I marvel at the official trailer for Bridge to Terabithia. Watching this, with no knowledge of the book, you’d think it’s just a knockoff of Narnia or some other flick where ordinary kids go discover a magical realm.
The story though is so much more than this. That trailer probably contains 90% of the fantasy imagery in the entire movie. In many ways it’s odd someone didn’t make an anime of this first. But then again, Anna Sophia Robb sells the character of Leslie so much more effectively than any animated character could. And Jess is unique in that he is simultaneously introspective and expressive, so much so that I can’t think of an example of a character in any anime I’ve seen (admittedly, not all that much) who had the same range. The casting was key to making this movie work, and it succeeded.