The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader—20th Century Fox

Video: 4/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 3/5

When Lucy and Edmund Pensive, along with their cousin Eustace, are swallowed into a painting and transported back to Narnia, they join King Caspian and a noble mouse named Reepicheep aboard the magnificent ship The Dawn Treader. The courageous voyagers travel to mysterious islands, confront mystical creatures, and reunite with the Great Lion Aslan and a mission that will determine the fate of Narnia itself.

The last installment of Narnia, Prince Caspian, was one of the best looking Blu-ray transfers I’ve seen. I still use it from time to time during display evaluations. This third installment has a slightly different look due to being captured digitally rather than with film. It loses just a little bit of the fine definition that made the second film such a rich transfer. Fine object detail is still outstanding, but a touch softer than the last film. I also notice some smoothing effects with motion that call a bit more attention to themselves than most digitally captured films I’ve seen. Another issue I noticed was the inconsistent sharpening. At times the image takes on a hardened look that reminds me of edge enhancement, but without the halos. This is sporadic at best, but still noticeable. Depth of image remains strong throughout though and colors are natural for the most part with only some minor garish oranges popping in. The DTS-HD Master Audio mix is engaging and probably the highlight of the presentation. Lots of great surround use with fun panning effects and discrete cues. The bottom end is robust without being overcooked and the sound design overall is fun.

Most of the extras revolve around the production of the film and look at several key sequences in the journey. You also get a feature commentary and deleted scenes. Fox has also included a DVD copy of the film plus a digital copy for your portable devices all neatly packaged in an elaborate book complete with themed postcards.

Overall I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first two films. The production didn’t look quite as polished and the story dragged a bit. The first hour of the film felt like it was two hours long, which is never a good sign for an adventure film. Fox does a good job with the presentation though making it an easy recommendation for fans of the film and trilogy.