Living with their aunt, uncle and precocious cousin, Eustace, Edmund and Lucy miss their two older siblings, Susan and Peter, and try to make the most of their lives outside of Narnia. When they suddenly find themselves back in the magical land on Prince Caspian’s ship, the ‘Dawn Treader’, the pair, plus a very unhappy Eustace, join the ship’s crew on a quest to stop an evil force which threatens all of Narnia and is taking innocent people away from their families.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) – Director: Michael Apted

Is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader appropriate for kids

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Rating: PG

Running Length: 113 mins

Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes

Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy

REVIEW

Based upon the epic fantasy novel by C.S. Lewis and the third movie in the Narnia franchise, ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ focuses on the younger Pevensie siblings, Lucy and Edmund (Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes, respectively), as they travel to Narnia once again and help their friend, Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes). Inadvertently taking their mean-spirited younger cousin, Eustace along with them, they immediately take up their former roles of royalty with strong fighting skills and heads for strategy which they desperately missed in their unfulfilling lives in England.

With excellent pacing, great character development and an exciting plot, ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ ticks all the boxes for a swashbuckling fantasy movie to keep kids at the edge of their seats. Eustace’s irritating persona is believable – annoying enough to make you dislike him but his character matures well after a life-changing event; these realistic personality traits add much needed realism within the otherwise fantastical (and somewhat childish) story, keeping it firmly grounded. A few leaps of logic and certain plot points which don’t really go anywhere make it less than perfect but on the whole, it is an enjoyable, swashbuckling, fun movie that each member of the family can enjoy.

IS ‘THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

Edmund and Lucy’s cousin, Eustace, is disrespectful and mean to them; he belittles them, calls them names and generally looks down on them. As he is younger than the two of them, they treat him with disdain and have clearly grown tired of his insults, Edmund sometimes rises to the bait but generally they do not appear upset by his constant unfair criticisms. This level of bullying could be upsetting for some children, especially those who may be at the receiving end of something similar but as both Edmund and Lucy treat Eustace with passive contempt, the impact his behaviour has on them is minimal.

Slave traders attack a town and abduct several people, a woman is pushed onto a cart while her husband follows and tries to free her, he is pushed away and unable to help her further. A little girl runs towards her shouting ‘mummy’ but is held back by the man . This isn’t overly distressing but a family being torn apart in this way could affect younger children.

Several boats which are full of people float off shore, they are afraid of what is going to happen to them and a green mist begins to rise from the water. The mist fully engulfs the boats and the mist suddenly disappears, taking the boats with it. There is no trace of the people or the boats and it is unclear whether they are alive or dead.

A boy is presumed dead after wandering off alone, those who go looking for him find his charred clothes alongside a skeleton that they know isn’t him but it is a clear indication that people have died here before.

The body of an old man is seen among lots of vines which have grown all around him over a number of years. As other characters step closer, they see that there are other men among the vines; when they see that their eyes are open and each one is still breathing, they realise that they are still alive but in a state of unconsciousness.

The characters go to an area where an evil entity exists. A green mists descends on each character and they begin to see their deepest fears, one of which manifests as a huge sea monster which relentlessly and aggressively attacks the ship that they are travelling on. This scene lasts for around ten minutes and the situation gets more and more dire as the monster continuously damages the ship.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Fun and swashbuckling but not entirely perfect, ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ will undoubtedly be enjoyed by the younger members of the family and, with lots of entertainment value, the older members may find themselves just as captivated. Due to some violence and a few scary scenes, we feel this movie should be appropriate for most kids aged seven and over.

  • Violence: 3/5
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (a well-loved character makes a decision to go to a land that it is impossible to return from, they go with pride and excitement but also with sadness when they say goodbye to some good friends)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5
  • Sexual Content: 0/5
  • Bad Language: 0/5
  • Dialogue: 0/5
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of courage, family, strength of character, facing ones’ fears, nobility, the frustration of having knowledge and skills beyond your years, growing up, exploration and standing by your principles.

Words by Laura Record

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