BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Josh Hutcherson as JESSE AARONS
AnnaSophia Robb as LESLIE BURKE
Zooey Deschanel as MS. EDMONDS
Robert Patrick as JACK AARONS
Bailee Madison as MAY BELLE AARONS
Kate Butler as NANCY AARONS
Lauren Clinton as JANICE AVERY
Directed by: Gabor Csupo
BY KEVIN CARR
“Bridge to Terabithia” follows a middle school boy (Josh Hutcherson) who befriends a new girl in school (AnnaSophia Robb). They create their own imaginary world called Terabithia. However, their fantasy comes crashing down when tragedy strikes their circle of friends.
I’ll have to admit that I was dreading “Bridge to Terabithia.” I was never a fan of the book. In my opinion, it force-fed difficult issues down children’s’ throats. Librarians love it, but I wanted more real fantasy instead of depressing reality.
However, when I saw the film, I was pleasantly surprised. In a strange way, the story works better as a movie because the viewer can experience the childhood fantasy a little more, even if it is all in their minds. Although the movie was advertised as a new Narnia, I knew not to expect high fantasy. And since I knew the ending, I was prepared for it.
Overall, “Bridge to Terabithia” has an excellent cast, and both Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb act circles around their adult co-stars. The fantasy elements are slick but not overdone, and they are merged nicely with the reality of the film itself. I still wouldn’t recommend this for the young viewers hoping for Narnia, but fans of the book will find that it has done justice to the original novel.
The DVD includes spotlights on the digital effects and the larger themes of the book. There’s also two audio commentaries and a music video from AnnaSophia Robb.