On the Big Board
|Far less magical than I wanted it to be. Almost joyless, even when it wasn't supposed to be.
|I liked both the adventure and drama of this kids movie. I'd expect Anna Sophia Robb to become a big star - she's a camera magnet.
I was a great reader as a child, and there are few books I remember being as affecting as Katherine Paterson's Newbery Award-winning book Bridge to Terabithia. Disney and Walden Media, who worked together to adapt another classic children's story to film - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - team up again for this family-friendly fare.
The story centers around a loner of a boy named Jess Aarons. He doesn't especially fit in at school, and he feels as though his family misunderstands him as well. As he keeps to himself, he sets a goal that he will be the fastest boy in school, and works all summer long to achieve his dream. He is surprised when a new girl, Leslie Burke, is able to compete in a race that was supposed to have been for boys only. Even worse, she wins.
Even though they begin their relationship as rivals, Jess and Leslie somehow become fast friends as they share secrets. Leslie has a keen imagination and describes all kinds of fantasy worlds and magical kingdoms that she has created in her mind. Jess is a budding artist with a love for drawing, but before meeting Leslie he never told anyone else about his talent. Together, the pair imagine a secret kingdom named Terabithia, which is only accessible by swinging over a rope by a stream near their homes. They are the rulers of the kingdom and fight against a villain known as the Dark Master. Jess and Leslie also come up with some cunning plots to battle some school bullies. Ultimately, Jess finds himself growing and experiencing life change that is positive (as is the case in most Walden stories).
While the story should definitely be impacting on children and adults alike, it will also be a strong early contender for one of the best effects movies of the year. WETA, the wizards who handled the visuals for The Lord of the Rings films and King Kong, will be behind the world of Terabithia as well. (Kim Hollis/BOP)