Bridge to Terabithia (PBS TV Version)
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Eleven-year-old Jesse Aaron loves nothing more than running against his fellow students on the school fields. But when the new girl in class surprisingly wins a race, he decides to befriend the mysterious new arrival. Together Jesse and Leslie dream-up the fantastical world of Terabithia, a make-believe kingdom where giants and trolls roam free and all kinds of mystical beings exist. But when tragedy strikes their heavenly sanctuary, can Jesse summon all of Terabithia's magic in the hope of surviving a devastating loss?
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Top customer reviews
It will make you laugh, it was make you say "awww," and it will make you cry. I have been watching this movie since I was a little girl and I still watch it to this day. If you have children I absolutely recommend this movie to you. It is fantastic!
Since I can not be the only person who has gone through this, and since there are so many other things a kid can plug into these days, I have to wonder whether there would be anyone who could relate to "Bridge To Terabithia," a movie where two kids dodge bullies at school and escape to the imaginary world of Terabithia after school. I feel today's kids have so much more material things to keep them distracted in life then to be bothered with creating magical fantasy worlds in the local creek. I think the film makers realized this was a tricky situation that they couldn't fake, so they made it so our two leads have perfectly logical reasons to not spend all day playing with toys. Our young friend Jesse Aarons (Josh Hutcherson) comes from a poor family. They are so poor they can't afford a second hand Game Boy, and he inherits a pair of pink sneakers that belongs to one of his older sisters (he is the middle child between two older sisters and one younger sister).
Now his new friend Leslie Burke (Anna Sophia Robb), the girl at school, comes from a rich family. Her parents are both writers, but they do not own a TV because they feel it rots creativeness. I would like to have a word with these parents myself, but for the sake of the movie I'll let them off the hook. Since these two kids have nothing to plug into, and are constantly bullied at school and are unappreciated at home, they must find other means to entertain themselves. They find this entertainment by going deep into the local creek no one visits (probably because the other kids at schools DO have TV's and computer games to play), and create an imaginary world that they call Terabithia. They build a fort, play games, and in one scene even fight trolls and flying monsters. A good majority of the movie takes place at home and in school though, where they have very real problems to deal with.
Jesse has great talent to be an artist, but receives little support from his family. His stressed out father in particular doesn't support his love for art, saying "if [drawing is] so beneficial why don't you draw me some money?" He receives encouragement to continue his drawing from Ms. Edmonds, the music teacher he develops a crush on. Leslie's problems at home are minor, but we find out that she has never had any friends on account that people are intimidated by her imaginative personality. Both kids are bullied by kids, though Leslie deals with the bullying better then Jessie does (a girl who tries to charge a dollar to use the bathroom inspires Leslie to start a "Free The Pee" march). In Terabithia though, these kids are King and Queen, protecting their kingdom and escaping their problems. A twist near the end changes their lives though.
I will not share this twist with you, but it elevates the movie from "heartwarming kids tale" to a full blown tragedy. For those who have read the book I'm sure you know what to expect. I did not, and therefor the twist came as a punch in the stomach to me. It left me so devastated I cried twice. Once in the theater and once when I got home. I'm not going to comment much on the advertising campaign, other then to say that I think it's a shame Disney feels like they need to pretend this is a children's "Lord of the Rings" in order to sell tickets. This is a great movie, period. The smoke and mirrors are not needed to sell this to kids. Kids love movies based on whether they are good or not, and promising them something they are not going to get doesn't help your bottom line in the long run.
And this movie is full of things kids love. Adventures, jokes, underdogs that come out on top. Heck, it even has a regular dog in the movie. I don't care who you are, but having a dog included in a movie automatically makes me add half a star to a movie based on that fact alone. For adults it will bring back a childhood innocense they thought they had lost. For me it was a revolution of the heart. Aside from the fact that I was expecting a completely different movie then what I got, it brought back memories of when you felt the world was against you, and it was only you and your best friend who could take care of each other. Still, the movie geek in me has to admit that the biggest revelation from this movie comes from the fact that it was directed by Gabor Csupo, who is most famous as the creator of "The Rugrats."
It's such a big shock to find that out, that I wonder if the feeling people had when they discovered Frank Sinatra was a pretty good actor was similar to this. Csupo creates a wonderful movie here for people of any age. I think parents with kids under the age of ten might want to preview the movie first, because the movie really does become depressing, but otherwise this is a great movie. I hesitate before saying this, because it's only February, but...oh, what the heck I'll say it anyway. "Bridge To Terabithia" is one of the best films of the year.
Rating: **** and a half stars