“I don’t see people or the world in terms of good, bad, those polar opposites,” explained British actress Thandie Newton. “I keep trying to restore the correct view of things after my kids watch Disney movies: ‘Is he a baddie? Darling, there is literally no such thing.’” Newton is portraying Condoleezza Rice, in Oliver Stone’s film “W,” about the Bush administration.
Newton will have much to explain to her children if they see the new Disney film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” because it boasts both good and bad characters.
Conversely, someone who would probably love it would have been Ronald Reagan. His mother, Nelle, raised him on similar stories.
”My mother always came into our room at bedtime and wedged herself between my brother and me to read us a story,” reminisced Reagan about his childhood. Sometimes the hero in the story was a knight in shining armor, willing to fight for God and the king. Many of the stories had great moral lessons, and it was through literature that she taught them her principles and values. One of her favorite themes in books and plays was that of the eventual triumph of good over evil. This theme was later to be played out in President Reagan’s presidency with his “Evil Empire” speech and the eventual downfall of communism in Eastern Europe.
Examples include King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the Three Musketeers, David and Goliath, and Queen Esther.
All are examples of heroes -- some real, some fictional -- that have inspired people through ages. Their stories are full of honor, courage, and self-sacrifice. These are the types of stories that people want to hear over and over. It is always good to see Hollywood tell one of these timeless stories with timeless truths. That is exactly what we have in “Prince Caspian.”
As a movie, it contains all the cinematic elements needed for a good show -- exciting action, beautiful scenery, a great story, and even well timed comic relief. However, it is the virtues contained within that make it a truly great movie, which will stand the test of time, not to mention the summer blockbuster season.