in search of seven abducted Narnian lords and their magical swords, given to them by Narnia's spiritual ruler, the lion Aslan (voice of Liam Neeson). The swashbuckling rat Reepicheep (Simon Pegg) forms a witty bond with Eustace, and they all encounter the evil green mist, which conjures their worst fears and temptations.

The bottom line: The script includes references to "slave traders" in Narnia, who are portrayed in stereotypically Arab or Persian garb of yore. The battle scenes show the Narnians and their enemies wielding swords, crossbows and fists, but with no injuries shown. The Dawn Treader encounters giant, scary sea serpents and huge waves.

Rated PG.



 

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