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Escapist movie is a rollercoaster

February 20, 2007|by DARCY SHULL

Have you ever wished that you could escape ordinary reality and go to a special place all your own? In "Bridge to Terabithia," two fifth-graders do exactly that.

The film begins with lonely Jesse Aarons, who has four sisters, no friends and a huge imagination, which he displays in his drawings. He is constantly bullied by his fellow classmates, and even by his father.

Then comes the new girl, Leslie Burke. She, not unlike Jesse, is treated with hostility and unfair judgment upon arrival. At first, even Jess is skeptical, but soon the two discover that they have more in common than they think. Leslie loves to imagine things, and with Jesse's artistic abilities, they rapidly create their own new world.

One day, however, their music teacher invites Jess to go to the museum. He accepts her invitation, but does not invite Leslie to go along with them. While he is away, a tragedy occurs, and Jesse finds himself alone once again.

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I thought that this movie was very sad in parts, but cheerful through most of the film. It sort of reminded me of "The Chronicles of Narnia," with all of the imaginary creatures and the magical forest. I really liked the animation of the creatures; it was very well done.

Near the end of the film, though, the plot got a little confusing, but overall was easy enough to understand without reading the book first.

I would recommend "Bridge to Terabithia" to anyone who likes good fantasy stories and has a good imagination. "Bridge to Terabithia" is rated PG for bullying, some peril and mild language; 95 minutes.

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