The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is fantasy-lite. With its PG rating and aversion to anything shocking or overly grotesque, it's the bastard stepchild of The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. A dull, meandering storyline and visuals all-but destroyed by a second-rate 3-D conversion make this movie inferior to its predecessors, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. The "quest" element, a common fantasy staple, is uninspired and perfunctory, and there's a growing sense throughout the movie that there's no real point to any of what is occurring. This isn't much a problem in C.S. Lewis' source novel, an allegorical children's fable about faith and the fantastical, but it does not translate well to a motion picture.
In 2005, following the success of The Lord of the Rings and the early Harry Potter films, Disney decided they wanted their own fantasy franchise. Instead of choosing something newer and edgier, they went with C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, a lightweight in the genre, but one that could deliver two key demographics: younger children and church-going Christians. The latter group was specifically targeted because of Lewis' religious reputation and his admission that his beloved books were Christian allegories.
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