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  • I feel bad for a lot of underrated movies, mostly because the people who'd like them the most have probably never heard of them. I argue that Chuck Jones is the most important of the animation directors of the Golden Age of Cartoons, and this is his only full-length feature. If you like his cartoons, you should definitely hunt for this charming adaptation of Norton Juster's charming (if pedantic) novella.

    Here's the interesting thing about "Phantom Tollbooth". Neither the book nor the movie strike me as a children's' story. Don't get me wrong, kids will probably like this movie, particularly older kids, but it's more for adults who can get the puns and such. Adult will also probably appreciate the psychedelic artwork from longtime Jones collaborator Maurice Noble. The amoebic Doldrums are a highlight as is the Awful DYNN, a manic crayon scrawl, and the cities of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis; they look like a riot at the Avant-garde Graphic Design class. Adorable and very, VERY sixties.
  • kzoofilm1 September 2000
    I hadn't seen this film since I was a child and it was a happy surprise to find it on Cinemax last week. The movie and the excellent book of the same name were big inspirations to me as a grade-schooler and helped me understand the importance of language and logic. The Chuck Jones-directed animation is terrific and although the music is very 1969 middle-of-the-road (dreamy choruses and faux-Herb Alpert trumpet), it doesn't get in the way of a clever adventure story that celebrates using your mind to solve problems. This picture deserves a much bigger cult following.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth is warped movie from the warped mind of the great Chuck Jones.

    Milo, an ordinary boy, is bored with life. One day he receives a tollbooth as a present. This Tollbooth will supposedly take him out of his boredom.

    Milo enters the Tollbooth and is instantly changed into a cartoon character. From here on in, he journeys to the "Whether" man, into the doldrums, meets tock, the watchdog, and onward to Dictionopolis and the Kingdom of Numbers in order to save Rhyme and Reason.

    The movie is twisted in every which way; there are plenty of songs the make no sense but make you laugh out loud. The Animation is typical "Looney Tunes" style but works very well with the quirky plot.

    The Phantom Tollbooth is a lost gem the deserves DVD treatment in the worst way. Lets hope one day soon that this diamond in the rough will find a new generation of children!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have loved the Phantom Tollbooth since I was a young boy, when my Father first rented it from our local video shop. After that, my brother and I seldom missed the opportunity to rent it out again if we could, and even today we can probably quote the entire film to each other, or to anyone who would want to listen for that matter.

    Made by MGM in 1970, The Phantom Tollbooth pretty much remains faithful to Norton Juster's book but gets brought right up to date, (for the time that is), and given a good dose of phsycodelia.

    Milo, (Butch Patrick), is a bored young boy who lives in San Fransisco, one day a mysterious box appears in his bedroom, which contains a magic tollbooth which, when passed through takes Milo into a cartoon world called the Kingdom Of Wisdom. A Kingdom ruled by two warring brothers. King Azaz of Dictionopolis whose iron rule is that words are more important than numbers, and The Mathemagician of Digitopolis, who holds the view that numbers are far more important than words.

    In order to restore some sanity back to the land he agrees to rescue the Princesses Rhyme & Reason from the Castle In The Air. But first he has to overcome certain obstacles, such as The Doldrums and their inhabitants, The Lethargians who want to stop Milo for Eating, Sleeping and even Breathing. He has to escape the clutches of Kakofonous A. Dischord a mad scientist that wants to stop Milo from ever hearing pleasant sounds again, which he tries with the aid of his accomplice the Awful Dynne (wonderfully voiced by none other than Candy Candido). Officer Short Shrift is a unicycle cop with a insatiable fondness for arresting people for no good purpose. and the Demons of Ignorance who wait in the mountains guarding the approach to the Castle In The Air.

    It's not all doom & Gloom though, as Milo does encounter many allies to aid him on his journey. There is Tock The Watchdog, Mr Humbug, The Spelling Bee who, by his own admission, can spell any word that has ever been written in any language, anywhere, The Whetherman and his sister Faintly Macabre, The not so wicked Which, (and no, they are not misspellings).

    Every Character in the Phantom Tollbooth is in fact a not too disguised Metaphor for something else. be it impatience, sloth and greed, but the film also shows a remedy for these negative traits.

    The most famous of all the people who lent their vocal talents to the movie, is none other than voice of Bugs Bunny, Mel Blanc. If Lon Chaney was the 'Man of a Thousand faces', then Blanc surely was The Man of a Thousand Voices' Unless you're really sensitive about everything, there is nothing in The Phantom Tollbooth that could offend anyone. It's a film that can be watched whether you're 8 or 80 and still get the same thrill from it. I'm also thrilled that my children are also fans of this film that meant so much to me when I was their age, and I hope it is something that they will pass on to THEIR children too.

