The film’s inclusion on this list may give you an indication that this is not a list of the greatest films of all time but just a personal list of my top 100 favourite films. This list will be full of guilty pleasures but will include films that are true classics.
The Pagemaster follows a kid by the name of Richard Tyler, played by Macaulay Culkin. Tyler is not a creative child as he focuses on statistics rather than chance. He goes to the library to pick up some books, while in the library he slips on some water from the rain of his coat and gets knocked out. While dazed paint rushes through the aisles of bookshelves which engulf Tyler and then becomes an animation. He meets three books, Fantasy (Whoopi Goldberg) Adventure (Patrick Stewart) and Horror (Frank Welker) and with their help must find his way back home and out of the world of animation.
Personally I watched this film at the perfect time as I was deep in the thought of becoming a writer and delving deep into literary classics that were mentioned in the film. This is what this film is, an attempt into getting children to read books, ironically through the medium of film. The Pagemaster presents a wonderful world of literary classics as the crew enter worlds of Moby Dick, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Treasure Island, you become astounded at the constant shifts in visual animation.
Animation was a perfect choice to present these worlds, it provided a liberated presentation of fantastical worlds. As a child I was petrified of the Moby Dick and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde scenes. The exaggerated disney-esque villain style really does encapsulate the evil in these characters. I am a massive fan of old style animation and this seems to be a good tribute. With the help of the animation I was taken back and happily immersed within the adventure of the film. This is helped by the voice cast, having Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg really brought the books to life.
If you look online, this film is hard to get hold off, it is rated quite poorly by critics. However, if you do see this film in a shop, pick it up. It is a brilliant family adventure that could introduce children to literary classic. I was magically spell bounded by the ever changing literary worlds that holds the classic animation visual style that can never be beaten in charm and adventure. The Pagemaster is a hidden magical gem that is fun for the whole family.