DVD Review: Prince Caspian DVD

Prince Caspian DVD coverThe Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian rides onto DVD today, and with it a good chunk of bonus features.

Prince Caspian moved the lucrative franchise out of its December time slot to May, where it stumbled mightily. A bit lost among bigger, more adult fare and lacking a major Christian holiday to play to churches, not to mention that many people, including myself, came away with mediocre reactions to the first film, the movie put the franchise on shaky ground – however, Voyage of the Dawn Treader is moving forward as planned.

Nevertheless, Prince Caspian is surprisingly entertaining and action-packed film that pushes its PG rating to the max while still holding true to its family roots. A vast improvement over the first film in terms of excitement and suspense, I highly recommend Prince Caspian. You can read my full Prince Caspian movie review here.

In other exciting news, I’m currently watching the bonus features for the movie as I fly home from Los Angeles. Having just reviewed the Wanted DVD, this one shows the difference between mediocre bonus features and good ones; the Prince Caspian bonus features are much more in-depth, informative and interesting.

The DVD includes several featurettes that look at different aspects of the picture. A more general one, which was about 25-30 minutes long, examines director Adam Adamson’s return to Narnia (he was originally rumored to not be returning), the growth of the children actors and the other trials the actors and crew went through on-set. This one is interesting enough, though it comes off a bit more promotional than the others.

Other Prince Caspian bonus features include:

  • Sets of Narnia: A Classic Comes to Life
    This informative piece, also about 25 minutes long, looks at the various sets and locations the film used. The cast and crew really traveled all over the place, as they go from New Zealand to Slovenia to a variety of other places. They built full castles, bridges and so on and so forth, and it’s all quite impressive.
  • Big Movie Comes to a Small Town
    My favorite featurette on the bonus disc, this one looks at the several month period when the production moved to a small town in Slovenia. The result: they redirected a treasured river, overwhelmed the restaurants and hotels and generally gave the townspeople something to talk about. Of course, the documentary only shows the positive comments from the locals; I’m sure there were some grumpy ones as well.
  • Previsualizing Narnia
    This shorter featurette looks at the pre-production version of the film, which is made with 3D models to help the graphics artists, actors and directors plan out the entire film. It would be neat to include the whole pre-visualization version on the DVD. The most interesting thing to come out of this is that Voyage of the Dawn Treader can, essentially, be watched in its entirety even though none of the film has been shot yet.
  • Talking Animals and Walking Trees: The magical World of Narnia
    The crew talks about their favorite characters in Narnia. This one isn’t very interesting.
  • Deleted scenes
    Some pretty good deleted scenes are included, as well as audio introductions to explain why the scenes were removed.
  • Bloopers
    How can you not like bloopers?
  • And more
    The plane is landing and I still have a few small bonus features left. Oh well.

The Prince Caspian DVD is loaded with bonus features that are both informative and interesting. Highly recommended both for the bonus features and the actual movie. Of course, don’t be fooled by the third disc, which contains a digital copy of the film!

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews
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