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||IMDB Rating: 5.9/10 from votes
||Release: 16 February 1995 (Netherlands) /
||Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
||Stars: Alexis Kirschner, Brandon S. McKay, Christopher Lloyd, Ed Begley Jr., Frank Welker, George Hearn, Guy Mansker, Jessica Kirschner, Kanin Howell, Leonard Nimoy, Macaulay Culkin, Mel Harris, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Sheehan, Whoopi Goldberg
||Synopsis: This is the story of a young boy named Richard Tyler, who spouts statistics about the possibility of accidents. So much so, he is scared to do anything that might endanger him, like riding his bike, or climbing into his treehouse. While riding his bike home, Richard finds shelter from a storm inside a nearby library. Richard slips and is knocked unconscious while exploring a rotunda in the library. Upon awakening, he is led on a journey through conflicts and events that resemble fictional stories, keeping him from finding the exit from the library. Written by Anthony Pereyra [email protected]
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Watch Pagemaster - Alternative Versions.
Many of the titles featured in this Internet Movie Database represent
that for various reasons are welcomed with scorn regardless of the good
intentions of their creators. One such film is David Kirschner's "The
Pagemaster," created by him as a means to share with his two daughters,
Alexis and Jessica (both of whom, by the way, have cameos in the film),
wonder of reading.
The story was born out of a clandestine visit by David, Lexie and Jess
Kirschner to the New York Public Library's Center for the Humanities (the
Headquarters Branch). Both Kirschner girls were little back then, and Dad
ran Hanna-Barbera at the time. But what those two chldren took out of that
visit was a spectacular sense of wonder --- and, consequently, that's how
their father developed the idea for "The Pagemaster."
Some 3 1/2 years later, the result of David's concept stands as a
spectacularly imaginative adventure where the joy of reading is made
manifest within the simple space of 75 minutes. What a lot of people
about, as far as this film is concerned, is the fact that this was
Culkin's penultimate appearance as a child actor. There were many in and
of Hollywood who wanted to see his career implode; and part of that, as we
all know by now, was due to the bitter divorce and custdy battles between
his parents. That, more than anything, was the lynchpin of the disgust
of us had for this kid.
And what of the film itself? Well, the story of Richard Tyler still
me, if it doesn't anyone else. Who wouldn't want to have adventures with
three delightful book characters representing their namesake genres ---
Adventure (Patrick Stewart), Fantasy (Whoopi Goldberg) and Horror (Frank
Welker)? Not only that, encountering both Jekyll and Hyde (Leonard Nimoy),
Captain Ahab (George Hearn), Long John Silver (Jim Cummings) .... and a
fire-breathing dragon --- and taking them on any way you can is perfect
fodder for an 11-year-old constantly fearing the world around him.
One particularly funny line in the film comes in the live-action prologue,
co-starring Ed Begley, Jr. and Mel Harris as Richard's parents. Alan, the
father (Begley), recalls to his wife Claire (Harris) the day he signed his
son up for Little League Baseball: "...he drove everybody crazy with
statistics about how you can get a blood clot just by being hit on the
with a ball. 'Did you know that shin-splints can lead to blood clots in
legs?' Claire, he brought in a medical journal! Nobody wanted to play
that! And now, I'm building him a treehouse in a tree he refuses to
Looking back, it's not how Begley utters that line, but rather, it is the
way he delivers it that makes me laugh.
And then, there's James Horner's delightful score, punctuated by the
theme tune --- recorded as a single by Capitol recording artist Wendy
Entitled "Whatever You Imagine," the song, with lyrics by the
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, was even nominated for a Grammy, which, alas,
it didn't win. But the tune was eventually embraced by yours truly; and
since been adopted as Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's personal
These are just some of the special memories I have about "The Pagemaster."
But of course, it is the Pagemaster himself, voiced and spoken by
Christopher Lloyd, who drives home the story's central point. It is he,
than anyone else, who gives Richard Tyler the strength he needs to
his own fears, regardless of the world around him. The result, of course,
that, by the time our tale ends, Richard becomes a stronger and better
person --- all thanks to the magic of books. I sincerely believe that,
the current popularity of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books,
wisdom of the Pagemaster is paying off, long after the film has been
forgotten. After all, without books, we couldn't take on the imagination
our own way fearlessly. And that, I think, is as much reward as a young
person needs in this world. 'Nuff said.
Tags for Pagemaster Full Movie
, Brandon S. McKay
, Christopher Lloyd
, Ed Begley Jr.
, Frank Welker
, George Hearn
, Guy Mansker
, Jessica Kirschner
, Kanin Howell
, Leonard Nimoy
, Macaulay Culkin
, Mel Harris
, Patrick Stewart
, Stephen Sheehan
, Whoopi Goldberg
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