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ThePagemaster 9413.jpg

The Pagemaster is a 1994 film that features both Live Action and Animation, one of only two made by Turner Entertainment's animation unit before Warner Bros took over (Cats Don't Dance was the other). The Pagemaster tells the story of a young boy named Richard Tyler (Macaulay Culkin), who is — to his parents’ annoyance — timid to the point of neurosis. He is tremendously afraid of heights and generally obsessed with quoting the statistical risks invovled in countless everyday actions, which, of course, explains why he isn't the most popular guy. One day his father runs out of nails while building him a tree house and sends a very reluctant Richard to buy more.

On his way to the hardware store, a storm suddenly breaks out, and Richard seeks shelter in a huge and luxurious but rather sinister library. The only person there is its extremely enthusiastic and slightly creepy librarian, played by Christopher Lloyd, who is disappointed that Richard merely sought shelter from the storm and isn't looking for books, but affably points him towards the public telephone so he can contact his parents. While wandering deeper into the library in search of the phone, Richard enters a magnificent rotunda painted with gigantic scenes from classic novels which surround the image of a blue-robed wizard holding a scroll.

The paint descends on Richard, transforming him and the library into an animated world of illustrations where the mystical wizard, the eponymous Pagemaster (also voiced by Lloyd), tells him that in order to get home, the boy must face three challenges: The lands of Horror, Adventure and Fantasy. He is assisted by three books which personify those genres (colourfully voiced by Frank Welker, Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg respectively). Along the way we see references to many classic books such as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, along with a goodly heaping of Incredibly Lame Puns, while Richard learns to confront his fears and to lead a life of bravery.

Beloved childhood classic to many children of The Nineties.

Tropes used in The Pagemaster include:
  • Actor Allusion: May be unintentional, but Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sound like Spock and Evil Spock respectively.
    • Entirely Intentional/Coincidental, Leonard Nimoy voiced said character
  • Animation Lead Time: There were trailers coming out for this movie FOUR YEARS before it was released!
  • You Fail Logic Forever : "8% of all household accidents involve ladders. Another 3% involve trees. We're looking at 11% probability here". First, he's ignoring some overlap between the 8% and the 3%. Secondly he's assuming that an accident will happen, in which case the probability that it involves ladders is 8%, but that doesn't tell us anything about the chances that this specific ladder-climbing event will lead to an accident. What he needs is a statistic in the form of "X% of the time somebody climbs a ladder, they have an accident" rather than "X% of all accidents involve ladders."
    • Apparently his fear is so great that it actually warps his sense of logic.
    • Of course, it is worth remembering that he's a kid. They presumably don't teach statistics in grade school.
  • Award Bait Song: "Whatever You Imagine", which plays during Fantasy's sequence.
  • Axe Crazy: Mr. Hyde in the horror section, using a cane instead of an axe.
  • Big Bad: The dragon. Sort of. He's more of a Final Boss.
  • Body Horror: Dr Jekyll's (presumably) very Painful Transformation to monstrous Mr. Hyde
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mr. Hyde.
  • Character Title
  • Cowardly Lion: Richard himself.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Fantasy, to an extent. It helps that she's voiced by Whoopi Goldberg.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Literally, Dr. Jekyll after becoming Mr. Hyde.
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 Adventure: I wrote the book on sailing. In fact, I am the book on sailing.

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