This worthy sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe gets the royal treatment as the 3-disc collectors edition from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media hits shelves Tuesday December 2nd.
Our four stars are back as is equally important director Andrew Adamson whose ability to bring the work of C.S. Lewis to life is indispensable to the success of the series. Yes, the innocence is gone in this sequel and the story is much more simple as our experienced and restless warriors return to Narnia, but the pacing in this second outing is much quicker, and there is certainly more action.
Our heroes, Georgie Henley (Lucy), Skandar Keynes (Edmund), Anna Popplewell (Susan), and William Moseley (Peter) have only been back in our world for a year, but 1300 years have passed in Narnia when they are summoned back by Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) who is fleeing for his life from his evil uncle Miraz (Sergio Castellitto), who is out to secure the throne for himself and eventually his son. Caspian is befriended by the long-thought-extinct Narnian creatures that have been in hiding, and he and our four heroes lead the Narnians in an epic battle against Miraz and his mighty army.
Though the violence in the film may be too much for young children, a clear effort has been made to insure that the result of the deadly blows remains just out of the range of the camera.
The bonus material in this new release will have you longing to visit the sites where the film was shot as much as seeing the movie will make one long for a visit to Narnia. The in-depth documentaries cover not only the computer visualization of the film prior to a single frame being shot, but the extraordinarily beautiful locations, the numerous logistic and environmental challenges faced by individuals and the team as a whole, and the choreography of the exciting duel between Peter and Miraz as well.
The standard blooper reel leaves something to be desired and for the most part it is clear why the deleted scenes were indeed cut, but the audio commentary by Adamson is extremely informative as he pulls us into the process of storytelling here as well as throughout all the bonus material.
Recommendation: With the film itself running at a healthy 149 minutes, there is enough bonus material to keep the whole family entertained for an entire rainy afternoon, and the digital copy that is included will be great for road trips. Fans of the first installment may grow impatient waiting for Aslan to return, but his arrival and the subsequent scene with Lucy are well worth waiting for. As long as the parents are aware of the violent nature, there are enough cute characters, and light humor to keep all entertained.