    Enjoy!
  • Growing up I thought the movie was fascinating (HELLO! He goes into another WORLD that is CARTOON!). The songs are awesome too, and the whole film is a mystery. Now that I am older I am noticing how very clever the movie is too, including the use of language (you'd have to see it to understand). I also find a bit creepy now that I'm older, it gives me the willies. May it's the old animation, I don't know, but some of the scenes are really scary! It's a good show, watch it with a ten year old...and enjoy! You could also watch it with a 7-11 year old too. Like I said, it's a great show for kids. Especially if they're at that age where they want to be a little creeped out.
  • I still don't get why so many people who have seen it dislike it so much. I first saw it when it was playing on Cartoon Network. I liked it so much that I had to get it on videotape. Granted, the moralizing was a bit heavy-handed, but all the same, I loved it when I was young and still find it entertaining now.

    BTW: Those of you who did not like the movie may want to read the book. It is just as good, maybe better, but has things put better into perspective.
  • A simple fantasy tale, mostly animation with some live action at the beginning and end. Milo is a "latchkey kid" living a somewhat isolated life in an apartment block in the big city. While complaining on the phone to his friend that he is bored stiff, he is startled by the sudden arrival of a strange package which, when unwrapped, unfolds into a gateway into a magical world...

    Like all of Chuck Jones' work, this movie is great for children and doesn't seem dated at all. My two kids aged five and six were enchanted by it just as I was when I first saw it at the age of ten.

    The characters are colorful and entertaining. Milo is easy for any child who has ever been bored or lonely to identify with. The avuncular "Watch Dog" Tock will look fairly familiar to any regular viewer of Chuck's work on Warner Brothers' short cartoons. The Humbug and the Spelling Bee are reminiscent of Dr Seuss characters; Officer Short Shrift is somewhat more surreal but that only makes him stick in your mind all the more. The songs are lots of fun and you'll probably be humming them for a long time afterwards.

    All in all a great movie for kids, and Mums and Dads too. Pass the popcorn!
  • Like Chuck Jones' earlier "Gay Purr-ee," this is a good film for those who are looking for something good, if decidedly different, in family entertainment. Mel Blanc, June Foray, Shepard Menken, etc., contribute their usual outstanding voice work (The scenes with Blanc as "Officer Short Shrift," especially, are a howl!), and the visuals, as one would expect from Jones, are consistently outstanding and imaginative.

    Not that the film is without its' faults, by any means. The songs, by veterans Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, range from the clever ("Don't Say There's Nothing to Do in the Doldrums," "Time Is a Gift") to the treacly ("Henceforth and Forthwith"). The moralizing, more pronounced here than it was in the original Norton Juster book, gets to be a bit heavy-handed at times. And, finally, Butch Patrick (Best known as "Eddie Munster" on "The Munsters") plays Milo, the central character, as such a whiney little jerk, at least in the beginning, that it's hard to work up much sympathy for him as the story goes on. Plus, even though he was still short for his age, there was no disguising the fact that he was, in every other way, a fast-maturing fifteen year old, and, thus, just a bit too old for the procedngs.

    But, and I have to emphasize this again, don't let you stop you from seeing this movie. The result is more than the sum of its parts, and good, alternative family entertainment is what you get.
  • I remember seeing this on TV probably about 1973, possibly slightly later. I was 8 in 1973. Oh the memories!! They should show it more often!! I think it has only been on UK television twice in my lifetime and I am now 42.

    I still love some animated films, especially PIXAR movies as I appreciate the shading and rendering needed to make parts like the water in Ratatouille so amazingly realistic.

    Back to the Phantom Tolbooth, I think Disney or/and Pixar should re-make this film but I still love the original.

