It Just Bugs Me that Walden Media chose to move the setting of Bridge to Terabithia to The Present Day while they kept The Chronicles of Narnia in-period since, 1)World War II is really only used as an excuse to get the kids up to the Professor's house while The Seventies and the whole post-Vietnam mindset looms large in the background of BTT, and 2) They were re-creating the US in New Zealand, it wouldn't have been that much harder to throw in a period setting
I don't know, but these are some likely factors:
1) Just because Walden Media did both films does not necessarily mean they both had the same creative team.
2) Narnia was written in 1950, so it was always a period setting, even if it was only by ten years at the time it was written. Terabithia was set in the present when it was written.
3) When the movie was set was presumably decided while the script was being written. They might not have even known they were going to be shooting it in New Zealand at that point.
I heard an interview of the scriptwriter for Bridge to Terabithia; he said the main reason is that setting things in "period" can get quite expensive. He also said they tried for a timeless feel by not including specifically modern gadgets (Ipods etc.)
What bugs me is that, having read the book for the first time several years ago, I can't bring myself to read it again. Every time I try, I remember how it ends and I stop. Of course, the fact that I want to reread it at all means that I loved it, but still...
I saw the 2007 movie without reading the book, all the advertisements seem to promote it as an epic adventure with monsters and giants, I suppose the aesop in it was good and all, but the bait and switch left me feeling kind of ripped off.
Apparently this was due to Executive Meddling, as they seemed to want to draw in a broader audience to watch the film. Considering the age of the book and how such films usually fare these days, it might not be totally unjustified, but I understand the frustration. However, I personally actually enjoyed it more when I learned it wasn't a cliche fantasy romp, and I found the use of fantasy-in-CGI to bring the film to life a stroke of genius, even if it did lead to Misaimed Marketing. The author herself said she felt the film stayed true to the heart of the book - though considering her son was on board and that a major event in his life inspired the book, this fact isn't surprising.
Having read the book several years before the remake came out, this troper was quite confused and immediately decided that the movie was crap before seeing it because of the marketing. I only watched it when I found out it wasn't an epic adventure. So, since the marketing left the fantasy fans ripped off and the book fans feeling it wouldn't be true to the material, it seems the marketing alienated everyone...good job, Executives...
Not to mention the people renting out the movie because they feel down and want something lighthearted to make them feel better. Cue the tear-jerker...
I've run into a number of people who confuse the book with Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling or think that the same author wrote both books. At least one told me they distinctly remembered reading that Ivy dies falling out of a tree. It does have a number of very similar elements but it's not that close.
I still cannot understand why did the author change Leslie's death from lightning to drowning. Lightnings kill few people, but it happens, and everyone knows that. By contrast, the final variant is just one big Contrived Coincidence: The rope snaps just on a day when it has been raining for a long time before and when Leslie is alone and in a way that she lands in a river but hits that rock with her head (and who built the rope directly over suck rock, anyway?? This makes her death even less believable than in reality, and in addition, gives big impetus to denial: unlike lightning death, which is typically felt as Final this variant outright provokes LDD (Leslie didn't die) reaction, rather than force the reader to deal with her death.
An old rope continually used practically daily by two kids over most of a school year would easily snap. We can easily assume that she went there plenty of times when he did not, making that not much of a coincidence. The rope was over the river specifically to cross the river, most likely set up by some kids long ago for the same reason Jess and Leslie cross over it. The rock she hit her head on was in the river, most likely part of the edge if I had to guess. So she drowned after she hit her head on the rocky edge of a moderately-deep river that she crosses on a daily basis using an old dangerous rope and you think getting hit by lightning on a clear sunny day in a forest filled with tall trees is less of a Contrived Coincidence? I believe it.
Actually, to me it made it more heart wenching, getting struck by lightning is one in a million type of accident. but the events, the rope snapping, it flooded, she hit her head. Unlikely events coming afer the other like God him self wanted her dead. It really hits home that ANY ONE CAN DIE, even little girls, even your best friend. And it could have been him as well, survivals giult coming into factor as well. The hope spot was intentional, he believed she wasn't dead, so the audience believed it as well, until you realize the horrible truth.
Also, a lightning seemed an act of God against daydreaming kids. To be secular, they have to change it.
But that still doesn't really excuse the poor consideration that went into the localization for that rope. It still also comes of as Contrived Coincidence, and it doesn't excuse either that, apparently, Viewers Are Morons is in such effect that the author felt Reality Is Unrealistic should have been taken into account. Sometimes, things like these seem enforced for the sake of an angst outlet, which is part of the reason why some may find themselves unmoved by the events. Either way, the scene does evoke a Mood Whiplash in stark contrast to the rest of the work.
It seems logical to me that a group of kids would set up a rope to cross a river. The location is in fact where one would think a group of young adventurous children would put it when they lack the materials to make a bridge.
This Troper cannot honestly comprehend your pet peeve with this. It portrays a part of grief that we do often go through. The Contrived Coincidence of the rope snap the day Jesse decides he wanted the day alone with his music teacher adds to the guilt that he could have invited her with him (as he did considered briefly) or could have been there to help her. A lightning strike would certainly feel enforced for the sake of angst outlet (which can be well done, it would be much more unrealistic that Jesse does not angst at all) the same but just more accurate.
I always assumed it was a freak, tragic accident. A rope secured to a branch in the middle of the woods. Who knows how long that rope hung there, exposed to the elements. As a troper a few entries up said, that rope was there long before Jesse and Leslie came along and started swinging on it for a whole school year. I had a bad feeling that something bad would happen.
Death by drowning also would have added to Jesse's denial and anger over the whole thing. If Leslie was struck by lightning, there's not much that she, or anyone for that matter, could have done. But as for drowning, Jesse knew she could swim. And if someone were in his position, no doubt they'd have felt they could have saved their friend. The setting also probably was familiar and friendly enough to Leslie (a rope swing that she'd used numerous times) that she'd feel brave enough to do it in conditions that were less than optimal. Not to mention, the rope snapping after a lot of rain makes sense, since the wind and rain probably weakened the rope.
Why Jesse's dad is portrayed as the Dark Master in his imaginations in the movie?
Because Freud? There's something Freudian about this, and it has to do with his dad being a "Well Done, Son!" Guy.