The imagination can create a great escape from mundane reality. Thats the lesson in this second adaptation of Katherine Patersons classic childrens novel. When an outcast 11-year-old boy (Josh Hutcherson) meets the unusual new girl in town (AnnaSophia Robb), the two venture into the woods, where their inventive minds walk among giants, trolls and warriors. When a halting tragedy occurs among the creative kids, director Gabor Csupos child-friendly, CGI-filled fare takes a sudden turn toward maturity that is handled with surprising grace. The mythic monsters, the well-plotted screenplay and the appropriately developed characters help the film surpass its 1985 predecessor; just do not be fooled by the juvenile scenes in the advertisements. This is a gem.