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(2007), PG [Hard PG*] (1hr 30min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
February 15, 2007
72 out of 100

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2007), PG [Hard PG*] -- Not even one innuendo was noted.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
PProduction (US): Hal Lieberman Company, Lauren Levine Productions Inc., Walden Media, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Director(s): Gabor Csupo
Producer(s): Tim Coddington, Kevin Halloran, David Kaufmann, Lauren Levine, Hal Lieberman, David Paterson, Meyer Shwarzstein
Book by: Katherine Paterson
Screenplay: Jeff Stockwell, David Paterson
Cinematography/Camera: Michael Chapman
Music: Aaron Zigman
Film Editing: John Gilbert
Casting: Stephanie Corsalini
Production Design: Robert Gillies
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Life is hard for gifted artist and bullied young Jessie Aarons (Josh Hutcherson). Daily battles with scarce money, spiteful sisters Brenda (Devon Wood), Ellie (Emma Fenton) and Joyce (Grace Brannigan) and school make things emotionally brittle. Little sister May Belle (Bailee Madison), for the most part, sits by and observes it all. Jessie's father, Jack (Robert Patrick) doesn't help much. He seems always mad at something. But then, trying to make ends meet for a family of seven on a hardware clerk's pay can worry anyone. As seems usual Nancy (Katrina Cerio), the mother, appears to be the glue that holds the family together.

Jessie has dreams of fantasy. Dad does not support Jessie's desire to dream. Dad prefers Jessie accept reality and deal with life as it comes and git them chores done. Day after day of his dad stifling his dreams, Jessie starts to show signs of childhood fantasy fading.

One day, the new girl in town, Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb) shows up. Leslie's parents are writers who live next door in a well-to-do abode. First, Leslie beats all the boys in a school foot race -- including Jessie. Leslie is the kind of adolescent girl who, while generally obeying the rules, has a yearn to challenge them. But in comparison to the outlook Jack wants Jessie to have, Leslie has a healthy age-appropriate perspective on life ... she has fun pretending. Thrown together by circumstances, down-to-earth Jessie is now confronted with the smiling outlook of a pretty young girl his own age who tempts him to take chances with reality.

Leslie's first dare of Jessie is to venture deep into the woods and envision many fantasy creatures and adventures with he as the king and she the princess, why not the queen was not told. The sole purpose of the creatures is to prevent the king and princess from reaching their goal -- Terabithia, the enchanted land of make-believe.

Daily the pair would trek to their lair built in an old abandoned treehouse. Daily they would conjure up new battles and quests. Until one day Jessie's music teacher Miss Edmonds (Zooey Deschanel) invites Jessie to go on a solo field trip to an art museum in the city. Miss Edmonds had noticed Jessie's talents in art and wanted to nurture those talents. After Miss Edmonds' early morning call to Jessie, he burst in on mom as she slept to ask her if he could go. She mumbled something that Jessie feels is "Yes." So, off he goes. But Jessie did not invite Leslie to go. There is where Jessie feels his first dose of false self-condemnation. But I will stop here else I spoil too much of the plot and story

The Motion Picture Association of American rated this film PG for "thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language." Going into this analysis I did not know why the MPAA rated this film PG but the CAP analysis model agrees with the MPAA -- this time. The film earned a final score of 72 which places it in the lower half of the scoring range earned by PG films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. A hard PG but a PG nonetheless.

As a convenience to those who don't like lists, a summary of the findings which earned the film the final score of 72 follows in the individual investigation area discussions. The summary discussions also provide a convenient place to include Scriptural references as applied to noted behaviors. A full itemization of findings is presented in the Findings/Scoring section. The Findings/Scoring section is the most complete representation of the contents of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The content revealed by this investigation area and the Impudence/Hate investigation area is what is largely responsible for the final score of 72.

While all of the issues of violence were by children engaged in fantasy and adolescent social warfare, that the acts were in fantasy and by children does not alter them as acts of violence or the violent nature. A bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly. Episodes of schoolyard bullying, threats, trespassing and an adolescent encouraging risk-taking drained the Wanton Violence/Crime score about 25% of the starting 100 points. The attacks and warfare by fantasy creatures, a fall, the hit to the face and the death of a classmate drained about another 25%. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I)
The content revealed by this investigation area caused the greatest single investigation area scoring loss ... about 80% of the starting 100 points. There were four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Prov. 22:11] plus several forms of adolescent disrespect of parents [Exod. 20:12], lies [Prov. 19:5], sibling power struggles, cheating [2 Tim. 2:5], cruelty [Prov. 11:17], an abrasive father [Eph. 6:4] and other matters of impudence and/or hate.

Sexual Immorality (S)
This investigation area found nothing to warrant any point losses. Bridge to Terabithia is one of the finest examples of keeping all sexually-oriented issues out of entertainment. Not even one innuendo was noted.

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
Neither did this investigation area find anything to warrant point losses. Nothing was noted to even suggest drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking, illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs.

Offense to God (O)
Robb was noted as speaking God's name in vain once but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Children were noted as seeking revenge on the class bully, Janice Avery (Lauren Clinton) [Rom. 12:19]. Robb was also noted as speaking to denial of Biblical Truth [2 Tim. 3:16]. A disappearing vaporous creature topped off the issues warranting point loss in this investigation area.

Murder/Suicide (M)
No murders or suicides were noted.


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  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/character demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen. Now you know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also "Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit" . Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Exod. 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
  • Prov. 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.
  • 2Tim. 2:5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
  • Prov. 11:17 A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.
  • Eph. 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • 2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Bridge to Terabithia (2007) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • adolescent threats, repeatedly
  • bully tactics, repeatedly
  • trespassing
  • adolescent encouragement to take risks
  • action violence
  • attacks by fantasy creatures, repeatedly
  • fall by adolescent
  • fantasy creature warfare
  • hit to face
  • death of classmate

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • sibling argumentation, power struggle, repeatedly
  • teen arrogance toward mother's direction
  • cheating at a foot race
  • adolescent tormenting, repeatedly
  • lies
  • four use of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • abrasive father, repeatedly
  • sneaking
  • adolescent cruelty as vengeance
  • adolescent arrogance toward father

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • two uses of God's name in vain though without the four letter expletive, once by an adolescent
  • children seeking revenge
  • child denying a Biblical Truth
  • disappearing creature, repeatedly

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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