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The Pagemaster (1994)

tomatometer

29

Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

48

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 50,313

My Rating

Movie Info

A young boy overcomes his obsessive fears by discovering a love for books in this animated fantasy adventure. In a live action wraparound, Macaulay Culkin stars as Richard Tyler, an easily bullied, nervous wreck of a kid who's an expert on safety statistics. His mother and father (Mel Harris and Ed Begley, Jr.) don't know how to inspire their son to embrace life boldly. Barely able to leave the house, Richard ventures out one day, but he gets lost in a storm and ends up at a mysterious library.

May 28, 2002

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (14) | DVD (3)

Built on a wispy premise better suited to the realm of TV, The Pagemaster plays like a slickly produced afternoon special.

December 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mediocre, really, this mixture of real actors and animation.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A pallid film framed at the start and finish by live action and mostly composed of cheap-looking animation.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A splendidly original children's fantasy about the world of books.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This clever, often engaging, and always fast-paced motion picture uses the visual medium to encourage its viewers to reach out with their imagination.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sad and dreary film.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (4)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Weak Macaulay Culkin fantasy with some cartoon violence.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Weak Macaulay Culkin fantasy with some cartoon violence.

December 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The film rests on its initial ingenuity and fails to develop the concept in interesting or surprising ways.

December 4, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

If you're looking for a movie that may inspire your children to read, ignore this one and lay your money down for The Princess Bride or The NeverEnding Story.

July 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

a nice starting point for an important conversation with your child about why so many cartoons think children are stupid.

June 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

The Pagemaster's problems can be easily traced back to the screenplay, which simply lacks anything remotely resembling wit.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

In this age of technology, a not-so-subtle plug for a classic method of mental stimulation comes as a pleasant surprise.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Pagemaster

All The Adventure Your Imagination Can Hold.

Not a great or horrible movie! The beginning of this movie is excellent with tremendous sound and some nice humor, but once the film changes into animation it quickly loses its appeal. However, although this film is mostly disappointing, not all is lost. The story, for all its flaws, wastes no time in getting started, and there is a certain nostalgia surrounding the film for the endless stream of, mostly mediocre, but still harmless, cartoons of the 90s, when computer-generated animation was yet to be exploited. Overall, just not memorable enough or able to compete with the great animated films of the last dozen years.

This is the story of a young boy named Richard Tyler, who finds shelter from a storm inside a nearby library. Tyler slips and is knocked unconscious while exploring a rotunda in the library. Upon awakening he is led on a journey through conflicts and events that resemble fictional stories, keeping him from finding the exit from the library.
June 10, 2012
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Kids will like it and the animation is nice, plus some good acting, but overall its not the most memorable animated film made
June 6, 2011
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

A fantastic fantasy adventure for kids. Culkin gets turned into a cartoon and has to find his way back home from the book lands, and find his courage along the way. It's really a cool movie, and kids will love it.
May 31, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

(Relativley short review)
Like "A Troll in Central Park", "The Pagemaster" is a family movie that most will hate, but I actually like. I like the lesson, I like the characters and I like the plot. The humor wasn't funny, but apart from that it was good.

Like always, we start with the bad. This movie had WAY too many book puns. What's worse? They weren't even funny and they got old VERY quickly. It would have been a better movie without them.

Still this movie had good. It has a good lesson, that kids should face their fears and that when they do, they'll come out stronger. Kids will never apply it, but it's a good lesson.

The main character is someone you can really root for. He's a nerd and a coward, but he has a lot of potential too be something more. You'll be rooting for him the whole way.

The books were very interesting characters too, and Whoopi Goldberg did a great job as Fantasy. "Adventure" did a nice job too.

Finally, the plot was very original. I think it's good that hollywood is getting kids too read. This is a very good introduction to some of literature's greatest classics.

Overrall, a pretty good film. Not great, but good.
May 20, 2011
Marc L.
Marc Lewis

Super Reviewer

    1. Queen of Hearts: Off with his head!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (2 months ago)
    1. Richard Tyler: I hate heights!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (2 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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