(Vote) For Narnia and For Aslan! in Moviefone’s Sequel Smack Down

vsMoviefone is holding a Summer Sequel Smack Down.  In the running for the best Fantasy sequel, we have four franchises in the running: The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter and Twilight.  It stands to reason that The Lord of the Rings and Narnia should outclass Harry Potter and Twilight, but that will only happen if we work together.  If you watched what happened with the MTV Movie Awards, the Twilight fans are prepared to do whatever it takes, by whatever means, to try and win for their cast.  This is our chance to put Narnia into the limelight, where it belongs.

Moviefone asked me to write up a few hundred words for why I feel each of the Narnia movies is better than the Harry Potter films it is up against.   I had a bit of fun with it, as I’ve only seen the two Harry Potter films once or twice.

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Narnia Movies to air on Hallmark Channel as part of Walden Family Theater

Walden Family TheaterWalden Media has teamed up with Hallmark Channel, Arc Entertainment, Walmart, and Proctor & Gamble to bring back the family TV movie night.  When I was a kid, it was part of a weekly tradition for our family.  These were the titles it went under: The Disney Sunday Movie (1986–1988), The Magical World of Disney (1988–1996), then finally back to The Wonderful World of Disney (1997–2008).

Walden Family Theater will air on Friday nights, on Hallmark Channel, beginning on March 15 with Return to Nim’s Island.  This is the sequel to 2008’s Nim’s Island, but now features Bindi Irwin in the title role.

There will be six new original movies aired each year, and released on DVD on the Tuesday after they air, at Walmart.

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Interview with Narnia / Special Effects Character Creator Howard Berger

Stan Winston School of Character Arts has posted an interview with Howard Berger.  He created all of the creatures in Narnia, from the Minotaurs to the Satyrs and beyond.  Being on the set for filming on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I had a chance to spend a lot of time with him and his team.

In 2006 Howard earned an Academy Award for Best Makeup for THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. He also won the British Academy Award and Saturn Award that same year for the film’s prosthetic makeup.


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Commentary: Five Highs – and Lows – of the Narnia Films (Part 2)

As I recently outlined (in part 1), the three Narnia films (“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” “Prince Caspian,” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”) offered fans and casual viewers much to enjoy.  The story, casting and technical elements were generally good, and I’d argue that overall the films got more right than they got wrong.  Having reviewed five highlights of the Narnia trilogy, its time to take a look at the lowlights.
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The Lady of the Green Kirtle Concept Art from Voyage of the Dawn Treader

We’ve stumbled upon some more art that was prepared for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  One piece that I absolutely love is art that was done that would have set up The Silver Chair beautifully.  It was a divergent part of the story that was in an earlier screenplay for Dawn Treader in which the Lady of the Green Kirtle (aka Emerald Witch) appears.  It kind of cements the concept that the Green Mist was an extension of her / foreshadowing her as a greater problem.

It makes me wish that The Silver Chair had worked out and they were actually building that set at this moment.  It’s simply stunning to me.

The other two pieces of art kind of played out on screen, when the Pevensies and Caspian took a look at the map at the magician’s house.

-via The Film Artist

Voyage of the Dawn Treader Concept Art

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader went through many drafts and story re-writes before it became the film that we all saw a little more than a year ago.  Concept Artist Justin Sweet posted pieces of concept art that he had done for the film a few years ago, just last week.

If you take a look, you’ll see that the merfolk played a much larger role in the story when he was working on concept art for the film.

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Narnia series sails back into popularity, With Help of Beatwax

Having taken part in this promotion, I can tell you that it was unlike anything that I have ever done before, or been a part of. I am still in touch with many of the people that both put this on, and went on the voyage. To be able to do something like this was a unique opportunity that I will always remember very fondly, and am proud to say that I was there. To be ungrateful for this trip, would be shoving it in the face of all those that wanted to be there, but could not. I still wear my crew jacket and vest with pride, and I always tell people that, yes, I have sailed around Cornwall on The Dawn Treader. Here’s a report of the campaign.

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Mark Johnson on Narnia, Future Plans

Variety has a new article today that has a few anecdotes from Mark Johnson about the filming of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as well as his thoughts about the future of the franchise, which echoes my own feelings.

The article is called “Mark Johnson: Playing ‘Narnia’ nanny” and is part of their Youth Impact Report 2011: Bigscreen Chaperones.

Impact: Shepherded the two youngest “Chronicles of Narnia” stars into leading roles in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”
Next: The adaptation of the classic Chicano coming-of-age story, “Bless Me, Ultima.”
Causes: Westside Children’s Center, which his wife, Lezlie, founded in 1987.

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Tony Nixon (Rynelf) shares his experiences with Ben Barnes (Caspian) and other actors on set

Tony Nixon, the actor for Rynelf the The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, wrote a piece about what it was like working with Ben Barnes (Caspian) and other Narnia cast members. It’s a great read, and it gives insight into the processes and procedures of filming a movie.


Here is an excerpt from the piece:

I first met Ben at the script read through, as I mentioned before it was started as a fairly informal event with Coffee and croissants and various pastries. It was in an upstairs room at Warner studios …I had grabbed a Coffee and as it happens the first person I met at the top of the stairs was Ben …he was halfway through a Croissant, I stuck out my hand and said, ‘Hi, I’m Tony …I play Rynelf’ …he shook my hand and said, ‘I’m Ben …I play your king’.

When we shot our first scene together his comment to the A.D. (assistant director) (and me) was “This man has a better beard than me, I’m the King have him removed and shaved” …

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Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3-D Blu-ray Now Available at Best Buy

It looks like Best Buy has gotten a jump on the competition and released the 3-D Blu-ray of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader today. You need a 3DTV and a Blu-ray 3D player (or a PS3 with the latest updates installed) to play the film in that format.

For those that don’t know: Blu-ray 3D is a standard that is separate from Blu-ray. It uses Blu-ray media, but takes different technology to read. Why only the PS3 was allowed to get a firmware upgrade that would make playing Blu-ray 3D discs possible is beyond me. It might just be, because Sony owns the Blu-ray format.

Either way, the Blu-ray 3D version of Dawn Treader is available to pick up in Best Buy stores starting today!

Order or Purchase from Best Buy today!