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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Literature > The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian – 3 Disc Set (Disney Blu-ray)

The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian – 3 Disc Set (Disney Blu-ray)


Picture: B+     Sound: B+     Extras: B     Film: C+



The world of C.S. Lewis returns to Disney Blu-ray with The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.  The children from the first film (Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund) have been growing tired of the boring drab existence of Wartime London and wish to return to the land that made them powerful Kings and Queens.  Well there wish is about to come true…


After a brief introduction, the children are flung headfirst back to the world of Narnia where 1,300 years have passed and the world is a very different place.  The creatures of Narnia are now in hiding and the once magical world is run under the iron fist of man who has done all but wipe the lands clean of each mystic creature.  Concurrently there is an evil plot by King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) to murder his young nephew prince (Prince Caspian played by Ben Barnes) who would soon be king when he comes of age.  Prince Caspian goes on the run and as fate should have it eventually has a run in with the other children.  The children, Caspian, and a band of Narnians join together to restore the land to its former greatness and mystical wonder; but it will not be as easy as the last time around.  The children may be older and wiser, but Narnia has become a much darker land.  No longer are the creatures willing to chitchat and speak openly.  The land has fallen into a state of disarray, where violent action speaks louder than words.  Narnia has transformed and there is no telling if peace can ever be found again.


The film is certainly darker and the sense of wonder that the characters displayed in the first film is all but gone.  They are experienced and know what has to be done; completely changing the tone of the film.


The action of Prince Caspian is much better than its predecessor in many senses.  It is more organized, more exciting, and flow better overall with the storyline; in the end making for a concise and consistent tale.  The main problem of the film, however, is that it seems that nothing had ever happened beginning to end.  Sure the kids were older, Narnia has changed into a state of mourning, and Disney pumped out millions more to make it seem epic; but in reality from the beginning of film to the end the viewer will question if anything really happened.  The story is weak partly due to the writers and director not producing a great script and the other part has always been in the hands of C.S. Lewis himself.  The fact of the matter is Prince Caspian is just not as good of a book as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  On top of that, if you strip out Lewis’s intended religious undertone (which is even more apparent in the later tales), the story will certainly be watered down and fall apart.  Prince Caspian was fun to watch, had great battle sequences, wonderful CGI, and was an overall stunning visual experience; but left much to be desired in terms of depth and storyline.


Whereas the film may not have been as epic or exhilarating as literary aficionados may have liked concerning content, the technical features are well worth the experience.  The picture is presented in a 2.40 X 1 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 High Definition that is stunning to look at throughout.  The colors are glowingly vibrant, the blacks are deep, every detail shines through, and the flesh tones are spot on.  The main problem with the picture happens in the darker nighttime sequences (which happen often in this film) where it becomes difficult to see through the dark blacks and blues and the whole visual experience becomes confusing.  The only other complaint this reviewer could find was an at times soft image and a CGI presentation that looked less than realistic; but those instances are far and few in between.  It is a darker Narnia for sure.  The sound is equally nice in its English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 KHz/24-bit) presentation as it ‘booms’ from the speakers without being overly chaotic from the clashing of swords or screaming of warriors.  The dialogue is crisp and clear in even the heaviest battle sequence and the mix all together does a fine job of making every detail ‘pop’ by utilizing the full speaker spectrum.  The directionality of the speakers in amazingly nice and as the sound pans across the speakers it seems as if a real horse (or centaur) could be running through your house.


The extras are plentiful and hold a nice rewatchable quality.  The special features include Bloopers, Deleted Scenes, and a ton of featurettes.  The featurettes are Inside Narnia: The Adventure Returns, Sets of Narnia: A Classic Comes to Life, Big Movie Comes to a Small Town, Previsualizing Narnia, Talking Animals and Walking Trees: The Magical World of Narnia, Secrets of the Duel, Becoming Trumpkin, Warwick Davis: The Man Behind Nikabrik (all on Disc-2).  As you can see there is a ton of material to sift through, but that’s not all!  There are also Blu-ray exclusive features such as Circle-Vision Interactive: Creating the Castle Raid, BD Live, and an excellent Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Adamson and Actors.  The Circle-Vision Interactive offers the viewer the chance to look at 10 behind the scene features with audio commentaries that highlight the best action sequence in the entire film.  The extras overall are plentiful and nicely presented; at no point do the extras seem to drag because they are all broken down into nice subcategories for the viewer to pick and chose from at their leisure.  Fine work on the technicals Disney!


It is hard to say if the film is totally worthwhile; but the film series must be looked at on the whole.  That is to say that there certainly will be further installments for this Narnia epic and the later books are a bit better than Prince Caspian.  It is hard to make a great movie out of an ‘ok’ book, but Adamson and Disney did their best and the film is entertaining to say the least.


For more on the first Narnia film, try these links:


The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe Blu-ray


4 DVD Set




-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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