This was originally posted on Facebook as a Note on August 19, 2008.
A few months ago Mythprint (the quasi-monthly publication of the Mythopoeic Society) printed a favorable review (which I do not have to hand, alas) of the film Prince Caspian that left me wondering if they’d seen the same film I had. It has now made at least some amends by printing a review that addresses other specifics of the problems I have discussed in general at length in previous Notes. A nearly-identical version (probably a previous draft, since something from a comment made it into the print version) may be found here [the Internet Archive cache of that post’s original location has a bit of interesting discussion in the comments]. The title given to the printed review is “The Peter Jacksonification of Narnia.”
Some points from the review that I want to emphasize: Peter Jackson is a horror film diredctor who turned a “character-driven epic of high fantasy” into “an action-driven horror-fest.” Similarly, Adamson turned two children’s stories with serious spiritual content into action movies that trivialize the spiritual stuff—or just plain get it wrong. This isn’t to say that the stories these two men seem to be trying to tell couldn’t be interesting films; it’s just that they aren’t what we were promised. Jackson, Adamson, and Walden Media are participants in a bait-and-switch. But I do have high hopes for Dawn Treader, which has a new director whose last film was Amazing Grace (which I still haven’t seen).