The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Bridge to Terabithia

AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson star as Leslie and Jess in Bridge to Terabithia, based on the children’s book by Katherine Paterson. The film is about two children who are outcasts with their schoolmates and find true friendship with each other.  Photo courtesy Disney
AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson star as Leslie and Jess in Bridge to Terabithia, based on the children’s book by Katherine Paterson. The film is about two children who are outcasts with their schoolmates and find true friendship with each other. Photo courtesy Disney

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson star as Leslie and Jess in Bridge to Terabithia, based on the children’s book by Katherine Paterson. The film is about two children who are outcasts with their schoolmates and find true friendship with each other.  Photo courtesy Disney
AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson star as Leslie and Jess in Bridge to Terabithia, based on the children’s book by Katherine Paterson. The film is about two children who are outcasts with their schoolmates and find true friendship with each other. Photo courtesy Disney

I read Bridge to Terabithia in grade school, and naturally that great, controversial novel stayed lodged in my memory.

It is one of those books I recommend to anyone, along with The Giver. 

So, of course, I was curious when I saw a poster for the movie pasted on a theater wall.

Then I saw a trailer, and my curiosity turned to concern.

I was afraid the film had been turned into a Disney-esque fantasy and not a touching, raw story of preteen friendship.

But fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the way you look at it, the trailers fool the audience.

Bridge to Terabithia
 is more of a coming-of-age story that holds true to the essence of Katherine Paterson’s Newberry Award-winning book.

Josh Hutcherson (RV, Zathura) plays the shy Jess, who spends most of his time either doodling in a sketchbook, running or admiring his music teacher, Miss Edmunds (Zooey Deschanel, Almost Famous, Manic).

Jess has been preparing for a big race against the other school boys, but when race day finally comes, a new girl, Leslie, beats everyone. 

Leslie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s AnnaSophia Robb) becomes an outcast rather quickly with her oddball choice of clothes and lack of a television set in her home.

Jess and Leslie become fast friends after a slow start.

One day while running in the woods behind their houses, they discover a hidden place, only accessible by a swing rope over a creek.

With their preteen imagination, they create a magical kingdom, Terabithia, where Leslie and Jess escape reality and reign as King and Queen.

In Terabithia, they deal with real issues, such as the bullies Janice Avery and Scott Hoager, or just spend their time painting and talking as they wait for an attack from one of Terabithia’s mythical foes.

As screen adaptations go, Gabor Csupo’s Bridge To Terabithia is one of the best I have seen.

The film does a fantastic job conveying the power of imagination and the friendship between Leslie and Jess.

The only thing I noticed was screenwriters Jeff Stockwell and David Paterson (the author’s son) seem to sidestep the religious element that was apparent in the book.

Only one scene references the religion aspect, and it doesn’t seem to fit the film’s flow.

Hutcherson and Robb are unpretentious and incredibly real as the two preteens.

A few moments, I wanted to roll my eyes because of something one of them said, but then I realized that’s what a preteen child would actually say.

Deschanel, an amazing young actress I look forward to seeing in movies, does a great job as the music teacher. She really captures the character of Miss Edmunds from the book.

I give the film four and a half stars out of five.

Bridge to Terabithia is a great movie for all ages to check out this weekend.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian