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"BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA"
(2007) (Josh Hutcherson, Annasophia Robb) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Mild Moderate *Moderate Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Heavy Heavy Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A boy and his new next-door neighbor escape from their problems by imagining a fantasy world in their nearby woods.
PLOT:
Things aren't going well for Jess Aarons (JOSH HUTCHERSON). A sensitive but sullen boy growing up in a poor farm family, he's hoping to win a big race at school, but his mom Nancy (KATE BUTLER) has thrown out his old shoes and replaced them with a hand-me-down pair from one of his older sisters.

With his dad Jack (ROBERT PATRICK) being somewhat distant and preoccupied with the family finances, Jess is surrounded by females, including his mom, older sisters Brenda (DEVON WOOD) and Ellie (EMMA FENTON), and younger sibling May Belle Aarons (BAILEY MADISON) who just wants to hang out with her big brother.

It doesn't get much better at school. While he has a crush on his music teacher Ms. Edmunds (ZOOEY DESCHANEL), towering school bully Janice Avery (LAUREN CLINTON) torments him when not charging everyone admission to the restroom, and new student Leslie Burke (ANNASOPHIA ROBB) has just beaten him and everyone else in that important foot race. Thus, not only must he deal with that disappointment, but he must also endure the taunting from his classmates, Scott Hoager (CAMERON WAKEFIELD) and Gary Fulcher (ELLIOT LAWLESS), who act like jerks toward him.

Despite Jess initially not liking Leslie for beating him in the race, the two soon become fast friends and escape from their troubles in the nearby woods. There, they find a deserted tree house and make it their own, with Leslie declaring the land to be Terabithia, a world filled with fantastical creatures, both good and bad. Encouraged by their ability to deal with the latter, they then set out to make things right in the real world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the book, they probably will, while the kid meets fantasy angle might draw others.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOSH HUTCHERSON plays a sensitive but sullen boy who isn't happy growing up in a family comprised mostly of women and his somewhat distant father. Not only must he deal with that, but also being bullied at school by various kids. With the help of Leslie who he quickly befriends, he imagines various scenarios in their woods-based playground that help him cope with his real-life troubles and problems.
  • ANNASOPHIA ROBB plays the new girl in school and Jess' new neighbor who becomes his best friend. She encourages him to have an open mind while in the woods and thus influences his imagination regarding what they think they see and encounter.
  • ZOOEY DESCHANEL plays the kids' music teacher who tries to bring some art and culture to her students, particularly Jess.
  • ROBERT PATRICK plays Jess' father whose preoccupation with tight family finances leaves him somewhat cold and distant toward his son.
  • BAILEY MADISON plays Jess' somewhat precocious younger sister who wants to hang out with him and Leslie and is disappointed when she isn't allowed to.
  • LAUREN CLINTON plays the school's most feared bully, a towering girl who reigns supreme inside the school bus and charges admission to the playground bathroom.
  • CAMERON WAKEFIELD and ELLIOT LAWLESS play two school punks who constantly pick on Jess.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are present. Violence includes a viewed and off-screen, kid to kid punch to the face, while some imagined fantasy type creatures battle and briefly try to attack some human kids in some action-based moments.

    Those scenes and other moments of potential peril might be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers, while a major child character dies toward the end of the film (not seen, but referenced, with plenty of related emotional aftermath). That obviously results in tense family material (while other unrelated bits also occur).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including several bullies), while some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate. Finally, a bit of crude material (about bodily functions) is also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, we see slow-motion shots of Jess and Leslie separately swinging on a rope swing (where they appear stationary and the background moves behind them).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Janice guards the school's bathroom door, telling girls that if they don't pay her a dollar, they'll have to use their pants.
  • When the kids report that Janice is again charging a dollar for kids to use the school bathroom, some start chanting "Free to pee."
  • About the dog he's holding, Jess tells Leslie that the mutt just peed on his sweatshirt (not seen).
  • To distract a janitor and prevent him from seeing Jess planting a note in Janice's desk, Leslie says she thinks someone threw up in the girls' bathroom.
  • A school punk knocks Jess down. Janice sees that occur, and when we next see the punk, he has a bloody nose and a bloody hanky (meaning Janice hit him off camera).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Jess' older sisters aren't nice to him (in standard sibling form).
  • Janice throws a slice of bread covered in peanut butter at Jess, causing it to stick on his shirt.
  • A class punk keeps repeating "Beep beep," adding that it's his loser detector (referring to Jess in class). When he sees Jess is wearing his sister's hand-me-down shoes, he asks if Jess is wearing her underwear as well.
  • Janice guards the school's bathroom door, telling girls that if they don't pay her a dollar, they'll have to use their pants.
  • After Leslie wins a class foot race, she introduces herself and puts out her hand to shake Jess' hand, but he doesn't do the same and instead walks away.
  • Scott and Gary knock Jess' backpack off him.
  • When Leslie announces that her family doesn't have a TV (not due to being poor, but just as a conscious decision), most of the other kids laugh at her (and then do so again later).
  • Janice trips on the bus, and then lies that Jess tripped her, causing the bus driver to kick him off the bus.
  • We see ketchup stains on Leslie's shirt (from Janice hitting her with such packets on the bus -- not seen).
  • We hear that Janice stole May Belle's Twinkies.
  • To get back at Janice, Jess and Leslie write a fake love note from another boy to her. When Janice then approaches that boy, he says, "In your dreams," prompting other kids to laugh at her.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Along with what's listed below, scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers but - with the exception of the unexpected death - probably to few others.
  • Others worry about Leslie when she unknowingly takes Janice's seat on the bus (with Jess rushing to get her out of harm's way).
  • Leslie tries out a rope swing across a creek, with Jess worried since he's never used it and thinks it's old. Both then do so, with Leslie then letting go and disappearing on the other side. Jess then follows into the thick woods (during the day) and searches for Leslie, with her suddenly surprising him for fun.
  • Leslie makes up the woods-based kingdom, describing a sound as prisoners rattling chains. Jess then imagines seeing a dark figure in the woods (what Leslie calls the dark master).
  • Leslie and Jess act like squirrels and birds are attacking them.
  • A furry woods creature dives down at Jess (in his imagination), but he punches it away.
  • A tree falls toward the kids' tree house, nearly hitting them (Leslie says it was caused by a giant troll). We then hear thunderous footsteps, and the kids find huge footprints in the ground.
  • Large birds swoop down on Leslie and Jess in the woods.
  • Tree roots erupt from the ground and turn into feet, belonging to a tree giant of sorts that comes at the kids with thunderous steps (they look up and see light coming through the branches like giant eyes). However, Leslie's dog goes up and digs between its toes, causing it to laugh and thus removes the menace.
  • A figure in the woods dissolves into the dark.
  • A menacing, mix-species hybrid type creature of the woods trips Jess and Leslie, knocking them to the ground. Leslie then fends off more with a stick, while Jess has a metal sheathing form over his arm and he uses that to knock several away. Huge birds then chase after the two, with fake grenades exploding. One of the birds then picks up and starts to fly away with Leslie, but Jess grabs her. He's clotheslined by a tree branch, however, and a dragonfly army then arrives, armed with spears, and they attack the birds and hybrid type creatures. Jess ends up falling and bouncing through a tree, but a huge troll catches him.
  • **BIG SPOILER ALERT** Jess returns home after a museum outing with Ms. Edmunds. His family appears both concerned and relieved to see him, and then tell him why. He gets the bad news that Leslie is dead and that she died when she fell into the creek after their rope swing broke. He runs off to his room, upset and thinking they're lying. Later, however, he and his parents then visit her grieving parents (as do others). During this visit, he imagines seeing Leslie pass by.
  • Jess sees his little sister trying to cross a tree over a creek and must then rescue her. He then pushes her to the ground.
