The Pagemaster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Pagemaster Reviews

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½ February 3, 2019
A sweet literary adventure for kids!

The Pagemaster (1994) remains one of my favorite childhood movies. Joe Johnston's direction is slick and moody, which leads into the dark fantasy adventure all in hand drawn animation. Johnston has an eye for filming rainy days and dim libraries. Johnston's direction within the eerier library persists as some of his best work.

To some, I'm sure the animation looks older and cheap, but I continue to find the animated portion of The Pagemaster thrilling and smooth. The bright colors pop and the characters are charming. Children will love the jokes and journey and will easily be able to follow along. Pixote Hunt's direction in the animated segments is steadfast and quickly moving from area to area. The actual drawings from animator Pixote Hunt is simplistic in design, yet still stylish. I was particularly impressive with The Pagemaster's character design centered around literary concepts. I think the electric fairies sequence is as beautiful as any animated moment in film.

While The Pagemaster slows down in the middle, I think it is short enough to hold your attention. The darling performances still entertain me in a fanciful and fun way. Maccaulay Culkin is adorable and perceptive as ever as Richard Tyler. Meanwhile, Christopher Lloyd is magically endearing as The Pagemaster.

I think the aspect of The Pagemaster that people remember most is the talking books and their great voice acting. The Pagemaster features personified literary characters and genres brought to life by talking volumes. These tomes speak through the vocal talents of the Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, Leonard Nimoy, and Jim Cummings. Stewart is hilarious as the ceaselessly complaining Adventure full of boasts and braggadocio. Goldberg is the fairy like Fantasy with whimsical sarcasm and kindness. I really like Welker's take on Horror constantly being afraid at the horrors surrounding him. Nimoy is a frightening and creepy Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Lastly, Cummings is perfectly cast as Long John Silver.

Lastly, I absolutely love James Horner's score. The Pagemaster's sounds are straight out of a fantasy world with sweeping and tender moments alike. The main melody is truly mesmerizing. Horner was a brilliant composer.

