Movie Review: Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia Trailer

Bridge to Terabithia Summary

Jesse “Jess” Aarons is an 11-year-old aspiring artist living with his financially struggling family in Lark Creek. He rides the bus to school with his younger sister, May Belle, where he avoids the school bully, Janice Avery. In class, Jess is bullied by classmates Scott Hoager and Gary Fulcher and meets a new student named Leslie Burke. At recess, Jess enters a running event, for which he has been training at home. Leslie also enters and manages to win, much to Jess’ irritation. On the way home, Jess and Leslie learn they are next-door neighbors.

Later that day, it is discovered that Jess has a difficult relationship with his father, who spends more time with May Belle. Due to their financial struggles, his mother also forces him to wear his older sister’s sneakers. One day at school, Leslie compliments Jess’ drawing ability and they become friends. After school, they venture into the woods and swing across a creek on a rope. Jess and Leslie find an abandoned treehouse on the other side and invent a new world, which they call Terabithia. For the next few days, Jess and Leslie spend their free time in the treehouse getting to know each other.

Leslie gives Jess an art kit on his birthday. Jess becomes angry with his father for his attitude towards him and he loses his belief in Terabithia, and refuses its existence the next day at school. Later, Jess apologizes to Leslie by giving her a puppy, whom she names Prince Terrien (P.T). Once in Terabithia, they encounter various creatures, including a giant troll resembling Janice, squirrel-like creatures resembling Hoager, whom they name the ‘Sqoagers’, and ‘Hairy Vultures’ resembling Fulcher. At school, Leslie becomes frustrated by Janice Avery’s bullying. Jess and Leslie play a prank on Janice, and is embarrassed in front of everyone on the bus. Leslie introduces Jess to her parents and they help paint their house. At school, Leslie discovers from Janice that her bullying is due to her abusive father, and the two become friends, with Janice later befriending Jess as well. Jess and Leslie take P.T to Terabithia, where they fight off several creatures resembling their bullies, this time with the troll as their ally.

The next morning, Ms. Edmunds, the music teacher who Jess has a crush on, calls to invite him on a one-on-one field trip to an art museum. When Jess returns home, his father reveals that Leslie died after hitting her head in the creek when the rope she used snapped. Jess first denies it and runs to check on Leslie, but he notices the severed rope as well as emergency vehicles surrounding her house before eventually accepting her death.

The following day, Jess and his parents visit the Burke family to pay their respects. Leslie’s father, Bill Burke, tells Jess she loved him, and thanks him for being the best friend she ever had, since she never had friends at her old school. Jess feels overwhelming guilt for Leslie’s death, lashing out at both Hoager and May Belle, and imagining the “Dark Master” from Terabithia chasing after him before breaking down into tears, but his father comforts and consoles him. Jess decides to re-imagine Terabithia and builds a bridge across the river to welcome a new ruler. He invites May Belle to Terabithia and the two agree to rule over Terabithia, with Jess as king and May Belle as the princess.

Bridge to Terabithia Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This movie hits home. So it is based off the book, which tugs at your heartstrings, but this movie lives up to it. A family movie that will leave you in tears.

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