For me this is one of those films that every time it's suggested as a film to view I don't initially want to watch because I think it will be cheesy but then end up enjoying a lot.
The story is about a very cautious young boy who is afraid of just about everything he comes in contact with. His father, who wants both to spend some time with his son and help him get over his fear, is building him a tree house. His dad sends him out to buy more nails for said tree house, but Richard (the boy) gets caught in the middle of a rain storm on the way and runs into the nearest building for shelter, and this building happens to be a library. When he enters the library he is bombarded by a very passionate librarian who is more than willing to help him find any number of stories, but Richard is just looking for a telephone and goes on his way to find it. As he is walking through the stacks he comes across a huge mural on the ceiling of a rotunda. As he's admiring this mural the paint starts to melt off the ceiling and drop onto the floor, turning everything it touches into a cartoon. Richard of course runs away and this paint chases him until both he and the entire library have been turned into a cartoon. He meets up with three books, Adventure, Fantasy, and Horror, and with their help, face three challenges (found within some classic books from each genre) as they make their way to the exit sign.
This plot of this movie sounds so cheesy, like one of those direct to film movies designed to make a quick buck, but instead it's one of those hidden gems that encourage imagination and self- confidence. Christopher Lloyd plays the librarian as well as The Pagemaster, and I think he was one of the best actors for the job. He speaks with a mixture of both a hushed and an explosive passion that could make you see the magic in a wet dish towel and draws you in so completely to the plot. It inspires both reading and imagination and is a fast paced adventure, to be enjoyed by young and old.