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Running Time:
1 hour, 35 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A sensitive, unpretentious and touching tale of preteen friendship and loss

Additional Info:
DVD Features: "Digital Imagination: Bringing Terabithia to Life"; "Behind the Book: the Themes of Bridge to Terabithia"; Music Video "Keep Your Mind Wide Open" Performed by AnnaSophia Robb; Audio Commentary With Director Gabor Csupo, Writer Jeff Stockwell and Producer Hal Lieberman; Audio Commentary With Actors Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb and Producer Lauren Levine

Bridge to Terabithia
Jess (Josh Hutcherson "RV") is a budding artist when he's not doing chores on his farm. His life is difficult because his parents (Robert Patrick "We Are Marshall" and Kate Butler) are struggling to keep the farm going and he's constantly tormented by his four sisters or bullies at his school. Leslie (Annasophia Robb "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") is the ostracized new girl in his class. She's the only child of a pair of successful writers. Leslie's vivid imagination and unique fashion sense set her apart from the other students. Zooey Deschanel ("All the Real Girls") plays their sensitive music teacher.

As outsiders, Jess and Leslie soon become fast friends, and after some initial resistance, Jess succumbs to Leslie's wild ideas about going to Terabithia, a fantastical kingdom that she tells him about. It's a place you can get to by swinging on a rope across a stream and into an enchanted woods. But there are some quite unpleasant aspects of life in Terabithia, including the fact that their school enemies have changed into hairy vultures and giant ogres.

Directing his first live-action feature, Gabor Csupo, co-founder of the animation studio Klasy-Csupo ("Rugrats" and "The Simpsons") deftly incorporates fantastic visual effects created by the New Zealand-based company who produced much of the magic seen in the three "Lord of the Rings" films as well as "The Chronicles of Narnia." Also contributing to the appealing production are the lush New Zealand locations filmed by cinematographer Michael Chapman ("Raging Bull") and a beautiful score by Aaron Zigman ("The Notebook").

While the book wisely left most of the fantasy details to the reader's imagination, the film is intelligently presents its version of Terabithia right there on the screen for all to see and enjoy. With its rich story filled with positive and realistic messages, it is a fine family film that should entertain all audiences.

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