  • Jess thinks he sees the dark master running through the woods, and the figure dives at him, but it turns out to be his dad.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see some of Jess' drawings that include characters holding swords and spears.
  • Fake hand grenade type objects are thrown and explode (in the kids' imagined world, and with no harm to anyone or anything.
  • During an encounter with fantastical creatures, a dragonfly army then arrives, armed with spears, and they attack the birds and hybrid type creatures.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "You stink," "Farm boy," "You're dead meat," "Twinkle toes," "Freak," "Bean-pole," "Idiot," "Take a picture, it last longer," "Barf-boy," "Jeez," "Weird and weirder," "The hell out of the greenhouse," "Free to pee," "Toe jam," "Boy's handwriting sucks," "In your dreams" and "Are you nuts?"
  • Janice throws a slice of bread covered in peanut butter at Jess, causing it to stick on his shirt.
  • A class punk keeps repeating "Beep beep," adding that it's his loser detector (referring to Jess in class). When he sees Jess is wearing his sister's hand-me-down shoes, he asks if Jess is wearing her underwear as well.
  • Janice guards the school's bathroom door, telling girls that if they don't pay her a dollar, they'll have to use their pants.
  • May Belle talks about "Extreme Barbie" where one tries to flush such dolls down the toilet or throws them from heights (just described, not seen).
  • We see ketchup stains on Leslie's shirt (from Janice hitting her with such packets on the bus -- not seen).
  • Leslie and Jess make their way to the top of a tall tree to look around their "kingdom."
  • To get back at Janice, Jess and Leslie write a fake love note from another boy to her. When Janice then approaches that boy, he says, "In your dreams," prompting other kids to laugh at her.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Leslie suddenly surprises Jess for fun in the woods.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 damns and 1 hell.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jess' older sisters aren't nice to him (in standard sibling form).
  • Jess overhears his parents talking about money problems.
  • Mr. Aarons angrily tells Jess to get his head out of the clouds and do as he says.
  • Leslie and Jess hear Janice crying in the girls' bathroom, so Leslie goes to talk to her and later reports to Jess that Janice's father hits that girl.
  • Mr. Aarons is upset with Jess over some missing keys (since it will cost a lot of money to have the store ones replaced). We later learn that young May Belle took them (without ill intent).
  • **BIG SPOILER ALERT** Jess returns home after a museum outing with Ms. Edmunds. His family appears both concerned and relieved to see him, and then tell him why. He gets the bad news that Leslie is dead and that she died when she fell into the creek after their rope swing broke. He runs off to his room, upset and thinking they're lying. Later, however, he and his parents then visit her grieving parents (as do others). During this visit, he imagines seeing Leslie pass by.
  • To help Jess with his grief, one of his teachers takes him aside and talks about when her husband died.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Kids and how they deal with personal and external problems, including the unexpected death of a friend, and resultant grief and guilt.
  • Leslie's comment that you are who you are and not who your parents are.
  • Mr. Aarons angrily tells Jess to get his head out of the clouds and do as he says.
  • Leslie and Jess hear Janice crying in the girls' bathroom, so Leslie goes to talk to her and later reports to Jess that Janice's father hits that girl.
  • Leslie attends church with Jess and his family and then comments that the "whole Jesus thing" is interesting. That's followed by talk of believing in the Bible or not, including whether God will damn you to Hell if you don't.
  • The comment of keeping one's mind open.
  • Jess wonders if a deceased friend is going to Hell like the Bible says since that person didn't believe in the Bible.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Scott and Gary knock Jess' backpack off him.
  • A furry woods creature dives down at Jess (in his imagination), but he punches it away.
  • Large birds swoop down on Leslie and Jess in the woods.
  • Scott and Gary purposefully bump Jess and knock him to the ground.
  • A menacing, mix-species hybrid type creature of the woods trips Jess and Leslie, knocking them to the ground. Leslie then fends off more with a stick, while Jess has a metal sheathing form over his arm and he uses that to knock several away. Huge birds then chase after the two, with fake grenades exploding. One of the birds then picks up and starts to fly away with Leslie, but Jess grabs her. He's clotheslined by a tree branch, however, and a dragonfly army then arrives, armed with spears, and they attack the birds and hybrid type creatures. Jess ends up falling and bouncing through a tree, but a huge troll catches him.
  • After a punk at school makes a callous remark about Jess now being the fastest kid in school (following Leslie's permanent absence), Jess punches that kid out of his chair.
  • A school punk knocks Jess down. Janice sees that occur, and when we next see the punk, he has a bloody nose and a bloody hanky (meaning Janice hit him off camera).
  • Jess sees his little sister trying to cross a tree over a creek and must then rescue her. He then pushes her to the ground.



  • Reviewed January 26, 2007 / Posted February 16, 2007

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