Australian Council on Children and the Media

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

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Not recommended under 13, Parental guidance to 15 due to frequent violence and scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • a review of Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 May 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to the nature and frequency of the violent and scary scenes
Children 13-14 Parental guidance recommended due to frequent violence and scary scenes
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Frequent battle violence
Length 144 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Based on the book by CS Lewis, Prince Caspian begins when Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skander Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) Pevensie are called back to Narnia. While only a year has passed for them, in Narnia hundreds of years have elapsed and nothing is as it was. Their castle lies in ruins, Aslan is gone and the Telmarines, a violent community, have invaded Narnia, hunting the Narnians to the brink of extinction.

Leading the Telmarines is Prince Caspian’s evil uncle Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) who will do anything to be King. When his wife finally delivers a baby boy Miraz tries to kill Caspian (Ben Barnes), the rightful heir to the Telmarine throne.

Caspian escapes into the forest where he is rescued by a Narnian, only to learn that the rest of the Narnians want him dead. In a desperate bid to save himself he proposes that they combine his knowledge with their forces to bring Miraz down. Before the attack Caspian and the Narnian army meet up with the Pevensie children who are being led by Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage) a red dwarf whom they have saved from Miraz’s men.

Peter, as High King, and Prince Caspian do not agree on how the army should be lead, or on the methods used for attacking their enemies. Only after devastating and tragic losses are they able to work together to help save Narnia, but ultimately it is Lucy’s loyalty to Aslan that conquers the forces of evil and wins them the ultimate victory.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War; cross-cultural intolerance; the supernatural

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Armed soldiers fire arrows into the bed where they think the Prince is sleeping.
  • Caspian is chased on horseback into an eerie forest by soldiers who are trying to kill him. He is knocked off his horse when he hits a tree.
  • Peter and other boys fight in the subway. They attack each other, punching and wrestling while the surrounding crowd cheers them on.
  • Trumpkin is abducted by the Telmarines. He is bound and paraded before a high ranking council where Miraz slaps him across the face.
  • Two Telmarine soldiers try to kill Trumpkin by drowning him. Susan saves him by shooting arrows at the men.
  • Edward and Trumpkin have a sword fight.
  • Caspian tries to fight his way out of a Narnian’s house.
  • Soldiers shoot arrows at Caspian, trying to kill him while he and two Narnians flee through the woods. One is hit. A sword fighting mouse saves them from the soldiers, by eliminating the soldiers one by one. The mouse also holds a sword to Caspian’s throat.
  • An angry mob of Narnians talk about trying to kill Caspian.
  • Miraz tells his general to execute three of his men. They will blame their deaths on the Narnians.
  • Caspian and Peter have a sword fight.
  • A soldier guarding a tower is ambushed and killed.
  • Other guards are killed and a throat is cut when the Narnians, led by Peter, attack the Telmarine castle. During this battle many are killed and injured, including Caspian. In the end the Narnians retreat, but many are still trapped inside. Peter glances back at his friends who are only moments from death and must leave them to their fate. This sparks a fierce argument between Peter and Caspian.
  • Caspian holds a crossbow to Miraz’s chest and threatens to kill him in his bed.
  • Caspian learns that Miraz murdered his father.
  • The White Witch has Caspian’s hand sliced because she needs his blood.
  • Edmund stabs the witch through the heart before she gains power over Peter.
  • Peter challenges Miraz to a duel to the death. They fight it out with swords. Both sustain injuries. Miraz fights unfairly and Peter wins.
  • Miraz is betrayed by his own men and killed by having an arrow thrust up his ribs.
  • Susan and Lucy are trying to flee through the woods. They are pursued by Miraz’s soldiers. Susan shoots and kills three with her arrows. Lucy is forced to go on alone and Susan is nearly killed by another soldier. Caspian rescues her at the last moment.
  • There is a battle on an open plain which includes people and animals flying into a heap, people being hit by arrows, sliced by swords, crushed by rocks, throats being cut, etc.
  • Lucy is chased by a soldier but is saved by Aslan.
  • Aslan’s magic causes dead trees to come alive again. They join in the battle against the Telmarines, ripping up the ground with their roots and brutally destroying Miraz’s army.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The opening scene is that of Miraz’s wife screaming in agony as she is delivered of his son.
  • There is a dark, cloaked figure shuffling through the hallway with dramatic suspenseful music. The scene is tense and dangerous.
  • A former follower of the White Witch tries to get Caspian to set her free. There is a vicious, evil and mangy looking wolf that attacks anyone that comes near. It is very intense and would frighten many children.
  • There is a scary looking, witch-like creature with half a face that is trying to help set the White Witch free. Her appearance could be disturbing for many young viewers.
  • The fact that the children are constantly engaging in battles (many of them quite fierce) could be disturbing to many viewers.
  • Lucy is nearly attacked by a ferocious, wild, bear that runs straight at her. Susan freezes and Trumpkin kills him with an arrow before slitting his throat.
  • When Lucy and Susan are being chased by the soldiers. Susan decides they must separate in order for Lucy to get through. Lucy doesn’t want to leave Susan but does in order to reach Aslan.
  • During the later battle scenes a number of armies come together. Many of the soldiers are wearing menacing looking masks.
  • In the final battle at the river Aslan causes a river to take a gigantic human form. He crushes the army with the rushing force of his water. A general is still on the bridge and the bridge is lifted up in the river’s hands, brought before a very angry face and then apparently eaten.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the violent and disturbing scenes described above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by many of the violent and disturbing scenes described above.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above, particularly those involving realistic harm.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Susan wears a low cut dress
  • Susan and Caspian kiss

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Prince Caspian is a fantasy film featuring beautiful scenery and some outstanding special effects. Due to the frequency and nature of the violent content, this is not a family film, but one geared toward an older, more mature audience.

The main messages from this movie are to fight for what is right, for ultimately good will triumph over evil, and that bravery and courage come in many different forms.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • loyalty
  • honour
  • cooperation
  • courage
  • resourcefulness
  • tolerance of those who are different from you

 This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • selfishness and pride
  • putting others at risk because you think that your idea is better than somebody else’s and you don’t want to admit that there is a chance you might be wrong.
  • choosing the wrong friends
  • violence as a way to solve conflict

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