    Will buy it on DVD if ever it is released.
  • This movie is about a boy named milo. He is very bored with his life. One day , he comes home to discover a giant package in his bedroom . Milo then goes on a magical journey to rescue "rhyme and reason" . They are royalty of the two kingdoms of words and numbers. Along the way, Milo picks up a few friends to help him in his task. They eventually save "rhyme and reason" . Milo then goes home to a happier life. The animatiin was about the type of the Chuch Jone's "Looney Tunes". There is a segment with milo checking out the tollboth as a human and animated!!!This movie is fine for families, just do not expect any of the disney stuff they see all the time nowadays!!!!It has no swearing, violence or sex, so everyone under 10 can enjoy this classic underated movie!!!
  • A youngster from San Francisco, bored with school and with time to kill, is offered an educational round-trip from a Phantom Tollbooth; he turns animated and takes a journey to the Castle in the Sky, where Rhyme and Reason have been banished by Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, the feuding worlds of words and numbers who each believe they are most important. Uneven animated feature (with live-action prologue and epilogue featuring Butch Patrick) is an erratic but interesting adaptation of Norton Juster's book, punctuated with musical interludes (and some odd "Wizard of Oz"-isms). Veteran animator Chuck Jones co-wrote the script and co-directed the animated sequences (the first and final cartoon effort from MGM). Jones makes a mistake getting our young hero stuck in the Doldrums in the first act (there's no fascination in lethargy), but he picks up the pace soon after. Digitopolis has a nifty look (and lively Hans Conried as the MathemaGician), and there's a lovely "conducted" sunset and an exciting race to the castle. The animation is alternately crude, clumsy, expressive, colorful, and routine, and the songs are an equally mixed lot (they're pleasant, if not especially catchy). Patrick has a marvelous deep voice for a little kid, but he isn't given anything clever to say; better are Conried, June Foray and Mel Blanc in the voice-over department. Not too popular with child audiences at the time, this may have been a bit high-brow for the matinée crowds. If anything, the film has improved with age, and some of it is quite imaginative. **1/2 from ****
  • I very much enjoyed Phantom Tollbooth, a rare occurrence of the movie being worthy to the book. With weird music, great writing, and somewhat educational.

    The plot of this film is that there's this boy named Milo. He leads a crappy life because he can't make up his mind about anything, when ever he's inside he longs to be out, and whenever he's outside he long's to in (that was from the book). Well one day he find's this strange box. In the box, there's a freaky tollbooth that talks. Then afterwards there's this car that shows up, he gets in the car and goes on his quest for happiness.

    Even though it may seem like a acid trip when you see it, as the film goes on, you can tell that there's method to the madness. I would suggest this film to anyone.
  • seras-224 June 2006
    10/10
    Trippy
    This movie is amazing. I'm 24 and I have just seen it for the first time. I've watched it now with a 29 year old and a 34 year old and they both adored it.

    Not only does it give a message that every person needs to here at many different stages in their life *not just childhood*, but it's fun and entertaining.

    The songs are well worded and fun, the script is amazing. The art is trippy. The characters have incredible voices that take you back to Saturday morning cartoons.

    It's a movie that parents can enjoy with their kids, teenagers can enjoy with friends, and all people should agree it's like a tiny mind trip without the drugs.

    Anyone that can't find joy somewhere in this movie is stuck in the Doldrums!
  • I believe I saw this one on Cartoon Network a few years back, and I agree that it's a pretty good movie. It displays that language, and logic is an important factor, and this was inspiring for me at the time I saw this (I think it was before I turned 10). The animation was good, and the music was pretty good too. Overall, a nice animated adaption of Juster's great book, and another excellent animated feature from Chuck Jones.
  • Throughout his long career, the great and now sadly late Chuck Jones was involved with several feature-length compilations of Warner Bros. cartoons, but "The Phantom Tollbooth" was the only all-original movie he directed ("Gay Purr-ee" was from Abe Levitow, though he did co-write it). This was also one of the first movies I remember seeing - not in cinemas (the movie came out the year I was born!), but on BBC1 in the 1970s, and later on TV again in the 1980s.

    Norton Juster also provided the source material for Jones' truly wonderful Oscar-winning short "The Dot and the Line," and this movie is another happy marriage - although the songs are for the most part guilty of slowing down the action, and this movie is not as child-friendly as the medium would suggest (the writing and a lot of the imagery don't have "cute" written all over them), it's a treat for fans of Jones and of cartoons that at least try to have something to say.

    A lot of elements in the book obviously had to be left out (such as the half-child Milo meets while trying to get to the Land of Infinity ("Infinity is a dreadfully poor place - they can never manage to make ends meet"), and the man who's a thin man to fatties, a fat man to thinnies, a midget to tall men and a giant to those of diminished stature), and I'm not too sure having Milo see the tollbooth arrive and leave was such a good idea, but Jones and his team manage to bring Juster's fine work to the screen without damaging it en route. (Which isn't to say you shouldn't read it - in fact, I recommend it!)

