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Bridge to Terabithia (1985)

Jess Aarons and new girl Leslie Burke create a world of their own and call it Terabithia and pretend to be the king and queen. They return to their magical kingdom every day after school.


Eric Till


Katherine Paterson (novel), Nancy Sackett




Cast overview, first billed only:
Annette O'Toole ... Miss Edmunds
Julian Coutts Julian Coutts ... Jesse Oliver Aarons Jr.
Julie Beaulieu Julie Beaulieu ... Leslie Burke
Gloria Carlin Gloria Carlin ... Mrs. Aarons
Tom Heaton ... Jesse Oliver Aarons Sr.
Peter Dvorsky ... Mr. Bill Burke
Darlene Bradley Darlene Bradley ... Mrs. Judy Burke
Sharon Alexander ... Brenda Aarons (as Sharon Holownia)
Jennifer Matichuk Jennifer Matichuk ... May Belle Aarons
Tyler Popp Tyler Popp ... Gary Fulcher
Bridget Ryan Bridget Ryan ... Janice Avery
Asaph Fipke Asaph Fipke ... Earle Watson
Paul McGaffey Paul McGaffey ... Mr. Turner
Cathy Wenschlag Cathy Wenschlag ... Puppy Girl
Anthony Mandler ... Puppy Boy


Jess Aarons and new girl Leslie Burke create a world of their own and call it Terabithia and pretend to be the king and queen. They return to their magical kingdom every day after school. Written by Adam Carpenter <encenoman@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Fantasy


Did You Know?


David Paterson, who was the real-life inspiration for the character of Jess Aarons, the son of Katherine Paterson (author of the original book), and producer and screenwriter for the remake Bridge to Terabithia (2007), referred to this version as being "like the crazy cousin that nobody talks about" and went on to say that "no one on our side was either involved with it or happy with the final product". See more »


No bridge is ever seen or mentioned. See more »


[first lines]
Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.: On your mark. Get set. Go!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The two DVD releases represent an original and an alternate version of this feature. The 2003 release by Bonneville Worldwide Entertainment has a total running time of 57:31 (including 02:21 of production clips) and is the original version broadcast on the PBS series "Wonderworks", including the Wonderworks opening and closing production clips. The 2007 release by Allumination Filmworks has a total running time of 50:03 (including 00:30 of production clips) and was probably shortened for release on commercial television in an hour long time slot. Both DVDs list a running time of "approximately 60 minutes". The Allumination version was created by cutting 05:51 out of the Bonneville feature; the longest cut (02:42) begins in the "Twinkie" scene when Jess promises May Belle that he will get even with Janice Avery for eating May Belle's Twinkie, continuing through Leslie and Jess forging a letter to Janice from Willard Hughes, through Jess putting the letter in Janice's desk, through Jess seeing puppies being given away for free, through Leslie telling Jess that Janice is in the bathroom crying, and stopping just before Leslie tells Jess why Janice is crying. The shortest of the 13 cuts is 4 seconds. Noticeable cuts include: (after May Belle tells Jess she followed him and Leslie) Jess threatening May Belle ("I catch you following me and your life ain't worth nothin'." and "I'll tell Billie Jean Edwards you still wet your bed."); after Jess enters Miss Edmunds' red sports car and Miss Edmunds says "I'm so glad your mom let you come today", Jess' response, "Oh! I forgot to call ... oh, never mind"; Jess and Miss Edmunds looking at abstract paintings in the art museum; (while Jess is at the museum with Miss Edmunds) Bill telling Leslie they could go to town for dinner and a show in the evening; (after Mr. Aarons catches Jess in his arms) the exchange [Jess] "I hate her. I hate her. I wish I'd never seen her in my whole life." [Mr. Aarons] It's not your fault. [Jess] "It's all my fault. I was supposed to meet her and I didn't. It wouldn't have happened, Leslie would still be ... [Mr. Aarons] "Hey, Jess -- you can't blame yourself. It's not your fault. [Jess] But I hurt so bad inside, Daddy." [Mr. Aarons] "I know -- I hurt too."; (later) [Jess] "I didn't mean that about hating her." [Mr. Aarons] "I know you didn't, Son."; and (after May Belle says "Boys ain't supposed to cry, are they Mommy?") [Mrs. Aarons] "Shut up, both of you, and get out now. [to Jess] Don't you pay any attention to them, just finish eating." See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Penny-Wiseguys (2012) See more »

User Reviews

more than beautiful
11 December 2016 | by KirpianuscusSee all my reviews

the flavor of book. this is the basic virtue of a film about refuges and friendship and solitude and need to be yourself. a simple and nuanced performance from each actor. the air of an age who reminds the atmosphere, the sparkles, dreams and expectations of the universe of the viewer at the same age. the sensitivity reflected in a story who gives nothing new. but it reminds essential truths. and, sure, the young actors. each of them - perfect choice for his role. short - a touching and lovely and useful adaptation. and this is more than a good point. it is a start point for reflect about the precious hours of an unique age.

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Release Date:

4 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ponte para Terab√≠tia See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




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