Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
That Blu-ray swish has to go!! It’s a horrible thing to slap over the cover image. We know Blu-ray is Disney’s baby now, why rub it in our faces? Other than that the cover is appropriately sweet and cozy. The menu is pretty cool with a bunch of drawings and notebook pages with doodles on them, which I love. It’s not a very exciting package, but it’s pleasant and they did make some effort, so they get points for that.
- Digital Imagination Bringing Terabithia To Life – With interviews with the author of the original book, and her son this is a good way to get the low down on how the whole story of Terabithia came to be. I love seeing authors talk about their work and their perspective on taking it from the pages of a book to the big screen. It’s a lovely story and hearing the real life version makes me want to read the book.
- Behind The Book The Themes Of Bridge To Terabithia – All literature, dare I say all entertainment has the same burden of delivering themes to the masses. The themes of Terabithia follow some pretty basic lines, family, friends, relationships, and others I won’t mention in case you don’t know the story. I don’t want to ruin it for ya. This extra has some teachers talking about how this book delivers so much and is a timeless telling of such a poignant human drama.
- Music Video – It seems to me every Disney groomed child actor needs to be able to sing as well as act these days, this video while sweet is presented in nasty looking standard def video which is a bit jarring after seeing the other extras that are all presented in HD.
- Audio Commentary With Director & Writers – These people loved making this movie so it’s fun to listen to their comments and experiences. It’s not very exciting, but it’s good if you loved the movie and need and excuse to watch it again.
- Audio Commentary With Actors – I’m not a fan of actor commentaries, but it’s fun to hear the kids talk about their time on the set and what the story means to them.
I love adventure fantasy movies. I enjoy the imaginative efforts of writers who create whole new worlds for young characters to swirl around in and take journeys of all sorts through. Terabithia is different in a few ways from the fantasy stories I’m used to. The film is about a boy, his family, his love of art, a budding friendship, and other themes that pump up the sentimental value a tad bit here and there.
He meets a groovy girl who helps him realize his confidence and self worth. They go across a creek and find an enchanted forest full of creatures and hidden foes. Through his growing friendship he faces struggles with his father and family, along with being bullied at school.
This isn’t a one track kind of story. There is a lot going on but still everything flows together just right.
I never felt rushed to get to the heart of each relationship. There are many scenes of building up characters and their associations with each other. I never thought it was pressed to get to any quick conflicts or resolutions the way a lot of “kid” movies are these days. The pace is surprisingly moderate, and when the action does kick in it’s just enough to make you want a little bit more.
It’s not in your face with the special effects or sappy dialogue. Everything is measured in a way that makes the real and the imagined come together beautifully. The real is that the boy’s family hasn’t got much money and he’s an artist in a hard working family where art isn’t a way to put food on the table. The fantasy is the world his new friend and he create and then venture into when the real life gets too hard to deal with. Imagined or real they face times of great triumph and great difficulty they have to learn to deal with.
I really enjoyed the whole movie. I felt like I was on an adventure with a true spirit of being a kid and finding endless possibilities. I dig that. It’s a great movie for kids and even better for moms, dads and kids to watch together. There is a sad element, dealing with death and unexplained loss, but it’s not depressing or heavy, just honest and uplifting in it’s own way.
It’s well worth watching, with fun and life and wonderful performances by every person throughout the movie. If you are single, watch it so you can revisit your childhood for a while. If you are married with kids, watch it with your children and spouse for some quality family time. Be prepared for some not so happy moments, but you can handle it, it’s just a reflection of life.
Video & Audio: (By Ascully) 8/10
Bridge to Terabithia is presented on Blu-Ray Disc in glorious 1080P 1.85.1 aspect ratio, this allows owners of HDTV’s to experience the movie without letterboxing something that Disney really like to incorporate into there home entertainment releases. Terabithia is a great upgrade from the standard DVD which we also took a look at during the review process. Blacks really are black where some of the darker scenes were quite grainy on the standard release and the colors look amazing on a properly calibrated set. The uncompressed soundtrack is the better of the two included English tracks with awesome bass and great range during the movies many action scenes. If you have a choice between the Blu-ray version and the DVD make sure to grab the latter but the DVD is a very very close second place in terms of presentation.
I should stop writing what I think of the value of DVD’s. I mean, it’s not fair to ALWAYS say they aren’t worth the price. Then again, I could just pretend I’m Oscar the Grouch and let the complaints flow naturally. Grouch it is. I know Blu-ray is cool and it looks great and sounds amazing. I know it’s the latest greatest invention in home theater toys since home theaters were invented, and yet, I will always feel annoyed at a DVD with a price tag of $20.00 or more unless it’s got enough extras to keep me busy for a long long time. Even extra extras don’t always justify the price of certain DVD’s. Terabithia isn’t one of those DVD’s that needs to fetch the 26 bucks I found it for online. The movie is fun and memorable, but the extras are nothing more than average, which don’t add up to more than a few dollars to me. Rent it, enjoy it for the weekend, take it back and spend the other $20 the original book, some flavored coffee and a cozy blanket to curl up in and read the story that inspired the movie.
Overall Score 7/10