A cowardly boy, who buries himself in accident statistics, enters a library to escape a storm, only to be transformed into an animated illustration by the Pagemaster. He has to work through obstacles from classic books to return to real-life.
This is the story of a young boy named Richard Tyler, who spouts statistics about the possibility of accidents. So much so, he is scared to do anything that might endanger him, like riding his bike, or climbing into his treehouse. While riding his bike home, Richard finds shelter from a storm inside a nearby library. Richard 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.Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A nostalgic childhood favorite of mine holds up today after 20 years have passed
Hello. This is gavin.thelordofthefuture and this would be a review of a film that I've seen twenty years ago when I was a kid. The story about an 11 year old boy with statistics named Richard Tyler who stumbles upon a library during a thunderstorm and enters it. After meeting an old librarian, he goes to the fiction section and sees a mural with four pictures, but little did he realized that he gets transported to a world where every fiction story comes to life and sees a wise old sorcerer called the "Pagemaster". Then, his adventure begins and meets three fiction books named Adventure, Fantasy, and Horror and together, they must encounter haunted houses, pirates, and monsters in order to help get Richard back home.
Why am I reviewing this in the middle of a Christmas break? Well, let's just say that I've been watching this since I was a child and seeing how it has been 20 years, that's why I made that risky decision. Now, is there anything that I don't like about The Pagemaster? Well, let's just say that the only nitpick I do have is the animation. Don't get me wrong. It's beautiful and is very creative in it's making of the world of literary including Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, the pirates led by Captain Long John Silver, and the Dragon in the climax of the film, but as time went by, it became a little dated to me.
Anyway, everything else still holds up. The story is very engaging with very clever writing and the morals about facing your fears and using your imagination doesn't preach on you as it is done perfectly. Also, it has some very good characters and they still hold up to this day. Macaulay Culkin is likable as Richard Tyler, Christopher Lloyd relishes his role as the librarian Mr. Dewey and The Pagemaster, and the three talking books, Adventure, a swashbuckling pirate book with Patrick Stewart's solid pirate accent, Fantasy, a sassy, but caring fairy tale book who pulls off some nice humorous moments while being wise thanks to Whoopi Goldberg, and Horror, a fearful Hunchbook and also has some funny bits with the famous Frank Welker, known for voicing animal creatures in other animated films. The other characters are also good with cameos from Leonard Nimoy as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Phil Hartman as one of the pirate crew members Tom Morgan and Jim Cummings as Long John Silver.
The pacing is very brisk and doesn't come to the point where it would bore me to death, but the best part about The Pagemaster is the music score from James Horner, one of my favorite music composers. To some, it does copy music elements from his other scores from Star Trek II and others, but to me, it has a nostalgic value to it. Why, you may ask?
Well, the reason why I brought this up is because it does a solid job interpreting the theme song "Whatever You Imagine" that plays throughout the movie and has been stuck with me since my childhood ended. That piece of music alone is what made me watch this film over and over again.
Overall, The Pagemaster became one of my childhood films and today, it still holds up. It has an engaging story, some likable characters, some clever writing, and some really beautiful music. As those aspects stayed with me in my memory, this deserves a gold trophy of recommendation as a film that is worth watching to some who hasn't seen it yet. Check it out and relive your imagination!
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