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The Pagemaster Reviews

Page 2 of 84
March 24, 2008
I enjoyed watching this one with my kids, nice story about a boy who discovers the library and all the adventures it has to offer.
February 24, 2010
(First and only full viewing - In my mid-twenties)
June 9, 2014
An intensely underrated film, The Pagemaster takes you on a wild ride through the pages of various book genres from a child facing his fears. The creepy, ominous tone may frighten younger audiences, but overall, I don't really see whats bad about the film.
April 13, 2014
A whimsical journey through several books in the genres of adventure, fantasy, and horror. Visually delightful and altogether fun. Haven't enjoyed myself quite so much since I was Rich's age.
January 11, 2014
December 19, 2013
The Pagemaster combines real life with CG and traditional animation to create a wonderful adventure film that takes a boy who's afraid of the world and turn him into a swashbuckling adventure seeker.
This film may very well be one of the last films to use traditional animation (pen and paper, cell, etc.) and brought forth a spectacular team in order to pull it off. The live action comes from Macaulay Culkin (at the height of his career) and Christopher Lloyd so both are fantastic. The CG, while dated by todays standards, still looks quite good and was created from scratch having to create and program new materials in order to blend the animation with the live action. The traditional animation portions of the film brought forth animators who had worked on such films as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and An American Tail among others. Combined with the voice talents of the 2 live action stars, Frank Welker and everyone in Star Trek (Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart and Leonard Nimoy), The Pagemaster does a lot right.
Unfortunately the story, while having the right idea, is a little simple. The adventure pulls from some of the classic tales and for adults these should be easy to figure out (often the name is included in the dialogue somewhere) but for children, they might not understand the significance of each sequence. While this doesn't make the film bad, I do think having some knowledge of the stories helps the film. With no knowledge, this film turns into sequence after sequence of mini adventures where there never really is any sense of danger or difficulty.
There is a weird misplaced musical montage 3/4 of the way through the film. While I understand their desire to include a theme song that they can use to sell the film, it felt out of place considering the lack of songs through the rest of the film.
I would have liked The Pagemaster to have been a little longer and had it given more emphasis on danger and the evils Culkin's character had to face but as this is for kids and already took 3 years to make (traditional animation isn't quick) I understand the need to cut it short. Part Wizard of Oz, The Pagemaster is an often forgotten film that while not fantastic or very memorable, doesn't deserve to be forgotten.
November 29, 2013
Why the hell is this movie rated so low? I dont get it.
November 24, 2013
I remember once seeing this some time back, and I was so sad about not knowing the title because I really loved this movie from first to last.
I liked the whole premise of the adventure, and watching it now when I'm older I can appreciate the details even more. I think the animation is great, especially considering this is a 90's movie, and I really like the different personalities of the books as well as the journey itself.
I also found I absolutely loved The Pagemaster's design when I noticed the little details (beard made of pages, blue robe representing a hardcover while the under dress looks like pages inside said hardcover).
I think this has a nice charm to it and it has its own humor. I definitely laughed more than once while watching it, while enjoying the classics the four friends crossed on their way to the exit.
October 15, 2013
Such a good premise and they RUIN IT! The book puns are funny.
October 11, 2013
On paper (no pun intended), the premise of this live action/animated hybrid is fantastic: a boy escapes into a library where he finds himself journeying through many famous pieces of literature, from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Moby Dick to Treasure Island to Mother Goose Land, and ultimately, a fight with a ferocious dragon. Unfortunately, the film only marginally realizes its concept. The animated sequences are flat and lack fluidity, and the film rushes at such a breakneck pace that it's hard to get emotionally involved in the story. It doesn't help that the main character, as played first in real life then in animation by Macaulay Culkin, is a hopelessly inept scaredy-cat. We know that he has to overcome his fears by "seizing courage", but the film doesn't go above or beyond that. The most inspired scenes in the film involve a clever twist for fighting the dragon, and Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg are a lot of fun as the hero's talking book companions, but overall, THE PAGEMASTER is just an average, nothing special animated film that doesn't linger in one's mind as much as it should. It's not a BAD movie by any means, but it's not great either. The message of imagination through reading IS a valuable one though.
September 29, 2013
A thinly sketched live-action/animation film that is overloaded with literature references, but does not have any imagination or inspiration of its own.
August 8, 2013
It still holds up after all these years with a heartwarming adventurous story and clever literary references abound that I actually got this time around (the "Atlas Shrugged" imagery was brilliant).
July 25, 2013
I will admit, the timing on that animation is nice and the fluidity of each animated character is impressive. However, the story just doesn't have a lot of development to it, it's fragmented, bland, and in the end, just feels like one of the many attempts to keep on shoving Culkin into the spotlight.
July 3, 2013
The Pagemaster is a prime example of a children's animated film in which when you were a kid, you loved everything about it, then you grow up and see it again and sit there befuddled over how you loved it in the first place. Not even the talented voice actors can save it
May 24, 2013
I appreciate an effort to try to get kids to read but the dry and boring execution introduces characters of classic books but tells you nothing about them to make kids want to read more about them and thus is a completely failed effort
September 8, 2010
The Pagemaster in my opinion, was a wonderful film, and I do think the 4.8 rating is too low. I have seen much worse movies, that are rated higher than that. Sure it's not Disney, but it is a good family film that I guarantee if you give it a chance that the whole family will love. The animation is not so bad, perhaps a little dated and rushed, but I've seen worse, and the dragon was excellent. The music by James Horner was beautiful, very fitting with what was going on on screen, very reminiscent of Land Before Time and Once Upon a Forest, and Whatever You imagine was amazing. The story tells of a young boy named Richard, who is serious and fearful of everything, until an unexpected visit to the library changes his life forever. I loved the story and the clever and diverse references to the literary giants, like Treasure Island, Jekyll and Hyde and Moby Dick, and the message of the film about facing your fears that doesn't preach. Macaulay Culkin is excellent here as is Christopher Lloyd, and Patrick Stewart (rousing and witty), Whoopi Goldberg (sugar and starch) and Frank Welker (in a fine Igor impression) expertly bring the snappy screenplay to life. I loved the witty banter between Adventure and Fantasy, and the librarian's rant about the different literary genres. And I don't think it is Macaulay Culkin or Christopher Lloyd's worst film, Culkin's was Richie Rich, Lloyd's was My Favourite Martian. All in all, a terrific film, with a 8/10.
April 30, 2012
"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)
February 24, 2013
Actually, I think I've seen this...but I don't remember.
February 21, 2013
It has some good animation, but aside from a few rather frightening moments, there is nothing really to see that will draw you into this mediocre family flick. But worst of all, it fails to do what it set out to do; getting kids to love the world of literature.
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