Prince Caspian and the Magic Formula

by kalbzayn on June 12, 2008

I saw Prince Caspian last night. Perfectly decent fantasy movie as far as fantasy movies go.

Here is something depressing though. Go Google Prince Caspian. The first page is almost entirely dominated by the movie. Which I find amazing since there should be some pretty well aged sites with a lot of links talking about the book.

Anyway, I read this book at loud about 5 years ago when our twins were very young babies and remember very little about the details. So all details of the plot come from the movie version and I don’t think there are any real spoilers here.

The story involves the kids from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe returning to Narnia after something like a year in England. At the end of Narnia, they had been Kings and Queens for years before returning to Narnia. In Prince Caspian, they return as kids again and Narnia has moved on hundreds of years. The kids are just historical legends within the Narnian culture. But when they return they are just kids who have memories of when they were much more.

I think that is such a cool subplot. And the movie does a good job reminding us that the subplot exists but I don’t think they really do enough to exploit some of the finer details of it. All of their experience seems to hinge on preparing for battle which is disappointing.

Along the same line, I thought a lot of the good drama building scenes were cut short which is a shame in a nearly 2 1/2 hour movie.

The action scenes were fine. Nice mix of CGI and watching animals fighting humans. Cool stuff. But I really wish fantasy movies could evolve beyond the inexperienced hero flees bad guys, spends a ton of time trying to build an army, and then either returns to kick some ass or bunkers down to defend against an ass kicking. I can’t really blame Prince Caspian for falling into this plot formula, though, since it is probably old enough to have been one of the books that created the formula.

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