Top 100 Films #98 The Pagemaster (1994)

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.

11 thoughts on “Top 100 Films #98 The Pagemaster (1994)

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  1. this film´s plot could have been better if the literature characters were a team-up and try to ruled over the world. but the movie was ok anyway with the great, stunning animation. and also mr hyde reminds me of the joker for some reason, captain ahab is two-face kinda mixed with ra´s al ghul, long john silver is like clayface (just in my opinon).

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  2. i kinda wish they make an animated tv series, some sort of like the style from batman the animated series. wouldnt that be cool and amazing!?

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  3. the characters, the stories from pagemaster to batman the animated series also reminds me of each other..if you think about it.

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  4. fun fact: this movie got me quiet interested in novels and literature right now, like i have always love animated films that are based on fairytales and other books (as a little girl).

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  5. mr. hyde: i need more attention, im the best in this movie the rest can just go and put a sock in it!!!.
    captain ahab: (*sigh* why do i have to team up with a pathetic monster?)
    long john silver: i hate to say this, but we all literature people need alot attention from our film. i could imagine these 3 together from my story

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  6. As a child snow white and sleeping beauty were my favorite disney movies, i always wanted to be like them and i read the Books too ofcause. But i didnt grow up with the pagemaster (it stills about reading), sorry.

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