Blu-ray Review: The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian

 

While 2005’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was a magical treat for young children, Prince Caspian appeals to slightly older children and manages to exceed the first film, surpassing it in every conceivable way. 

The story find the Pevensie kids returning to Narnia 1300 years after they last left it.  The once great kingdom has been conquered by humans known as the Telmarines and Aslan the Lion is nowhere to be found. When Prince Caspian’s life is threatened by his power-hungry uncle Miraz, he flees to the forest and is given an instrument that summons the kings and queens of old…the Pevensie kids. 

They must work together and with the animals of Narnia to fight back against his uncle’s army.  In the story we see Peter become a stronger leader, Susan start to show an interest in love, Edmund actually acting unselfish and discerning, and Lucy having the faith needed to finally summon Aslan to the rescue.

The special effects, while impressive, have been seen before in other fantasy films like Lord of the Rings.  The fight sequence between Peter and the evil King Miraz is rough and fun to watch.  There is plenty of humor, sometimes among the children, but mostly among the animals like the proud mouse Reepicheep. 

On Blu Ray, this movie is technically near flawless.  The forest looks so clear that I could pause the screen and think it was a window to my backyard.  The sound design makes great use of surround sound, especially during the epic battle sequences and the train that transports the crashes through the subway station to take the kids to Narnia.

Bonus features on the DVD include the following:

Creating The Castle Raid has director Andrew Adamson prefacing this interactive feature by showing how the sets were built, how the action scene was filmed and how the digital effects were added.  You are then given the option to watch the action sequence repeatedly with your choice of ten different audio commentaries that each give a unique perspective on how the scene was accomplished, from make-up to lighting to stunt work.

Audio Commentary with director Andrew Adamson and the five main kid actors.

Inside Narnia: The Adventure Begins contains 35 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage with the crew.

Sets of Narnia contains 20 minutes explaining how difficult it was to design the sets when the book barely mentions what the world looks like.

Big Movie Comes to a Small Town contains 20 minutes of hilarious interviews and behind-the-scenes footage with the people of Bovec, Slovania where interior sets were filmed.

Becoming Trumpkin contains five minutes with the veteran little people actor Peter Dinklage cracking one joke after another while discussing his role in the film.

There are more special features, including a third disc that contains a standard definition version of the film that people can load on their computers on iPod.

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