The Pagemaster is a 1994 live action/animated film directed by Joe Johnson (live-action), and Maurice Hunt (animation).
- The story suffers from being predictable, boring, confusing, dull, and laughably cheesy.
- Annoying book puns.
- The only purpose of the movie was to encourage American kids to read, when a cheaper, and more effective way of doing this could have been a series of adverts.
- While decent, the animation lacks color and sharpness.
- Weak direction by Joe Johnston.
- Tyler, the main character, is cowardly.
- Weak, unfunny humor for most of the time.
- It is never explained how Fantasy and Horror survived the crash of Moby Dick after they saved Tyler and Adventure from the pirates.
- The movie itself suffered from production issues, raging from the animation went overbudget due to mismanagement and rewrites to legal issues with the Writers Guild of America.
- There are numerous deleted scenes that got cut in the movie (which can be seen in several products pre-release), one of them being the appearance of the Frankenstein Monster.
- The score by James Horner was wonderful.
- Dream Away was a great song.
- Decent voice acting for the animated characters.
- The jokes can be funny sometimes.
- While the animation has its issues, it is otherwise nice to look at.
- The designs on the animated books look great, and Richard looks great in animated form as well.
The Pagemaster received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and audiences who praised its James Horner's soundtrack and voice acting, but criticized story, direction, and humor. Opinions of the the hand-drawn animation were mixed. Some praised it for its decent animation and others criticized for the lack of color and sharpness, and currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 21% based on 19 reviews and an average rating of 4.39/10 and a critic consensus that reads "sad and dreary film," adding that its message seemed to be that "books can be almost as much fun as TV cartoons and video arcade games."
It was one of only two made by Turner Entertainment's animation unit before Warner Bros. took over (Cats Don't Dance was the other).