    But those songs... unfortunately the idea that people wouldn't stand for cartoons that didn't have singing in them, like Mr. Jones, has been around for a long, long time. Pity.
  • Classic surrealistic Chuck Jones animated feature film (with some live action parts). It's an intelligent, entertaining movie. I would say educational as well but if your kid is able to learn from the fast-paced and often tongue-twisting wordage here then they are much smarter than I was as a tyke.

    The plot is about a young boy named Milo (Butch Patrick) who enters a mysterious tollbooth and is transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom. Accompanied by Tock, a watchdog who literally has a watch in his body, he has a series of adventures traveling through the various enchanted lands.

    It's a fun, smart, sophisticated movie that won't appeal to all. Sadly, I must cynically say it won't appeal to most kids of today. Another thing: the songs are nothing exceptional but not as bad as I've seen others say. Some of them are quite good. Don't let naysayers talk you out of trying this movie. If you love Chuck Jones or classic animation in general, it's definitely a must see.
  • Don't get me wrong - the Phantom Tollbooth is a great movie... For kids. I consider myself a big kid, personally, and many a movie I watched in my childhood still holds a special place for me (Transformers, The Dark Crystal, Sword in the Stone, etc.) but unfortunately I've outgrown the Phantom Tollbooth at age 22. I watched it again for the first time in years this week, and could only think two things:

    1) How it comes off as a poorly veiled Public Service Announcement (but still, a true one)

    and 2) how much I'd rather be watching Bugs Bunny. Hell, I don't even know which Maestro bit came first; the one from this, or when Bugs is conducting the orchestra.

    Either way, my point is that while the animation is great, it's still a Looney Tunes movie without the Looney Tunes, and while the message is a good one, it is far too heavy handed for many adults to take.

    Highly recommended for the young, mildly recommended for the old. (Oh, and I've never read the book - yet. Yeah, I'm a heretic, or something)
  • "What's to become of Milo?" That was the question posed by "Milo's Theme," the catchy pop tune co-written and produced by Lee Pockriss and Norman Gimbel, which opens Chuck Jones' 1969 film adaptation of Norton Juster's "The Phantom Tollbooth." I've seen the film myself, even during the early years of at least two of the Turner-owned networks: TNT and the Cartoon Network. But I want to take a moment to make these comments on Chuck Jones' Tollbooth because it has been, for the past decade or so, the result of a very special dream of mine. I'm Richard Washington, Founder and Chairman of Electric Pirates Entertainment. When I started EPE some fifteen years ago, one of the company's primary goals was to attempt a remake of the Tollbooth movie. Having seen it for myself, I knew a little something about the film's history. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had bought the rights to Tollbooth, along with Juster's second kids' book, The Dot and the Line, in around 1967; shortly thereafter, the management then in place at MGM assigned both properties to animation legend Chuck Jones, who by then was under contract to MGM. Basically, what management said to Chuck was: "Here are a couple of originals by Norton Juster. See what you can do about making one into a short subject; and the other into a 90-minute feature film." Essentially, Chuck did precisely what they'd told him to do. He not only made the short, bringing in actor Robert Morley to read the entire Juster text from The Dot and the Line, he also transformed "The Phantom Tollbooth" into a 90-minute feature --- i.e., an animated cartoon bookended by live-action sequences filmed on location in San Francisco, and starring Eddie Munster himself, Butch Patrick. This, I think, was Butch's last major starring role as a child actor. Once production on the Jones Tollbooth was completed and put in the can, the intent was to release Tollbooth, along with Dot & Line, at the 1969 Christmas season. However, the project somehow became involved in studio politics; the resulting double-bill was never given proper theatrical release until 1971 --- 2 1/2 years later, by which time MGM had fired all of its animation staff, including Jones. Thus what had been planned as MGM's first-ever animated feature ironically became the company's last-ever animated production. And that brings us to the part of this story concerning my very special dream: after having seen the Chuck Jones Tollbooth, I have spent the last several years tackling plans for a live-action, nonmusical remake of "The Phantom Tollbooth" --- in fact, I have actually spoken with Norton Juster himself about this! --- one that would basically correct the mistakes Chuck Jones had no doubt made when he filmed Tollbooth in late 1968. Mr. Juster has expressed his gratitude that I should want a new film version of his beloved book, but officially he has little to say on the matter in light of the fact that Chuck's 1969 film is, of course, part of the Turner Entertainment library. With that I have no quarrel. I'm simply saying that MGM should have waited for the magic of the movies to reach a sufficiently sophisticated stage in order to do proper cinematic justice to "The Phantom Tollbooth." That's why I have long believed that there are only two special effects powerhouses on the Planet which are capable of accomplishing such aims: namely, George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic and Jim Henson's Creature Shop! With their combined expertise in computer-generated characters, animatronic effects, special make-up techniques and other way-cool elements, only ILM and the Henson Shop could truly make the magic of "The Phantom Tollbooth" come alive --- especially for what George Lucas once called that "generation [doomed to grow up] without fairy tales." And I have wanted nothing less than to be the man to make it all --- and I do mean ALL! --- possible. "But Richard," I sense you're asking, "did you like the movie itself?" Yes. Artistically, Jones' Tollbooth is a visual treat; and its clever motive of taking the concepts of Juster's Dictionopolis and Digitopolis to literal extremes provides the largest degree of 'eye candy.' The film does, sadly fall short by making the two Princesses, Rhyme and Reason, mere silhouettes; that, alas, denies the viewer the pleasure of seeing how beautiful they really are. Of course, considering that this is a Chuck Jones film, one cannot fault the voice talents! Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, June Foray and Les Tremayne were old friends of Chuck's during '67; their voices alone were and are worth the price of the video, if you will (that was for the Amazon.com customers out there!). Lesser-known vocals --- Shep Menken, Patti Gilbert, Candy Candido and Larry Thor --- are also in the cast, along with Hans Conried, in his first non-Disney cartoon voice role (I think). The 9-member ensemble clearly mold and shape Butch Patrick's role of Milo into what he ultimately becomes by story's end: an emotionally stronger, and, perhaps, a remarkably better boy --- but at least, a boy no longer bored by the world. Well, I think I've given you some kind of idea as to what you can expect from Chuck Jones' 1969 version of "The Phantom Tollbooth." Of course, if I can bring ILM and the Henson Shop together, set up a production homebase at London's famous Pinewood Studios (that's where they do the Bond movies), and then scout for locations in and around my beloved New York City, I think I can do for "The Phantom Tollbooth" what Sidney Lumet and designer Tony Walton tried to do for "The Wiz". I estimate that I should have it all coming together and released by .....oh, around the year 2008, or thereabouts. Here's hoping I can do it!
  • The Grand Studio of the Lion was slowly dying when this musical for kids was released.

