Walden Media, the movie production company behind Charlotte’s Web and The Chronicles of Narnia, works its adaptation alchemy on Katherine Paterson’s Newbery winner with the usual middling results. Josh Hutcherson heads up a talented cast as an artistic loner who befriends an imaginative new girl (AnnaSophia Robb). At her urging, they create a forest fantasyland — interpreted with cheesy CGI — as an escape from the realistically portrayed hell of middle school. Yet this is no Heavenly Creatures. The screenplay (co-written by Paterson’s son) retains the gritty emotion of its source but gets ponderous in the iconic third act. Meanwhile, Robb’s cat-eyed beauty muddles the pals’ chemistry (so much for the androgynous outcast of the novel), and the vaguely lascivious vibe beneath Rugrats creator Gabor Csupo’s direction confuses matters that much more. Nonetheless, Terabithia honors kids’ intelligence (read: no fart jokes), and that alone makes it a land worth visiting.