Disney’s new movie, Prince Caspian opened last weekend at the top of the box office list, and it deserved to. My daughter and I went to see it Thursday afternoon, so I’ll give you my take on it, for what that’s worth, while trying not to include any spoilers.
First, yes the movie makers did add stuff to C.S. Lewis’ original story line. I think that’s pretty much inevitable with Hollywood, even where it’s not needed. I didn’t like the way they gussied up The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. I felt that the meddling there took away from the original theme of redemption and weakened the story greatly. However the changes made in Prince Caspian were more circumspect. They did a clever job of shortening the plot, added some conflict between characters (which I felt enhanced the message as well as making the plot more interesting), and interjected a bit of romance, which wasn’t needed, but did no harm and made it a prettier movie.
The production values, as expected, were excellent. It amazes me how very real the centaurs, minotaurs, fauns and other such mythical creatures can be made to look. Most of the animals were quite good, though a couple of them did look like walking plush. I thought Aslan was rather better done this time, though there’s still room for improvement–not that I could do better. The battle scenes left no room to breathe, and the single combat had me biting my nails even though I knew (from the book) how it would end. The trees and the river were great, btw. You won’t be disappointed.
If your small children are easily frightened, you might want to wait a few years to take them to see Prince Caspian. You won’t see any blood on screen, but both sides of the conflict do suffer losses in the battle scenes and things might get a too intense for the littlest ones.
Overall, I give the movie a solid A, and I don’t often feel that way about a movie, particularly one that presumes to interpret the work of one of my favorite authors.