Monday, June 4, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia

Director: Gabor Csupo
Genre: Adventure/drama/family/fantasy
Rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language
Starring Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb

When I first saw the trailer for this movie I was shocked; What had they done to such a great story?! It didn’t look anything like the touching tale of friendship the novel tells. But, after reading positive reviews from others who had also enjoyed the book, I decided to go see for myself—and was pleasantly surprised.

Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr. has been training all summer to be the fastest kid in the fifth grade, but that dream is crushed when the new girl, Leslie Burke, beats all the boys on the first day of school. At first Jess is against Leslie, both for beating him and for being weird, but then he figures, “Why shouldn’t I talk to her?” and a strong friendship develops. The two create Terabithia, a secret magical kingdom in the woods where they are free from bullies and worries, and where their imagination is boundless. Leslie finally has a friend, and Jess learns how to daydream. But a sudden catastrophe shatters Terabithia, and Jess wonders if it can ever be rebuilt again.
The movie adaptation sticks close to the main plot of the book, with only a few minutes of CGI—which is to show you what the characters see—and AnnaSophia Robb is the perfect Leslie, with her friendly smile and large sparkling eyes. Although I thought the animation took away from the quiet power that is captured in the novel, Bridge to Terabithia was a good movie and very worth watching for all ages.

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