Caroline Friday

Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter with several film projects in development for both television and theatrical distribution. She is also a 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Winner for spiritually uplifting screenplays, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Caroline currently serves as EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a film finance and production company headquartered in the Atlanta area. She lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and three children and can be found at

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Dawn Treader

This is by far my favorite Narnia movie! This may come as a surprise because the sequel did not live up to the original film, but be prepared for a terrific time at the theater with this third installment in the series. Lucy (my favorite of all the Pevensies) has grown up into a lovely young woman, still possessing all the faith and wonder in Aslan and the world he offers. The problem is she and Edmund are stuck living with their bratty cousin, Eustace, as WWII continues, while Susan and Peter live with their mother in London. Eustace is obnoxious but in a hilarious, adorable British way, wearing a permanent scowl and pinched nose, as if aware of a perpetual stench in the air. His character is the most interesting because of his unlikely friendship with Reepicheep, the heroic mouse, who teaches him how to fight and become a valiant warrior. This union is instrumental in Eustace’s undergoing a dramatic heart transformation that accurately portrays the Christian, born-again experience.

The movie began wonderfully, with Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace arguing over a simple painting on the bedroom wall of a ship sailing on a storm-tossed sea. Lucy and Edmund are reminded of Aslan and their time in Narnia, while Eustace scoffs at its insignificance and the ridiculous notion of such a fanciful place. As Eustace pulls the painting from the wall, the waves begin to roll toward them until water rushes from the frame and the room is filled to overflowing. When their heads submerge to the surface, they find themselves swimming in that very sea with the enormous ship, the Dawn Treader, sailing toward them. Fortunately, Prince Caspian and Reepicheep are on board, along with their band of merry Narnia sailors, and the adventure begins.

Not having read the books, I have no way of knowing whether true Narnia fans will appreciate this adaptation; however, if you are like me and had never even heard of The Chronicles of Narnia or C. S. Lewis until your thirties, then you will certainly be in for a fun ride. There is plenty of adventure, suspense, dwarves, dragons, missing knights and swords, and an evil green mist that must be defeated so that Aslan’s people may be freed. And as always, there are sweeping, panoramic scenes, state-of-the-art CGI, an epic tale, and soul-stirring music. But what makes the

movie superb and the story rich and thought provoking, in my opinion, are the Christian metaphors, symbolisms, and deep spiritual truths.

That being said, I was slightly bothered by the emphasis on magic and incantations, even though biblical lessons were gleaned from such scenes. For example, Lucy must learn from a magic spell that her covetous desire to be beautiful like Susan indicates a failure on her part to understand her true worth. I would have preferred her to have learned this lesson another way, but perhaps this scene was in keeping with the novel. Additionally, every character was tempted in their areas of human weakness—some succeeded in staying strong, while others failed and suffered the consequences.

One of the best qualities about this movie is that there is no horrific death, blood, or gore and only a hint of romance to make Caspian more alluring. As a result, you can safely bring your whole family and enjoy together.

I also love Aslan and the deep, booming voice of Liam Neeson behind the digital animation. Aslan makes a few appearances throughout, but a significant scene at the end where he espouses wonderful words of wisdom brought tears to my eyes. And as always, I was touched to witness the love relationship Lucy has with him, which is deeper and more intimate than what the other characters have—not because Aslan loves her more, but because she trusts him more. This revelation convicted me as a professing Christian.

I highly recommend this movie for you and your entire family this Christmas season. I will probably see it again before it goes to DVD, in order to catch all of the Christian elements that breezed past me on a first viewing. I’ll get to laugh at Eustace again, marvel at Lucy’s faith, and feel the power of Jesus when Aslan appears on screen. A wonderful, glorious movie experience!