Pagemaster [1994]

Director: Joe Johnston, Pixote Hunt
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Christopher Lloyd, Canan J. Howell, Alexis Kirschner, Jessica Kirschner
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: G (General Audience)
Runtime: 80 minutes

A blend of live-action and animation, this film centers on a fearful young boy (Macaulay Culkin) afraid to experience life because he's calculated the odds of an accident for every known activity. Chased by bullies, he winds up at the local library, where a bump on the head sends him into an animated universe, where his best friends are walking, talking books voiced by, among others, Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg. The Pagemaster (Christopher Lloyd) points the way to the exit, but the boy must first traverse the adventures of literary history, encountering everyone from Dr. Jekyll to Captain Ahab to Long John Silver. The animation is middling, but a worthy message makes this better children's entertainment than you'd expect. How can you fault a movie that encourages kids to pick up a book? --Marshall Fine

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