Jess Aarons (Josh Hutcherson) is the only son of a poor agricultural family. While the sisters are unconditionally accepted by his parents, he, personally, is held to a higher standard and is expected to help out with lots of chores. Things at school aren't much better; between the overbearing bullies and the unobtainable teacher (Zooey Deschanel) he has a crush on, he seems to "opt-out" as much as possible, trying to avoid being noticed as much as possible. The only thing that he is passionate enough about to risk embarrassment and ridicule is running. It is during a big race at school that he meets (and falls second to) the new girl at school, Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb), a free-spirited and imaginative girl whose parents are both writers and who just moved in next door to Jess.
Even though they get off to a rough start, Jess and Leslie find that they are both creative in their own ways (Jess with his artwork and Leslie with her story-telling), and they form a very strong relationship in a very short time. Using an old rope swing and an abandoned tree house deep in the woods to provide inspiration, together they fabricate a fantastic world of fairies and trolls and of creatures of their own creation. They name this newly created kingdom "Terabithia" and appoint themselves as its rulers. Their adventures in Terabithia are a secret they share only with themselves and are affected by characters and events from school, serving as a way for them to help each other cope with the cruelties in their real lives.
Bridge to Terabithia was produced by the producers of "The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and also had the benefit of Weta Digital, the same special effects company that was used in "King Kong," "I, Robot" and "Lord of The Rings."
Many children (or people who once were children) have read Bridge to Terabithia as required reading assigned in school. For them, the motion picture adaptation provides a nostalgic fresh look at the story. For those, however, who, like me, managed to somehow miss this story altogether, Bridge to Terabithia, the movie, provides a nice way to become familiar with the story; certainly not the same as reading the book, but perhaps a nice way to preview the overall story and to help determine if you want to invest the time into actually reading the book. The time taken to read the novel depends on your schedule and your reading speed... the time taken to watch the movie is 96 minutes for pretty much everyone.