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Lucy and Edmund, now in their mid-teens, seem uncommonly calm about being yanked from their everyday lives and put on a strange ship in uncharted seas, but these kids have pluck.
On several occasions it appears violence may be imminent, but the situations are resolved without anyone coming to blows.
The children are captured by slave traders early on, and they repeatedly find themselves in very dangerous situations.
Eustace, her nuisance of a cousin, unwisely pulls the painting from the wall, and seawater rushes out and fills the room until they seem in danger of drowning, but no, they surface and are rescued by sailors from the ship, captained by Caspian (Ben Barnes), who almost seems to have been expecting them.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," third of the films inspired by the C. Lewis tales, once again requires the services of English children to rescue an alternate universe.
Aslan tells the children they must learn to know him by another name in their own country.
That said, the book can easily be enjoyed as a fantasy without a Christian interpretation.
He walks upright, speaks assertively, falls squarely into the semi-obligatory Cute Little Sidekick role, has a heroic heart and a cute little sword he is unafraid to brandish. As they sail from one Narnian island to another seeking the swords, a series of other challenges confronts them, including an ominous sea fog as alarming as the one in Stephen King's "The Mist."A climactic voyage to the Dark Island becomes necessary, and it is fraught with hazards. If I've lingered overmuch on the story, it's because mostly what you have is a series of opportunities for special effects.
Why the little fella has never been stepped on and squished goes unexplained. The characters have characteristics rather than personalities, and little self-consciousness.
Eustace enters as a selfish, hateful boy, but spending some time stuck in the form of a dragon proves a sobering experience, and he emerges humbled and wiser.
Themes of loyalty and doing what’s morally right – rather than easy – also run through the story.