In the next installment of The Chronicles of Narnia, it has been 1,300 hundred years since the four Pevensie children left Narnia. Since then, the Telmarines have invaded the country and sent the few remaining Narnians into hiding. Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes), the heir to the Telmarine throne, has been usurped by his evil uncle Miraz. When Miraz attempts to kill Caspian, the Prince escapes into the forest where he meets and befriends the Narnians. When they discover that Miraz is planning an attack on the forests, their only hope of salvation is to call upon the “kings and queens of old” with an ancient horn. When they do so, they magically transport Peter (William Moseley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Susan (Anna Popplewell), and Lucy (Georgie Henley) back to Narnia. But even though so much time has passed in Narnia, the Pevensie children have only aged one year in their time and the Narnians aren’t convinced that four mere children as cronicas de narnia filmes ordem will be able to save them from an army of full-grown men.
Prince Caspian is definitely a more mature film than its predecessor. The acting, landscapes, special effects…everything has grown up in this sequel. The author, C.S. Lewis, was adamantly against film portrayals of literature, which is understandable considering the lack of effects available during his lifetime. But after the first ten minutes of the movie, I found myself smiling and thinking that Lewis would have been proud of how director Andrew Adamson brought the magical land of Narnia to life. However, I do not think Lewis would have been happy with some of the additions Adamson made. Prince Caspian, the book, is just as light-hearted as the first film, but Adamson decided to make the movie a dark and epic adventure, creating a deeper back story for the Pevensies and the Narnians, and including more mature and intense themes.
Adamson took the liberty to include full battle sequences that did not take place in the book. I understand his motives–if he had stuck perfectly with the plot of the book, it would have been a yawn for most moviegoers. But there was something different about the battle scenes…something that set it apart from the war sequences of Lord of the Rings or even the battle scene from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. There’s just something uncomfortable about watching teenagers (and CGI mice) plotting war and killing people. It left me feeling a bit unsettled. It isn’t quite the form of entertainment I would normally choose for myself.
Even though the battle scenes were unsettling at times (most of the time they were quite riveting), they do happen to show the tragic cost of war. Instead of seeking out Aslan’s help, Peter takes it upon himself to plan the battles. Everything goes wrong that could go wrong and many Narnians are killed because of it. Young viewers will understand that real-life war strategies are not just plans sketched out on paper, nor are they tactics in video games. They involve real soldier’s lives.