Phantom Tollbooth, The

(1970)
Phantom Tollbooth, The

Voices by Mel Blanc, Butch Patrick. (U)

 

One of those kids’ books that was a must-read for over a decade after it was published in 1961 but now is sadly difficult to track down, The Phantom Tollbooth is the story of a young boy who finds a tollbooth, drives his toy car through it and finds himself in a world full of adventure and strange characters, as the King of Dictionopolis, who believes in the supremacy of words, and the King of Digitopolis, who believes in – you guessed it – the importance of numbers, declare war. It’s up to young Milo and his new friends to bring back the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason to restore order in the world.

Directed by Looney Tunes’ Chuck Jones and based on Norton Juster’s book, this mix of animation and live action features the voice of Mel Blanc for some of the pun-filled characters like Officer Short Shrift and the Demon of Insincerity while Butch Patrick (who played Eddie in the TV series The Munsters) is young Milo. Though not as good as the book on which it is based (some bonkers moments are better left to a reader’s imagination), this is fun – and educational! – entertainment for the over-fours. Note that a new version of the book is due to be made in 2013.

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SCARY MOMENTS:

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