    I read the Norton Juster Book in '71 before seeing the film at a summer film series in my hometown public library. I loved Juster's book so much I read it twice. The movie "Tollbooth" I found faithful to the book, but I didn't like the way the characters were animated. Tock should have had his watch on the outside of his body, and having silhouettes for Princesses Rhyme and Reason instead of regular women was bad. Putting Officer Short Shrift on wheels was creative, though.

    Butch Patrick was interesting to see without his Eddie Munster makeup. However, I didn't like his disbelief and precocious cynicism about the tollbooth at the beginning. The book Milo was much more mellow and willing to believe that the fantastic could happen. He calmly investigated and assembled the tollbooth kit (it just springs to life in the movie). After Patrick got into the animated world, he calmed down a little.

    Not an animated masterpiece, but an OK cartoon for smaller kids (boredom expected for over 9).
  • theshinepolice10 January 2011
    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is one of my favorite books. Unfortunately the movie does not do it justice. It does not come together in the same way the book did. I am not saying that all film adaptations should follow the book strictly, but the film should at least stand on it's own. I just feel like the movie was quite rushed and did not take time to explain things. The animation was also rushed too. The whole movie just seemed rushed. Weren't half baked ideas frowned upon in the movie? How ironic!

    A lot of my favorite part of the book were also skipped, such as most of the forest of sight where Milo learns about perspective. Milo's adventure in the valley of sound was also skipped. Milo also did not meet the child from infinity. Tock was also far too patronizing and did not preach as much in the book, where his character was far less perfect and more believable. The order in which Milo hits his destinations, such as Chroma's place, and Dr. Dischord's van also made more sense in the book and probably should have been followed more strictly in the movie, for the sake of the story's flow. Even for children, the film is much too choppy.

    The end was also very cheesy because it was sung. In fact, most of the songs were overkill.

