Pagemaster

The Pagemaster

3.5 8
Director: Joe Johnston

Cast: Joe Johnston, Macaulay Culkin, Christopher Lloyd, Ed Begley Jr.

     
 

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A young boy overcomes his obsessive fears by discovering a love for books in this animated fantasy adventure. In a live action wraparound, Macaulay Culkin stars as Richard Tyler, an easily bullied, nervous wreck of a kid who's an expert on safety statistics. His mother and father (Mel Harris and Ed Begley, Jr.) don't know how to inspire their son to embrace life

Overview

A young boy overcomes his obsessive fears by discovering a love for books in this animated fantasy adventure. In a live action wraparound, Macaulay Culkin stars as Richard Tyler, an easily bullied, nervous wreck of a kid who's an expert on safety statistics. His mother and father (Mel Harris and Ed Begley, Jr.) don't know how to inspire their son to embrace life boldly. Barely able to leave the house, Richard ventures out one day, but he gets lost in a storm and ends up at a mysterious library. Inside, he slips, knocks himself unconscious and finds himself in a cartoon realm where books come to life. Guided by Adventure (Patrick Stewart), Fantasy (Whoopi Goldberg) and Horror (Frank Welker), Tyler experiences the adventures of classic novels such as Moby Dick and Treasure Island, and he even meets some famed fictional characters, such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Leonard Nimoy). Through his experiences in the pages of the legendary books, Richard confronts his phobias and learns to face life more courageously. The Pagemaster was directed by Joe Johnston, a former special effects supervisor and production designer who later directed Jumanji (1995) and October Sky (1999).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Given a fairly negative critical reception upon its initial release, The Pagemaster is actually a more-than-passable mixture of live action and animation with a fair number of high points. While the filmmakers may be presenting the message of their movie -- essentially, that reading is a good thing -- in a fairly obvious and banal manner, it does serve as a smooth way of introducing children to some of the exciting characters that can be found in classic literature. It also features excellent voice work, especially from Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg. Stewart seems to be enjoying himself a great deal, bringing an enthusiasm and energy to his work that is a change of pace from his usually more restrained approach. Goldberg is Goldberg, full of sass and vinegar and always ready with a quip. Macaulay Culkin is less annoying than in many of his other films, probably because his mannerisms are naturally minimized when the character becomes animated. On the downside, the story is rushed and not as compelling as it should be; much of it lacks the magic and sparkle that the situation demands and it has episodes rather than a real plot. Although most of the animation is just middling, there are a couple of impressive moments, such as the initial "meltdown" sequence in which Culkin becomes animated and the segment involving a dragon. Pagemaster's quality varies, but there's more than enough there to satisfy children.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/06/2013
UPC:
0024543873198
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
G
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:15:00
Sales rank:
19,144

Special Features

"Dream Away" Music Video; Exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Macaulay Culkin Richard Tyler
Christopher Lloyd Mr. Dewey,The Pagemaster
Ed Begley Alan Tyler
Mel Harris Claire Tyler
Patrick Stewart Pirate Book "Adventure"
Whoopi Goldberg Fairy Grandmother "Fantasy"
Frank Welker Dragon
Leonard Nimoy "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde"
Charles Fleischer Actor
ad Pixote Actor
George Hearn Captain Ahab
Dorian Harewood Jamaican Pirates
Ed Gilbert George Merry
Robert Picardo Pirate
Phil Hartman Tom Morgan
Jim Cummings Long John Silver
B.J. Ward Queen of Hearts
Alexis Kirschner Neighborhood kid
Jessica Kirschner Neighborhood kid
Brandon McKay Neighborhood kid

Technical Credits
Joe Johnston Director
Scott E. Anderson Special Effects
Marie Cantin Production Designer
David Casci Screenwriter
Ernie Contreras Screenwriter
Kaja Fehr Editor
Paul Gertz Producer
Claire Glidden Associate Producer
Alexander Gruszynski Cinematographer
Jim Hickey Animator
James Horner Score Composer
Maurice Hunt Art Director
Michael R. Joyce Producer
Amy Kimmelman Casting
David Kirschner Producer,Screenwriter
Gay Lawrence Production Designer
Robert Lence Animator
Robin Lewis Costumes/Costume Designer
Betsy Magruder Asst. Director
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
Don Morgan Animator
Steve Nelson Sound/Sound Designer
Jeffrey Patch Editor
Roy Forge Smith Editor,Production Designer
Bruce W. Smith Animator
David Steinberg Co-producer
Roxy Novotny Steven Associate Producer
Richard T. Sullivan Special Effects
Valeria Ventura Production Designer
Barry Weiss Co-producer

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