Prince Caspian: You're Narnians. You're supposed to be extinct.
Nikabrik: Sorry to disappoint you.
After a disappointing first entry, Disney attempts another go at the Narnia series, and fortunately this second film is much better. There are still some problems, but overall this film succeeds.
A year has passed in the real world for the Pevensie brothers and sisters first visited Narnia, but upon their return, after being summoned, they find that time in that world has advanced over 1000 years.
Now Narnia has been overtaken by another group of people, who have their own ruling problems. A prince was forced to escape his own kingdom due to relatives power grabs, resulting in his alliance with Narnians and their summoning of the Pevensies.
Once Peter, Edmond, Susan, and Lucy return, they team up with Prince Caspian and the other Narnians hoping to deal with the possible evil and maybe even find Aslan to help them out even more.
This film attempts to go darker than the last, which is for the most part true to the book, but the reason this still doesn't become a great movie is due to what has to be put into a film like this.
As a book, talking animals mixed with medieval action can be handled very well if written well. This movie has a problem in trying to contain both epic action and family oriented entertainment. It pushes the boundaries of its PG rating, but it still feels very kiddy in parts.
However, this movie does succeed in a number of places where the last movie definitely was lacking. Namely, the visual effects. This time around, the creatures and humans are all very well crafted to exist together in very good looking environments provided by New Zealand and sound stages.
It also helps that all the human actors do a good job. The four Pevensie children are all good enough. Peter expands a little bit beyond straight up good guy leader and Lucy still manages to be cute and innocent. Ben Barnes is also pretty good as Caspian, although the injected feelings between him and Susan was unnecessary. Peter Dinklage steps in as Trumpkin, a dwarf, making for the best character of the bunch.
As far as talking animals go, although there are some goofy moments, my favorite character from the books, Reepicheep, a swashbuckling mouse fits right into this film and is given a voice by Eddie Izzard to cheer things up a bit (although it is odd to see a mouse make jokes as well as presumably kill people).
Overall, this is a better installment of the Narnia series than the last, but it still needs to find a way to capture a balance between its fantasy epic and family fantasy aspects.
Lucy: Oh my God, he's so cute.
[draws his sword]
Reepicheep: Who said that!