Voyage of the Dawn Treader Books-to-Movie Report

The movie has been out for some time now, I hope you have seen and read the books and are ready to discuss this latest adaption. Obviously they didn’t include all of the islands, how do you feel about the choices they made?

The first difference between the book and the movie is the addition of the green smoke taking the people from the islands. While I don’t think it was really necessary it did add an interesting change to the story line and did add a bit more of a human angle to figuring out where the original lords went besides Caspian’s curiosity.

One big change was the combination of the two islands, the Dragon island and the Midas island. I understand that combining the two islands cut down on the time needed to cover both islands so I was okay with the change.  Eustace flying Edmund over the island to see the writing was a great addition to the story line. I love the scene between Eustace and Reepicheep, it is so touching the way Reepicheep is able to reach Eustace and comfort him in his time of personal trial. Reepicheep is one of my favorite characters and I felt the movie portrayed his honor, bravery and heart perfectly.

One difference between the two stories is the way that Eustace removes his dragon skin, in the novel Eustace is told to remove his skin before climbing into the water. He tries three times to remove the skin before Aslan helps him remove the skin and then Eustace washes in the water to be clean. The movie has Eustace just getting scratched by Aslan and the skin being removed. I was saddened that the symbolism associated with the tries by Eustace himself and the washing was removed but I am glad that they kept the explanation by Eustace about how it felt, that he couldn’t do it by himself and that it hurt but it was a good hurt to be made whole again.

I love the ship Dawn Treader, I was afraid they would change the purple single mast sail but it was gorgeous with the carved dragon head.  I was amazed by the amount of detail work on the ship, even during the final battle the detail is there.

I read the novel right before watching the movie and didn’t realize until the film pointed it out that each character underwent their own trial during the story.  Lucy facing her desire to be her sister to the point of not allowing herself to exist, Edmund and Caspian their fears that they should be the leader and aren’t quite up to the task. The greed that can overcome anyone and how that greed can lead our own downfall.

One major difference is the last island. In the book after the crew finds the remaining sleeping lords they meet Ramadu and his daughter Lilliandil who explain to them how to get the lords to wake up by traveling to the end of the world and leaving one of their shipmates there before returning to the island where the lords would be awake.  Ramadu is a very old star who is on the island getting younger by eating one of the berries that the birds bring him each morning. The description of the birds singing as the arrived at the island is one of my favorite of the books and I was disappointed that they changed this scene so much. I did like how they included more of a romance between Caspian and Lilliandil, the book just hints at a further relationship between the two but the movie really left you with the feeling of the romance they would have.

Finally, we get to the great scene between Aslan and the four main characters: Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, Caspian and Reepicheep. I LOVED the way they shot the scene with the ocean wave, the austere sandy beach and the characters. I was surprised and pleased that they kept the conversation between Lucy and Aslan about Lucy having to find and come to know Aslan in her world as he goes by another name. While I have been pleased they have kept so many of the Christian overtones of the novel in the movies I really didn’t expect them to keep the conversation the same as it was in the book but I am thrilled that they did. C.S. Lewis’ deliberate Christian references are one of the many things that I like about this series, as a child I got some of the most obvious references but now that I am older I appreciate them even more.

I  hope they make the rest of the series as they have done an incredible job on the first three. What do you think?

 Matt Duchene Jersey

2 Replies to “Voyage of the Dawn Treader Books-to-Movie Report”

  1. hi!!
    i came searching for a fullsize image of the dawn treader…but chanced upon this review….u have beautifully written and pointed out the differences in adaptation of this movie…..NARNIA is and will always be one of my fav. adaptations of a novel…i believe they always present out the novel very well…..they did in this part too.

    just mentioning once again i love the way u’ve written this review….a great balance of the good and bad elements while mentioning some of the best scenes they left out….keep the good work going.
    love from india.

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