My daughter held a virtual gun to our collective head and demanded we watch Voyage of the dawn treader.
I'm not exactly jazzed about my daughter liking CS Lewis but she gets to read whatever she likes (short of Twilight ... Christian apologist, ok, I guess, sparkling vampires ... HELL NO! I'm an ageing Buffy fan, after all!!!)
There are a few issues with Dawn Treader. First of all, there's Eustace. I guess he's supposed to come across as the skeptic who grudgingly abandons his belief in unbelief. But he ends up just becoming the stubborn hater. If you show us, real life skeptics, some kind of real, actual proof ... we will change our minds. (well, ok, me, at least).
Then there's a bit of a snigger moment during the first adventure. The three kids come across an island under the control of evil people. And how do we know they're evil? Because they're slave traders! That's an easy one, no brainer, person enslaves people, person is bad. And this from a staunch apologist for a religion that's A-ok with slavery. Snigger indeed.
Next is a bit of standard adventure movie stuff, treasure, dragons, monsters and Aslan/Jesus
saving the day (or at least Eustace). Which brings up the question of why Aslan/Jesus needs to abduct children from our world into his to fight his battles for him? He seems plenty powerful enough to do it himself.
Aslan claims that bringing them to Narnia makes it easier for them to recognize him in our world. But, here's the thing, there's a fundamental difference between Naria and Earth ... In Narnia, you can actually SEE the god! You can talk to him, people around you confirm that he's real and he works actual verifiable miracles. And, actually, even within the, what to call this?, Narnia-verse; even accepting all the rules that come with Narnia, you're still left with an Earth where Jesus is nothing more than a legend. There's no guarantee that Aslan is speaking the truth when he claims to exist on Earth too, only under a different name. This brings us back to why kidnap CHILDREN specifically? Aslan comes across as Machiavellan character who gets kids because they're young and impressionable. Give me the boy and I'll give you the brainwashed man, indeed.
Then, the worst part of the movie. The kids, Caspian and that talking mouse arrive at Aslan's country ... i.e. heaven. Caspian, and I understand this is not in novel, is offered the chance to ascend into heaven. He declines because his dad would be disappointed with him abandoning his task. Which is a nice way to skirt the inevitable 'if heaven is so great why don't I die right now and go there?' you get when you explain death to a small child by dragging in heaven.
So, Caspian doesn't go to heaven, which is a nice way of saying he won't kill himself. Ok, clear message, don't kill yourself. Right, I get that, as much as I like suicide lyrics, if at all bearable, don't kill yourself. However ... then, the talking mouse asks Aslan for permission to kill himself and Aslan goes ... 'ok'.
And even worse, the mouse goes through with it! And that actually WAS in the novel! So, CS Lewis, the Christian apologist, is ok with suicide?! ... Suicide for no reason other than, 'this life is neat and all, but I want more ... MORE!'
Luckily, my daughter didn't pick up on it.
So, there you have it. Ok as an adventure movie, horrendous for the moral compass.