(Note: This article's a little later than I'd like, but it's been a busy past week)
GID'S TOP 3 RULES FOR WATCHING A MOVIE BASED ON A BOOK:
1. The movie is not the book!
2. The movie is NOT the book!
3. The movie is NOT THE BOOK!
If you're going to see "Prince Caspian", and you remember these three rules, you may thoroughly enjoy the movie. Forget them, and it will be a long 2 1/2 hours.
For those not up to speed on the "Chronicles of Narnia", "Prince Caspian" takes place one year later for Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, 1300 years later for Narnia. A foreign country (Telmar) invaded Narnia years before, and the Narnians are exiled to the woods, which the new inhabitants regard as haunted.
The action in the movie takes place primarily in the last half of the book, inserting enough relevant material from the first half to keep the viewer up to speed, but often inserting it out of order so that anyone trying to match the two would be thoroughly confused by the movie's end. The kids received a trade paperback from the Christian radio station, so we had all read the book recently and had the sequence of events pretty much set in our mind.
The battles are remarkably bloodless for battle scenes involving swordplay, but this omission makes the movie viewable for children of most ages (and a good thing, too, because there were more than enough of the under 5 set to have made the viewing utterly miserable if that were not the case). And although the book is not followed in a technical sense, the ideas of the book are pretty much kept intact so that fans of CS Lewis' source material shouldn't be too disappointed, provided they keep the three aforementioned rules in mind.
"Prince Caspian"gets five out of five stars for being a thoroughly watchable movie suitable for the whole family.