The third film based on C. S. Lewis's fantasy books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opens three years after the Pevensie children return from battling to restore peace to Narnia in The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian. Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) are still staying with Eustace (Will Poulter), while Peter and Susan have gotten older and moved on to school and America, respectively.
Still as surly and unbelieving as ever, Eustace continues to mock his cousins for their Narnian fantasies. But when water begins spilling into their room from a painting hanging on the wall, all three young people are swept onto the decks of the sailing ship known as the Dawn Treader, which is afloat in the waters of Narnia. This time, there are no wars to be fought in Narnia. But it soon becomes evident that the trio is destined to help King Caspian (Ben Barnes) solve the mystery of the disappearance of the seven lords of Telmar, and prevent the ongoing sacrifices of large groups of Narnian people to the evil green mist. So begins a quest through uncharted waters that will require each of the children to resist temptations like beauty and power, and to conquer the darkness within themselves in order to defeat the threat to Narnia's people. The battle promises to yield unexpected heroes, and through their journey, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, and even King Caspian and Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg) each grow and mature. Eventually, Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) will ask each adventurer to make an important choice that will forever influence his or her future. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader features plenty of high adventure, sword-fighting action, and personal peril, and while it fails to fully capitalize on the characters' motivations or to earn viewers' full emotional investment, it is still a solid addition to the Narnia film series. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
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