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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Bridge to Terabithia can be found here.
Two fifth graders, Jesse 'Jess' Aarons (Josh Hutcherson) and Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb]), both outcasts in their school, find a special friendship with each other when they discover a rope swing across a river that takes them into a fantasy world filled with squogers, dragonfly warriors, hairy vultures, and giant trolls. Leslie names the place 'Terabithia', and it's here that they escape from the bullying they must endure in the 'real' world...until tragedy strikes.
Bridge to Terabitha is based on a 1977 children's novel by American writer Katherine Paterson. Insterestingly, the screenplay for the movie was written by Paterson's son David, an already accomplished screenwriter, along with American screenwriter Jeff Stockwell. It's said that Katherine Paterson drew inspiration for the novel from a real event that occurred in August 1974 when a friend of her son was struck by lightning. The book was also made into a 1985 PBS movie Bridge to Terabithia.
Paterson didn't intend any specific meaning for it. She later realised that the name may have been inspired by the island of Terebinthia, which appears in two of C.S. Lewis's "Narnia" books. Lewis named the island after the terebinth tree (Pistacia palaestina).
This film is mostly Jess's imagination, however it sometimes shows Leslie's Terabithia and May Belle's.
The same as in the book: she swings across the river, but the rope breaks and she falls in, bangs her head on a rock, and drowns.
Using lumber from in front of the Burke's house and branches from trees in the forest, Jess builds a bridge across the river to replace the broken rope swing. He then convinces his little sister May Belle (Bailee Madison), by telling her that she will become a princess, to come with him to Terabithia. All she has to do is to look really hard and keep her mind wide open. As they begin to step across the bridge, the twig bridge suddenly changes to gold, a purple carpet of flowers opens up, and a castle appears in the distance.When they reach the other side, Terabithians begin to emerge from the forest In the final scene, Jess is crowned king, and he and May Belle enter the kingdom together.
Sometimes, yes but sometimes no. For instance, in the 1985 movie Jess first has trouble telling whether or not Leslie Burke is a boy or a girl. In the 2007 movie, Leslie is very clearly a girl. Also, in the 1985 movie, Leslie cries after people laugh at her for not having a television: in the 2007 movie, Leslie looks more annoyed and in need of a friend, when Jess begins to talk to her. The whole of the rest of the movie is very similair.
According to the majority of people (reviewers and the public), yes, both in content and tone. However, the CGI effects show things that weren't extant in the book; what the kids imagined about Terabithia was mostly kept quiet.
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