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The Phantom Tollbooth (1969)


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User Ratings: 3,461

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Movie Info

Master animator Chuck Jones has created this full length fantasy, his first since being name director of MGM's animation department. A young boy (Butch Patrick) is bored with his life in San Francisco and finds himself in a fantasy land where letters and numbers are at war with each other. He drives through the Phantom Tollbooth and into an animated fantasy land. The voices of Mel Blanc, June Foray and Daws Butler are featured in this story taken from the book by Norton Juster. The boy tries to

Warner Home Video


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All Critics (8) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (0)

More would have been acheived without the inclusion of the sappy pop songs, but the film still has infinitely more savvy than most of the Disney cartoons of the period.

August 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Film4

[The film] has some wonderful ideas, but they're likely to be a bit above the heads of very young children. The rest should enjoy it, especially the bits with the great Mel Blanc, Toonville's greatest-ever voice.

August 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

This fine adaptation of the children's book by Norton Juster was Chuck Jones's and MGM's first animated feature.

August 4, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The animation is clean, with enough pop to do Dictionopolis-and-company justice.

January 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

Clever artistry fails to convey the book's depth.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Uneven but is interesting as an alternative to the dominant Disney features of the time

January 1, 2000 Full Review | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for The Phantom Tollbooth

Great Chuck Jones animation. His style is unmistakable; with each character's wide-eyes. The colors are rich and the backgrounds are beautiful. The princesses could've been detailed a bit better however. The story is a bit abstract and fanciful. The live action scenes with Butch Patrick in 1970's San Francisco are neato. The songs are catchy. An underrated fantasy cartoon which needs a proper DVD release.
April 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

A fun and seriously underrrated kids classic you've never heard of. Chuck Jones' animation is great and the story is in that category of late 60s out there. Unfortunately it would probably be lost on today's generation of kids but as much as I can't stand remakes, I'd love to see this story get a modern treatment. I also loved the dog and the Sergio Mendez-like soundtrack. The Phantom Tollbooth is dated as hell but if nothing else the adults might get a kick out of it.
March 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

This was an enjoyable movie largely because the source material was so good. Instead of focusing on trash like Hancock 2 and Star Trek and Watchmen, why not remake this underrated jewel? Granted, this is not a bad movie, but save a few cute scenes nothing new is really brought to the table. Nothing was really visually SPLENDID. I could REALLY see some sparks flying under Spike Jonze or Tim Burton.
December 15, 2008

Super Reviewer

Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc of Warner Brothers animation fame were major players in this MGM production. Tock, the watchdog, reminded me in the way he moved of Sam the Sheepdog, especially. I loved the book when I was growing up as an alternative to The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. It is full of puns to rival Baum and logic puzzles to rival Carroll. The music is not great though and the animation style is just a bit too fluffy.
December 16, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Voices Of: My angles are many and my sides are not few, I'm the dodecahedron and Who are You?
    – Submitted by Evalyn D (21 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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