Chuck Amuck: A Chuck Jones Birthday Celebration!

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In The Phantom Tollbooth, directed by Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow, and based on the classic children’s book by Norman Juster, a young boy named Milo (played by Butch Patrick, aka “Eddie” from The Munsters) is bored with his life in San Francisco. After driving his toy car into a gigantic, wrapped-and-ribboned box, young Milo passes through the Phantom Tollbooth and finds himself in an animated fantasy land where letters and numbers are at war with each other. Soon young Milo is hurled into a magical, musical adventure of warring kingdoms, fabulously weird creatures, demons, twin Princesses named Rhyme and Reason and a tick-tick-ticking dog named Tock (who happens to be a watchdog, of course). Bookended by live-action action sequences and featuring a stellar voice cast including Mel Blanc, June Foray and Daws Butler, The Phantom Tollbooth is a fun and imaginative tale filled with the wonderful animation that could only spring from the mind and hands of the masterful Chuck Jones. (Dir. by Chuck Jones & Abe Levitow, 1970, USA, 90 mins., Rated G) Digital