Bridge to Terabithia
Awww, the kids are trying to taste the rainbow. Isn’t it cute?

Theatrical Release Date: 02/16/2007
Director: Gabor Csupo
Cast: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick

I don’t know why it’s family films week on my movie channels but since someone (Audrey) never got around to writing this film up, I thought I’d give it a shot and review it. Plus, it was in HD … which we all know means I’ll probably watch it.

“Bridge to Terabithia” is about two pre-teens who aren’t exactly on the popular track and end up befriending one another. Their vivid imagination leads them to discover a whole new world in the woods and thanks to modern technology, the audience gets to see an everyday forest landscape transform into a magical kingdom.

Yes, part of the film is on the hokey side and it’s quite obvious that the film was marketed at people who still need a ride from their parents to get to the theater. Still, I think it’s good that us cynical adults get a dose of wonder and childlike imagination every now and then.

With that in mind, I have to give credit to the two young leads in the film, Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb a lot of credit. While there is definitely an element of them being a bit too wise for their age, their characters feel sincere and fleshed out.

And considering they live with their heads in the clouds, keeping the audience grounded is a bit of a feat. What makes this more than just another kids film is that the sense of awe and fantasy transfers from the characters to the audience. The issues and family environments that Hutcherson and Robb are dealing with in their real lives let us believe that they would need to immerse themselves in another world, where their troubles can be forgotten and their demons conquered.

Don’t be fooled though, there are some adult themes that are far from fun so don’t go into it quite expecting “The Goonies” or “Flight of the Navigator”. The film takes a maudlin turn and if you’re at all one of those folks who brings kleenex to the theater, you may want some by the couch.

As for negatives in the film, there’s a scene where a teacher (Deschanel) brings Hutcherson to a museum on a Saturday which is highly unlikely in this litigious world that didn’t quite settle with me, especially considering the many social boundaries this might cross.

Still, I have to admit I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed my time in Terabithia and if you’re looking for a film that can reach the inner child being pummeled into oblivion by our 9 to 5 lives and also tug at the heartstrings, I think “Bridge to Terabithia” is a good one and I’m giving it a strong 3 out of 5.