In short, The Pagemaster is a sweet kid's adventure movie. There are many delightful performances and some cool sequences. It captures the magical joy of reading. I think The Pagemaster is worth showing your kids just for the fact that it promotes reading like diving into new fantasy worlds. It also teaches the value of bravery and courage in the face of adversity and confronting your fears.
December 21, 2018
This movie plays to the heart of children and fuels the imaginations. Any person who would rate this poorly has forgotten childhood. It is not merely how well played out the plot is, or how good the illustrations are. It is about how you feel when watching it. It brings the joy of children alive. And that is what matters. A great movie with a great cast, and a great message.
November 26, 2018
Such hate towards this 90s children's movie. Perhaps it's pure nostalgia on my part but I loved it as a child and I love it still. As a lover of books from childhood to present the notion of entering the stories themselves delighted me. As the story suggests a beautiful book is often a welcomed escape from a less than pleasant real world life , even as a child. Yes it's silly and the plot is not overly complicated but it is a children's movie from the 90s bare in mind. The little horror book will always be my favorite, just as the genre is for me today. Top list actors of the time voice this film , and I adored the reference to classic novels of each genre their adventures take them through. Give this movie a chance for sure.
½ November 12, 2018
With its curious mix of Time Bandits-like enchantment and plain sense of fun, The Pagemaster represents the least-annoying and most enjoyable contribution Culkin has made to the industry since Home Alone. This won't be the monster hit that movie was, but children venturing into The Pagemaster should be no less beguiled. Grownups who often feel insulted by the too-juvenile tone of most so-called "family features" will likely find this movie long enough to catch their attention, but short enough not to lose it -- in essence, a surprisingly affable (and occasionally even sophisticated) movie-going experience. Most importantly though- This film is even more relevant today 25 years on.
September 10, 2018
I hated this as a child. I don't remember why, but I give this rating out of a primal fear. This movie will eat your family and burn down your house.
September 3, 2018
Love this movie! I have on Blu Ray. I had to buy because it's part of my childhood.
July 19, 2018
The Pagemaster is a film that I remember every-so-often. The movie was almost more of a feeling than something I can tangibly describe. The characters are silly and childish, but that was kind of the point. I was probably four years old when I was obsessed with this film, and still I remember it very clearly. For those of you who disregard this film as bad, you probably didn't see it as a young child. For me, even the thought of this movie wists me back in gleeful nostalgia. Culkin and Lloyd were simply magical, and the Nimoy as Hyde was the stuff of nightmares. I appreciate this movie for the sweet memories it gave and for the intoxicating interest in stories that it bred in me and others.
June 17, 2018
This movie is great. I don't understand why you're hating lol
June 17, 2018
I remember seeing the pagemaster back from when I was very young. It's a pretty decent film but the story was absolutely perfect in a way. This is the one where Macaulay culkin goes to this library and he becomes a cartoon character in a book. It is so cool of how it goes from live actiion to animation. Christopher Lloyd was also in it as well and he is a good actor.
May 22, 2018
Anyone writing a negative review on this movie lacks the intelligence and wits to see the lesson this movie teaches us. I loved this movie growing up. Ya'll can nitpick the animation quality and such, but you can't deny the life lessons. Fear holds us back, and a good book can become a good friend and help you out of your shell, even when it seems impossible.
May 4, 2018
A colossal failure in what it wants to do, 'The Pagemaster' is nothing more than a bland, vapid advertisement disguised as a film that tries (spectacularly fails) to teach kids the fun and importance of reading.
There's nothing wrong with teaching kids the values of reading, but by skimming through each scene, by not giving two cares in the world about the books it is portraying, and to have the nerve to disguise all this mess underneath a costly fantasy animation. One must wonder what the 21 million dollar budget would've gone into instead of this dreck?
While much of the (ahem) expensive/big-name performances are bland to the bone, even annoying to some degree because of the direction and script, but Christopher Lloyd, in particular, comes across as straight-up creepy and frightening to younger audiences with his over-the-top performance.
To conclude, there exists video games, music, and other forms of art mediums that were out back in 1994 that properly taught the importance of literature to children and that list has only continued to grow over the years since. If you hate kids, then let them watch this film.
April 24, 2018
One of the best movies of my childhood
½ January 18, 2018
This has a great story and an excellent cast.
January 8, 2018
This movie is unbelievably underrated. It's about the power of imagination and adventure. The power of stories and overcoming your fears. I know that watching this movie as a child affected me positively. It's entertaining and surprising but also full of hidden messages and wisdom. Good for curious, inquisitive children. Integrates classic stories like Dr. Jekyll. It could be a little scary for small children. It's older, so Don't except new-age animation.
October 8, 2017
This movie was terrible, and I enjoyed it when I was a kid
September 3, 2017
Even now at age 15 I love this movie ,I had watched it a long time ago and forgot the name of it and just today watched it again and I still love it
July 29, 2017
Doesn't hold up as well as you'd expect, especially for a Johnston film. Not that it's bad at all, it's just very pedestrian. Feels a bit more like an after school special. It's still kinda fun though.
½ July 14, 2017
Every time I hear about this movie, I get nostalgic because it reminds me of the younger days! I was in utter shock when I saw bad reviews of the movie because every kid has to love this! Between the imagination and the creativity that is portrayed, the movie is great. Maybe I was too young to point out "bad acting" but until this day I don't see anything wrong with the acting. All around a great movie with a plot that is not basic.
February 11, 2017
2/11/2017: This movie needs a remake as live action instead of cartoon. The plot was interesting; just didn't execute well.
December 20, 2016
The Pagemaster's satisfying viusals and the performances both live-action and animated of its cast make it a reasonably satisfying diversion for younger viewers even if it feels like a bit of a letdown compared to some far more memorable animated movies.
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