In 1977, a book called “Bridge To Terabithia,” opened in bookstores. It is generally considered as one of the best children’s books of all time. Three Decades Later, Disney adapted the book into a live action feature film starring Josh Hutcherson (Peeta from The Hunger Games Trilogy) & AnnaSophia Robb.
Bridge To Terabithia was released in 2007. (same year Hot Fuzz came out) It received positive reviews from critics and made enough cash at the box office. However, the film generated controversy surrounding the marketing of Terabithia, as an epic adventure-fantasy picture, as a tactic to get people’s butts in theaters and take their cash in the most fraudulent way. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!
Now that A Wrinkle In Time (another Disney film based on a children’s book) is generating a treamendous amount of hype as one of Disney’s highly anticipated films of 2018, I wanna address Hollywood studios to make sure you don’t trick your specific target audience into thinking that one movie is in their cup of tea, until they realized he or she made a big mistake. Otherwise, they’ll be walking out immediately!
Today’s review features potential SPOILERS. If you’ve never ever ever seen the whole thing or read the book, read at your own risk.
Imaginative & Unimaginative Aspects
Imaginative: Josh Hutcherson & AnnaSophia Robb both did a good job on their performances as both leads.
If you grew up watching Rugrats or The Wild Thornberrys, both cartoons are created by Gábor Csupo, who’s also the director of Terabithia.
Jess & Leslie’s chemistry felt natural, indicating there’s no early romance to shove it down anybody’s throat. Alright movie, you win this round!
Opening Credits begins with Jess’ creative drawings coming to life.
Zooey Deschanel sings “Ooh Child.” Whenever I hear or think of that song, I can picture Star-Lord from Guardians Of The Galaxy, challenging a stranger to a dance off. Zooey herself, is also a talented singer.
Leslie’s offscreen death, was surprisingly effective. Jess mourning over the death of his new friend, is quite a tearjerker. He feels guilty on losing Leslie for not inviting her to his teacher’s trip to an art museum. I could’ve given this pro a massive amount of Bonus Points, if the marketing team didn’t lie to me over the trailer.
Despite Jess’ father acting like a jerk, he does have redeeming qualities, as he confronts Jess over the loss of Leslie.
Cinematography looks fine without any technical issues present throughout.
C.G.I. was used to bring several creatures to life. Brought to you by Peter Jackson’s Visual Effects company, Weta Digital.
Unimaginative: When the duo swing on a rope, I unintentionally laughed. I don’t see anything magical involving two kids swinging on a rope. Whenever I see something magical, I think of E.T. using his power to make Elliot’s bicycle fly or jaw dropping landscapes from The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.
As you may know, Disney made a terrible decision to market the film as an epic fantasy-adventure film, close to The Chronicles Of Narnia. When I was a 13-year-old lad, I went to the movies, while waiting for a movie to start, a trailer for the film played. At first it looked promising, until months later, I’ve been duped. They pulled a Kangaroo Jack on me. It means a movie like Kangaroo Jack lied to movie goers that it was gonna center on a talking kangaroo, but nope, it’s about two buddies who are forced to retrieve a package connected to The Mafia. After finishing Terabithia, I was disappointed that Disney took my money. Because of their greedy tactic, I’m Doubling Down this con, for wasting my money on a cheap knock-off of My Girl! I hate it when a movie trailer uses a “Bait-And-Switch” tactic! Disney I demand you to give me back $14 dollars!
Correct me if I’m wrong, is it actually acceptable for a teacher to take one student on a trip that has nothing to do with school related activities? For me, I find it kinda creepy. I’m gonna give this con a pass, because Disney didn’t go on Dakota Fanning’s Houndog movie territory. Fellas, you don’t wanna know, I refuse to tell you, you’re gonna be appalled!
Some of the dialogue in the movie, is taken from the book’s outdated use of slang including “deadmeat.” Screenwriting 101, if you’re gonna have to adapt a work set in modern times, replace the words nobody uses anymore.
Disney had the guts to use a Miley Cyrus song on the official soundtrack! I’m already aware she used to star in Hannah Montana. I’m so gonna Double Down this con, because I hate Disney sitcoms and Miley currently acting like a floozy towards lil’ girls for not thinking this through ever since she performed at The 2013 MTV Music Awards!
A Dance Scene/ Cleanup Montage involving Jess, Leslie & her family painting the house and dancing at the same time, resembles a cheesy lookin’ Disney Channel music video. I was totally cringing. GOOD LORD! This is Spider-Man 3’s Dance Scene all over again! Terabithia came out first before Spider-Man 3!
A Blue Screen Effect with Leslie & Jess running in the woods, seemed pretty fake. Nicholas Cage as Ghost Rider is far beyond immersive than two kids running on a treadmill with a fake Blue Screen in the background!
Product Placement feature brands such as Minute Maid, Juicy Fruit, Bugle’s & Ford. I’m giving this flaw a pass, because I couldn’t any other brand to spot besides four I’ve spotted. Okay movie, you win this round yet again!
The Final Verdict: C-
In my opinion, Bridge To Terabithia is a divisive film for those who read the book, and for those who haven’t read it. I’m one of those people who never read the book. Yep, I admit it, I never did. I would’ve bumped my Final Verdict to a B or A- if the marketing of the movie didn’t lie to me. If it’s one of your favorite children’s books since childhood, go ahead and introduced it to your kids before you let them see the film adaptation.
Let’s all cross our fingers to see if A Wrinkle In Time, isn’t gonna be an epic disappointment.