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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - family and children's DVD / holiday DVD review
Rated PG by the MPAA curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Actors: Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Anna Popplewell, William Moseley
Director: Andrew Adamson   Studio: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 02 December 2008   Runtime: 149 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
DVD features: Aspect ratio 2.40:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish), Audio commentary w/ director and actors (Barnes, Henley, Keynes, Popplewell, Moseley), The Bloopers of Narnia, Deleted scenes, Inside Narnia: The Adventure Returns, Sets of Narnia, Big Movie Comes to a Small Town, Previsualizing Narnia, Talking Animals and Walking Trees, Secrets of the Duel, Becoming Trumpkin, Warwick Davis: The Man Behind Nikabrik, Digital copy of feature

Prince Caspian is the second movie produced by Disney in the Chronicles of Narnia series, following 2005's The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. While Prince Caspian is an admirable adaptation, it doesn't quite measure up to the wonder and magic of the first movie, but certainly worthwhile overall and an exciting addition to the series.

A year has passed since the Pevensie children took their miraculous journey through the wardrobe and returned to 1940's England. The four children - Lucy (Georgie Henley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Peter (William Moseley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) grew to adulthood in Narnia, only to find that no time had passed when they came back home. While preparing to ride the underground train, the children are transported back to Narnia and land on a beach. After some exploration, they discover that hundreds of years have passed since they left, and everything they knew lies in ruins.

The Telmarines are in power, and the magical creatures that once roamed free now hide in fear. Their only hope is rightful Telmarine heir Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes), who must join with the creatures and the Pevensies to free Narnia from Telmarine rule and restore order.

Prince Caspian is more intense than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and its battle scenes may be too intense for younger viewers. The creatures, as well as newly introduced dwarf Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage), lighten the mood with well-placed humor, but the drama definitely outweighs the comedy.

C.S. Lewis's Narnia series has been proclaimed to be a fabulous allegory about the Christian faith. Although there are some hints to this in Prince Caspian, particularly the choice made at the end, overall the Christian theme quite subtle; you won't even recognize it if you don't know it's there.

The exciting plot captivates viewers; it would be fun to watch both Narnia movies in sequence to get a bigger picture. It will be interesting to see if Disney intends to adapt the rest of the series, since the remainder of the novels don't include the Pevensie children. It could be bad, but then again it could breathe fresh life into the movie franchise.

Audio commentary by director Andrew Adamson is optional on the first disc, which bears the feature film. Disc two is loaded with special features, including bloopers, deleted scenes, and several featurettes:
  • 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
Disc three contains a digital copy of the feature.

Prince Caspian is an enjoyable movie, well worth a second watch if you saw the movie in theaters - and definitely worth watching if you haven't seen it yet. It also makes a delightful gift for the holidays.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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