Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia
2007, Disney, PG


As a kid, I remember one of the most popular books in the 6th grade school library was Paterson's book Bridge to Terabithia. Disney has just released the film version to DVD. The movie stands on it's own as very powerful, but it's not for everyone even though it's a children's movie.

First, the movie is not the all-out fantasy movie with high-speed computer generated chases and special effects like it may be advertised. The computer animation stuff is minimal - unlike Harry Potter or Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. However, it still grabs your attention as you become attached to the two main characters. Sure there's plenty of good morals to be learned from the film, there's bullies who end up only needing acceptance and themes of family and religion, but ironically the biggest problem with the movie is also what makes it so powerful. It's necessary to inform potential viewers that a central character dies without much warning, when you thought the movie would be nothing but uplifting and magical. No, there's no gore, and you actually don't witness the event, but it still heavily effects the viewer. While the end tries to come together as a happy one, all in all, the film still leaves you shocked. For this reason, Bridge is not for everyone, especially the sensitive or those who may be dealing with loss.

I was also shocked to find some spiritual dialog in the film, and that's a good thing because it's not a religious film. The kids have a conversation about Jesus and where one goes when he or she dies. While this film could've been about how kids can heal and cope with death, it does not concentrate on this and I think it would've been more successful if it had.

Don't rent this movie thinking it's a lighthearted fantasy adventure. But, if you're strong and ready for an emotional journey, it's one of the best this summer. Four Stars.

- Garrett Johnson


Bucket List | Iron Man | August Rush
Enchanted | Horton Hears A Who
Martian Child | National Treasure 2
The Golden Compass | Evan Almighty
Bridge to Terabithia | Spiderman 3
The Pursuit of Happyness
The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe
Shallow Hal | Facing The Giants