"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" docks on Friday, April 8
The third chapter in "The Chronicles of Narnia" sails in on DVD and Blu-ray
The third installment of the big screen adaptation of C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" sails to DVD and Blu-ray on Friday, April 8, skipping the traditional Tuesday release date to stake out it's own day.
This chapter in the increasingly beleaguered fantasy series sends the two youngest members of the Pevensie clan, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes), back to Narnia with their cousin (Will Poulter) to sail to the end of the world with Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes).
"This picture, in which the adventure is set mostly at sea and features, among other things, an initially reluctant but eventually burgeoning friendship between a snotty little boy who gets turned into a dragon and a noble, swashbuckling, wannabe-hero talking rat, mostly plays like a perfunctory cross between watered-down iterations of "The Wind in the Willows" and any "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie you'd care to name, assuming you'd care to name any," writes MSN critic Glenn Kenny.
"The characterizations are thoroughly paint-by-numbers," he continues, but he holds out for the good kitty of the Narnia universe. "As for Aslan, the Jesus Kitty is barely in this thing, but when he shows up, his mane, in retrofitted 3-D, is so fluffy you just wanna reach out and stroke it. And as voiced by Liam Neeson, he has a gentle purr power that just washes over you."
The film come to home video in multiple incarnations of DVD and Blu-ray. The single-disc DVD features commentary by director Michael Apted and producer Mark Johnson and deleted scenes. The "Double DVD Pack" (which I guess someone thought sounds better than "2-Disc Special Edition") adds a second disc of supplements including interactive games and activities, the original animated short “The Untold Adventures of The Dawn Treader" (in a limited "moving storybook" style) and a handful of featurettes, most of them in bite-sized and breezy pieces for younger viewers.
The supplements are "hidden" in a nautical map, but know that most of the production-oriented pieces are on the "Dawn Treader" menu and the rest are mostly activities and games. The special effects are deconstructed in a 13-minute piece under "Ramandu's Island" (click on the commentary and it plays rather like a traditional featurette) and the deleted scenes are under the "Lone Islands."
While those come in a traditional package, the Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack offers all this, plus high definition image and sound and a bonus digital copy for portable media players, in a very colorful but somewhat flimsy fold-out digipack, with the Blu-ray and DVD disc slipped into pockets in the flaps and the digital copy on a paperboard hinge that folds down like a drawbridge. A booklet with movie postcards is under the frontispiece. It's very pretty but not very sturdy.