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CST Throwback Thursday – Film of the Week

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By Ralph Linardic,

Simpler times, simpler stories.  Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia represents everything right about filmmaking. It’s by no means the typical Disney family film, and that’s why it’s great. Directed by Gábor Csupó, Bridge to Terabithia tells the story of Jessie (Josh Hutcherson)and Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb) as they develop a friendship while exploring this mystical forest that turns into “Terabithia”. Simply put, Gábor’s tale offriendship is the ultimate family film experience.

Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb) and Jessie (Josh Hutcherson) pictured in Terabithia

To start, it all goes to back to Jessie and Leslie’s relationship. It never turns romantic (which probably ended up being a good thing if you’ve seen the movie),yet the way they meet and the way they go through their middle school year together is one of the sweetest experiences I’ve ever witnessed. They understand each other and support one another with their less-than-ideal problems.

It’s a film that all families should sit down and watch together. All the themes are universally relevant and will be for generations to come. What I think separates this “family” film from the others is it doesn’t cut corners. Jessie and Leslie go through a lot in the film. They have real world problems and go through trauma that is probably more than the average experiences. Regardless, it doesn’t hold back. It embraces the pain and is what makes Bridge to Terabithia an excellent film.

In terms of pure wonder and awe, Terabithiais up there in the science-fiction genre. It’s not entirely science-fiction(more drama and coming-of-age), but the scenes in Terabithia have Back to the Future and E.T. levels of magic. As kids, we all played with boxes and cardboard while imagining that the inanimate objects were spaceships, lightsabers and DeLorean’s. Terabithia represents that time of childhood flawlessly.

Most film fans don’t consider this Disney family film a classic, but it’s universal themes and ultra-relatable characters are the two most important ingredients to making a great movie. If you have two hours to spend with your family, Bridge to Terabithia is a great bonding experience.

The Verdict – 4 out of 5 stars