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A Guide to Exploring the Return to NarniaWith the premiere of the next Narnia movie just over a month away, I decided it would be a good time to re-read one of my favorite Narnia books – Prince Caspian. Though I am excited about seeing the film version, I cannot help but feel a tinge of sadness as I read the book again, knowing that once I’ve seen the film, I will never be able to read Prince Caspian quite the same way. Once you see the film version of a favorite book, your imagination is held captive to the images of the filmmaker and you can never quite imagine it the way you did the first time.

This time, I read Prince Caspian chapter by chapter with Devin Brown’s terrific commentary Inside Prince Caspian. Last year, I picked up Brown’s first Narnia companion (see my review for Inside Narnia here) and enjoyed it thoroughly. Inside Prince Caspian is even better. Brown does what few authors have done before, offering a literary commentary on C.S. Lewis’ work that delves into spiritual interpretations only when necessary. Brown also weaves the Narnia storylines together, showing how Caspian is interpreted against the backdrop of the other six books.

I look forward to seeing the film version of Prince Caspian, but I confess to having rather high expectations. The film version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe did not disappoint me, although there were several areas that could have been improved. Here are a few hopes I have for Prince Caspian – the movie:

  • Make Aslan bigger. Lucy’s perception of Aslan is that he is much bigger in Prince Caspian. According to the trailer, it seems that Aslan is about the same size.
  • Foreshadow Susan’s future. In Prince Caspian, Susan becomes a character that is harder to like, preparing the way for her exit and the fact that she will not return to Narnia again.
  • Give film time to the celebrations. Prince Caspian is a book about reclaiming celebration. I hope that the movie will not devote so much time to the battles that it leaves too little time for the joyfulness of the parties.
  • Start with the four children. It is rumored that the film version will begin with Caspian’s backstory and lead up to the arrival of the Pevensie children later. I hope this is not the case. Much of the book’s drama comes from the discovery of the backstory as the main narrative progresses.
  • Make Reepicheep valiant, not merely cute. I fear that the tendency of a filmmaker associated with Disney will be to make Reepicheep the comic relief of the film. That’s okay so far as it goes, as he provides some comic relief in the book as well. But I hope that the humor of Reepicheep will not overshadow his valiant nature.

If you are a fan of the Narnia series and are planning on seeing Prince Caspian in May, I encourage you to read the book once more before walking into that theater. And if you have time, pick up Devin Brown’s Inside Prince Caspian. You won’t be disappointed.

written by Trevin Wax. copyright © 2008 Kingdom People Blog.


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7 thoughts on “My Hopes for Prince Caspian”

  1. Greg Smith says:

    Regarding the size of Aslan, in The Horse and His Boy, Aslan is as large as the horse Shasta is riding when he travels through the pass at night and meets Aslan. This was also my only gripe about the first movie. Aslan should have been bigger and voice by someone besides Liam Neeson. His roar should have been deafening and shaken the building.

    Ditto on your observation of Susan. This is crucial to understanding her absence in The Last Battle.

    Reep is my all time favorite Narnian character. If they mess him up like Jackson did to Faramir in LOTR, I will be ticked off.

  2. Jimmy Fine says:

    Excellent post. You have whet my appetite for more Narnia!

  3. joelandcharlotte says:

    Trevin,
    We have required our children to read books before they see the movie. The children have discovered that in most cases their imagination is better than the movie makers. As a family we read the whole Narnia series out loud before we went and saw the first movie. We were all thrilled with the first movie. We didn’t bring our set with us so we will have to borrow Prince Caspian from someone and read it again. Please pray with us that Prince Caspian will be presented with Portuguese sub-titles here and not dubbed.(Children’s movies are dubbed, Adult movies are aired in English with Portuguese sub-titles)

  4. Sandy says:

    I am also concerned with the Susan character. I feel they did not protray her playful enough in the first movie and may not protray her as growing up and thinking that she is out growing this Aslan stuff.

    I also agree with that Aslan needs to be bigger than life.
    My kids and I have listened to the stories on Foscus on the Family tapes and as I listen I just get the chills when Aslan is present. I do wish this was protraied in the movie.

  5. patrick says:

    the makers of Prince Caspian kept to the original story better than i would have expected… i had heard they were going to make it into a silly pure-action flick, but thankfully this was not the case

  6. Saskia says:

    Hmmm…

    I was very disappointed with the Prince Caspian movie. I know that movies can not be an exact copy of a book, but in this case I feel that Prince Caspian totally missed the mark. It is so not like the book, and it messes too much with the whole meaning of the book. Prince Caspian is in my eyes mostly a war movie, with most of it being too dark and violent for kids. I think it’s very vaguely inspired by CS Lewis books. If you really want to know the Chronicles of Narnia, I advise you to read them first. Then perhaps the movies can be added entertainment.
    I think they did a better job with the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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