Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
A young girl discovers her father has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook's hero.
Jesse Aarons trained all summer to become the fastest runner in school, so he's very upset when newcomer Leslie Burke outruns him and everyone else. Despite this and other differences, including that she's rich, he's poor, and she's a city girl, he's a country boy, the two become fast friends. Together, they create Terabithia, a land of monsters, trolls, ogres, and giants and rule as king and queen. This friendship helps Jess deal with the tragedy that makes him realize what Leslie taught him. Written by
A very well mastered family movie with a positive message that addresses topical themes for children in a poignant, focused manner. The children depicted are very real and likable (well, except for the ones you're supposed to dislike, that is), and easy to identify with. The movie is a faithful and touching adaptation of the beloved children's classic book.
The two main characters, Jesse and Leslie (splendidly played by John Hucheson and Annasophia Robb) are typical pre-teens, steering their way through the routine ups and downs kids everywhere deal with, and they develop a friendship/first crush due to their common interests and challenges. They find an old tree house, and create a fantasy castle type kingdom complete with magic, and populated by creatures based on people they know. Unlike so many other fantasy movies, this world is just an amusement for them, not a refuge that they actually "enter." The animation effects of this fantasy kingdom are skillfully executed in such a manner as to point out the reality that exists alongside the fantasy. For example: a tree begins to move, comes to life and performs an action, then relaxes back into its "real" position.
The relationships of all the characters, and what they learn from their experiences, are the true focus, with the fantasy sequences only spicing what's happening. There are many themes touched upon: friendship, tragedy, adventure, creativity, bullies, competition, family life, even making an enemy to a friend. I liked all the characters and the actors that played them; each person helped build the story. Emotional, even heart wrenching in one case, this movie is a gem. Highly recommended.
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