Bridge to Terabithia and mortality

My interview with Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, was cited again yesterday — this time in an excellent article by Emily Bazelon at on how both the book and the film treat mortality, denial, anger, and related themes.

And while I like the film overall, I do agree that it “nearly wrecks” the final scene “by bursting into Disney fantasy” — a point that I considered making myself, in my review, but you never know just how closely you should flirt with giving away major spoilers.

Anyway, the book’s ending was perfect, powerful, unexpected, and raised so many questions. The movie’s ending … doesn’t.

And I thought the rickety wooden bridge was much, much more evocative and alluring than the CGI thing that replaces it.

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About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • russell lucas

    Agreed. That final shot in the make-believe kingdom was just the fulcrum to use all the shots they show in the misleading trailer so that people who came for the trolls, et cetera can’t claim they were ripped off.

    This joins the recent run of “fantasy” films where the real-life world is infinitely more interesting than the fantasy one.