Rich Tyler (Macaulay Culkin) is afraid of everything. He can quote statistics of the chances of accidents at home, in sports, and every activity normal 12-year-olds want to do. Rich’s schoolmates make fun of his safety precautions which consume his life. Late one afternoon he is caught in a severe electrical storm and seeks refuge in the library, a place he has obviously never been. There, a strange old man directs him through the fiction section to find a telephone, but Rich is overcome by a tidal wave of colors chasing him. He trips, is knocked unconscious and wakes up as an animated character interacting with three special books – “Adventure” (voice of Patrick Stewart), “Fantasy” (voice of Whoopi Goldberg) and “Horror” (voice of Frank Welker). Hoping to leave the library too, the books join Rich in his search for the exit. Along the way, they must pass through the fantasy world of “Alice in Wonderland” and meet the “Hounds of Baskerville”. Then they proceed to the horror world of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, and finally to the adventures of “Moby Dick” and “Treasure Island.” Each encounter presents the four with exhilarating, frightening adventures that inspire bravery, trust, and most of all, imagination. The clever animation and spectacular special effects are first rate, although the film will be too intense for those under six. Take the family to see THE PAGEMASTER, then plan a trip to your neighborhood library this holiday season.
The frightening transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde, Moby Dick swallowing Rich, fierce storms on the high seas and a fire-eating dragon create excitement and a sense of adventure. Ghostly figures float out of the horror section and an occasional skeleton is shown lying around. Through his sometimes harrowing trip into the world of books, Rich learns to take chances and experiences self-confidence. When he returns safely to his real home, his parents find him sleeping soundly in the treehouse he had been afraid to climb into. Alongside him are his newest and only friends, Adventure, Fantasy and Horror, whose wish to leave the library came true. There is no sexual content and no foul language, although Long John Silver refers to a “son of a sea biscuit,” and the expression “bloody” is heard once. THE PAGEMASTER could encourage youngsters to discover the magical world of books that seems to have been replaced by TV’s “Power Rangers,” mindless cartoons and NINJA TURTLES films. One word of caution – the scary fictional characters and settings may upset young children not familiar with the stories represented.