"The Pagemaster" is a boring adventure/fantasy with good intentions, but a poor execution. Upon seeing the special feature "Creating Pagemaster" (included on the Dvd) it is obvious that the creators had every intention of making a quality film that was about books and a child finding the courage to face to real world and there is genuine effort put into the animation (which is impressive at times) but there really isn't anything to see here. The story is dull and the main character has no personality (unless you count being afraid and shouting statistics about safety a personality), The side characters (Adventure, Fantasy and Horror) are just an excuse to add some bad humor to the film (and you can tell that some of it was last minute, there is a scene towards the end where "Horror" tells a joke but his lips don't even move).
Adults might be able to pass the time by looking at the backgrounds and trying to figure out which books are on the shelves but that's just a way to pass the time and children will zone out. The story doesn't take advantage of the premise or of the classic literary works referred to in the library world. The film is only an hour and seven minutes long (excluding the ending credits) and it's still padded out with a song montage towards the end. While the first two worlds of the library have legitimate references to classic works, with our protagonist interacting with "Moby Dick", "Treasure Island", "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and more, in the fantasy section we just get a generic dragon, no memorable or unique characters (except in the song montage or in quick clips that last less than a few seconds). It really feels like an episode of a TV show stretched out with nothing to close the gaps. Kids won't get any new interests in reading and if you want to get them interested in a good story, give them some credit and watch any adaptation of "Moby Dick", "Treasure Island" or "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" instead or just grab a good book and spend some quality time together reading. You might remember the movie being good, but you would be wasting your watching "The Pagemaster". (1,5 / 5, Dvd, June 22, 2012)(1,5 / 5, Dvd, May 1, 2012)