    Maybe this book just isn't meant to be made into a film. It isn't exactly subtle and is more of a concept or "how to" type of story where the metaphors are more obvious. Film translates ideas a bit more subtly, with dialog, action, etc. Bad guys being defeated by a pencil firing the words "truth" just doesn't make for a good film. Oh well, maybe another producer will pull off the Phantom Tollbooth in a better way, but for now, read the book; the story flows much more nicely when it is read.
  • As a child I read Juster's book over and over. It is one of my all-time-favorite children's books. Then, some time later, I watched the movie on television. The animation was good, and the story was fairly true to the book (which isn't always necessary), but the characters just didn't live up to my "great" expectations. I know that it is difficult, if not impossible, for a movie's makers to match the incredible imagery that a reader's mind can conjure, which could account for some of the disappointment. I also think the movie could have done without the singing. Could one imagine the effect of making Lord of the Rings into a musical would have done to its chances for an Oscar bid?

    At any rate, my older son has read the book now, a number of times, and has seen the movie (in school). He agrees with this assessment, only more vehemently.
  • I have always preferred to watch a film rather than read its book (a mixture of laziness and becoming bored quickly). I saw this film when I was in my mid-teens, after reading the book a couple of times. I am now thirty-eight and this is still the one film that I use as an example of the one time that my habit was not rewarded.

    I have read the book about five times now, it is exceptional; the film is insignificant.
  • Turner Classic Movies presented this during a tribute to the legendary Chuck Jones.

    It is not regular Jones fare. But it is intriguing.

    "Phantom Tollbooth" is apparently somewhat of an educational film, but it is not -- how could it be, coming from Jones? -- stuffy.

    Instead, it is whimsical, with some subtle humor for people not in need of education, for example the "senses taker."

    Part of the joy is in the performers. Hans Conried, for example, so often played a character who could be stuffy, who was so insistent on words and their correct pronunciation. To hear him as the MathemaGician and harping on the superiority of numbers -- How could there be Tea for Two without the Two? -- was funny-bone jarring.

    In the TV listings, the only stars mentioned were Butch Patrick and June Foray. Butch Patrick is still very busy but I bet he will always be best known for his "Munsters" portrayal.

    And that's really too bad, since he is, in fact, and without the garish make-up, a very handsome young man in this movie.

    June Foray, on the other hand, is known almost entirely as a voice (especially as -- Hokie Smokie -- Rocket J. Squirrel), even though she is and was a beautiful and funny and creative person, even without someone else's script -- and utterly charming.

    Her friends in Los Angeles loved to phone her home and hope she wouldn't be there ... so they could listen to her hilarious answering machine messages.

    Other voices included the extraordinary Mel Blanc and Daws Butler, the great radio star (who also did a few movies, though not enough to suit me) Les Tremayne, and others whom we've all heard even if we didn't realize it at the time.

    Purely as a theatrical experience, "Phantom Tollbooth" might not be for everyone, but surely every person who frequents IMDb will want to see it.

    I recommend it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I remember this film I was always fondly attached to, mainly because its just such an enjoyable little film. It encompasses that nostalgic feel of animations together with a lovely and quite innocent little story. When I was younger, I didn't exactly pay much attention to the plot, but the idea of being able to get into a car that builds itself in your room and somehow become animated was just exhilarating to my young imagination and it probably will be to other children of that age.

    The film begins with Milo, a young boy with way too much time on his hands. Spending another bored afternoon in his apartment, he comes across a strange present in his living room. Opening it up, a tollbooth and car magically form. On the tollbooth, a megaphone gives Milo instructions to get in the car and enter the tollbooth, taking him into another world of mad fun. This world has every strange creature that was ever conceived going around at once. It has the sludge like dull-drums which feed off the exhaustion of those who are unfortunate to travel within their swamp like surroundings and a Police Officer on one wheel who enjoys branding people Guilty until proved innocent on some of the most moronic charges. After a while, he comes across Tock the Dog, a Guard Dog with an Alarm Clock ticking inside him. Together, he and Milo travel to the Kingdom of Words where they meet the Humbug (a sarcastic charlatan who is rather simple minded) and the King of Words, who is in a feud with his brother, the King of Maths after the pair disagreed on whether Maths or Words were more important. Soon Milo finds himself on a quest with Tock and the Humbug to find the Princesses locked in the Castle in the Air, who hope to restore order and peace to the world. After stopping off at the King of Maths, the trio are now armed with the tools needed to face the various ghouls and demons that await them on their journey ahead. Can Milo and his friends make it to the Castle? Can they successfully defeat the dangerous monsters that await them? Only the movie can tell you...
  • Bones72922 November 2002
    The book's ending is disappointing compared to that of the movie. In the movie Milo actually faces the demons instead of just running away from them.

    Anyway, this is a great movie, just because it's so unique. The tollbooth completely turns Milo's life around. That's always a great thing to behold. 10/10.
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