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Behind the Scenes of VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER: Narnia’s Christian Values Are Universal Values
By Tom Snyder, Editor
The director and a couple cast members for 20th Century Fox’s new CHRONICLES OF NARNIA movie, VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, agree that the Christian values author C.S. Lewis put in his book are universal values which will appeal to many different people, whatever their faith.
“The themes transcend the boundaries of religion – themes of redemption, temptation and faith,” said Georgie Henley, who plays Lucy Pevensie, the girl who discovers Narnia in THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.
“Before redemption comes temptation,” she added. “I think that’s
the main theme.”
“All of the Narnia books are about growing up,” noted Director Michael Apted, who also directed the Epiphany Prize winning movie AMAZING GRACE. “All of the children [in DAWN TREADER] are faced with the issue of temptation and growing up.
“It’s a film about spiritual life,” he added, “but I hope it speaks to everyone, whether they’re Christian or not.”
That said, there are still plenty of wonderful Christian allusions from the book that appear in the new movie version.
For instance, at the boundary between Narnia and Aslan’s country, Aslan tells Lucy and Edmund that he exists in their world too.
“But there I have another name,” he says. “You must learn how to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little while, you may know me better there.”
Aslan is, of course, referring to Jesus Christ, the incarnate deity in our human world (in the books, Narnia is depicted as an animal world to where humans from Earth have found their way, which is why Aslan appears like a lion, a reference to Jesus Christ as the “Lion of Judah” in Revelation 5:5).
Even this Christian theme is universal, however, because it speaks to every human being’s need for transcendent meaning and salvation.
VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER isn’t some dry theological lesson, however. There’s also plenty of excitement, adventure and humor in both the book and the movie.
“This is my favorite book in the series,” Georgie noted.
“I love that it’s episodic,” she replied, “and you come out of Narnia and get to visit so many different places and meet so many new things. I also like the fact that it’s so sad at the ending and so bittersweet as well. All the characters are really great. Reepicheep is really great in that book, and I love Reepicheep.
“It inspired me to work really hard on it,” she added, “but also to take what I liked about the book and try and recreate it in the film. I really wanted to take all the stuff that I feel like I’ve learned on the other two films and use it to give Lucy a good farewell and send her off in style, hopefully.”
Will Poulter, who plays Lucy’s annoying cousin Eustace, agreed, “The greatest inspiration for me was the book itself. Everyone has stayed very true to the book. The director [Michael Apted] insisted on that.”
Will said he was slightly apprehensive about taking on the role of Eustace, who is an unpleasant young fellow who is taught several very important lessons in the story.
“The script naturally lent itself to a more comical portrayal,” he said. “We’ve augmented the comedy that was already there [in the book].
“Reepicheep mentors him and shows him the error of his ways and how he can better himself,” Will added.