Finally saw Bridge to Terabithia on cable last night. I was surprised -- pleasantly -- in more ways than one.
To begin with, I was expecting a fantasy movie. Something along the lines of Narnia I was wondering why it took so long to get to the start of the journey. But never mind, the actors' performances were strong enough to draw me in.
Turns out that this is a fantasy movie of a different sort. There is fantasy, yes, but it's in the minds of the two young protagonists. Terabithia is an imaginary kingdom into which they escape from the doldrums of life.
At its core, Bridge to Terabithia is a touching childhood story that explores the themes of friendship, imagination, and death.
That said, all the promotion around this movie is deliberately misleading. According to the Wikipedia entry:
The filmmakers have distanced themselves from the advertising campaign for the film saying that the advertising is deliberately misleading; making the film seem to be about or occurring in a fantasy world like that of Spiderwick, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, or His Dark Materials.
Which is really a shame because the movie was good enough to stand on its own.
The movie was based on a 1977 book of the same name by Katherine Paterson. Gabor Csupo, whom I know better for his Nickelodeon cartoons, directed the film.