Bridge to Terabithia
Rated PG; Directed by Gabor Csupo; Starring Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick, Bailee Madison
Man, why didn’t someone warn me? Going by the previews I thought that the Bridge to Terabithia was going to be another kid’s CGI filled adventure story with little story line. Never reading Katherine Paterson’s novel I was totally unprepared for the involving young-adult story that focuses on a special friendship…and only uses computer animation in small doses. I also wished someone mentioned bringing a hankie. Yeah, Bridge to Terabithia isn’t always a happy movie. I needed that hanky.
Jesse Aarons (Josh Hutcherson) isn’t enjoying his life. Between the bullies at school and a home life that has its own cares, Jesse finds solace in his art. His life changes when Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb) moves in next door. She’s a little different, which is a good thing. They slowly become friends and are soon exploring the nearby woods where their imagination creates a make-believe world called Terabithia. But Jesse’s newfound happiness faces a terrible challenge. I’m telling you; hankies, bring ‘em.
The movie offers audiences a moving and engrossing tale. The only drawback is the use of the computer animation. It almost draws us out of the story. I kept imagining how Paterson must have described these scenes in her book and wished the director had found another way to show the imaginings of the two adolescents. Still, it’s a mighty good story with the two young actors creating believable pre-teens. Zooey Deschanel stands out as a music teacher who appreciates Jesse’s art.
Bridge to Terabithia deserves an audience. Just understand that the previews are misleading. And I am warning you, tears will fall, so have that hanky ready.