The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster published The Phantom Tollbooth in 1961 and Chuck Jones adapted it for an animated film in 1970 with the voice talents of Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, June Foray and other greats.  While it has some definitely Enlightenment inspired themes (the villains are the "demons of ignorance") it has some genuinely wondrous moments, for example, the goal throughout is to rescue the Princesses Rhyme and Reason.  Or Tock's song praises "contemplation."  The basic plot centers around a bored little boy named Milo who is mysteriously sent a "phantom tollbooth."  Upon passing through, Milo finds himself in a wacky world peopled with strange characters and divided by feuding brothers from Dictionopolis and Digitopolis.

Sadly, you can't get the amazing film from Netflix or most rental stores.  It is available on DVD from Amazon.com. Perhaps you can find an aging VHS copy at your library or watch it on Youtube here.

Here is one great clip where Milo tries to conduct the sunset--with disastrous effect.

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