Like many other Narnia fans, last Tuesday as soon as the Prince Caspian DVD was available I trotted right off to buy it, and watched it again that same night (I saw it twice last May, but that wasn't enough!)
I loved the movie, and I could write pages and pages comparing and contrasting it to the original book which I love even more. Basically, the movie is an adventure: the book was that, but oh so much more. Where it falls short is very subtle. Here is just one example: in the film, Aslan tells Lucy, "Every year you grow, so shall I." In the book, Aslan says, "Every year you grow, you will find me bigger." There is a totally different meaning in these two phrases. A Believer understands that one of the major realizations we make as we grow spiritually is that God becomes ever bigger, greater, holier, awesome... the way the film says it, it's just not the same.
Still, I am eager for the next movie, the Voyage of the Dawn Treader - even though it's not due out until May, 2010. So eager in fact that I re-read the book this weekend. The very best part was Eustace turning into a dragon, and then Aslan turning him back again - a beautiful picture of what Christ does for us not just when we are saved, but each time we realize we are hopelessly lost when we try to do things on our own, instead of through God.
At first I was kind of Hoping that "The Horse and His Boy" would be the next Narnia movie out, since it's my favorite, and also since it's the only other movie where Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are all present (if briefly). But after re-reading Dawn Treader, I am just as excited to see this one brought to screen. NarniaWeb.com "your complete source for Narnia movie news" confirmed that Dawn Treader is indeed the next movie in the making and I also found this interesting article In what order should the Narnia books be read? which also relates to the order in which the movies are being produced.
Back to Prince Caspian again for a moment: here is an excerpt from a Christianity Today article comparing the movie to the original themes in the book. The whole article is worth reading but this was the point that I thought was so important because it relates to another classic fantasy that I think the film makers meddled too much with:
Because Aslan is so remote from them, the Pevensies are forced to figure things out for themselves, with varying results. Peter's hunger for power and glory leads him to act just as rashly in Narnia as he had been acting in England—but since he is leading armies into battle now, his rashness has lethal, devastating consequences. What's more, he is strongly, strongly tempted to make a deal with the devil, as it were, to achieve his goals. (This may be the biggest, most potentially controversial change to a once-noble character since Faramir felt the lure of the Ring in Peter Jackson's version of The Two Towers.) However, some important and powerful themes do emerge, as Lucy reminds Peter that they need to actually look for Aslan and be faithful to what they already know of him, if they are ever to actually see him.