I watched this movie in French, but it was obviously in a very American suburban setting. A shy little boy has no friends to play with and is even afraid to ride his bicycle. His only pleasure is reading, so he spends all his free time in the public library.

One day, someone (maybe the librarian, or just some other adult in the library, I don't remember) starts a conversation with him. He advises the boy to read a specific book. All this happens in the real world, with actors.

The boy starts to read the book and "falls into" a fantastic world, which is an animation, though IIRC, he is represented as a real person, not as an animated alias. There are lots of things that happen there which I totally forgot.

The only other thing that I remember is that when he "emerges" back into the "real world", his virtual experiences have made him more "adventurous". At least, he is not afraid anymore to ride his bicycle...

  • 2
    Never Ending Story?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented May 25 at 21:01
  • 1
    @MrLister Neverending Story is live-action in both worlds, while OP says the fantasy world is an animation. Commented May 25 at 21:06
  • 1
    Given a lot of the memories are quite vague, the difference between animation and puppets may also have been mixed up. Neverending Story fits the main premise.
    – Michael
    Commented May 25 at 21:16
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    Although that suggestion then reminded me of the Pagemaster which is a better fit, including the animation and the cycling.
    – Michael
    Commented May 25 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


I would suggest The Pagemaster from 1994, starring Macaulay Culkin.

Culkin plays Richard Tyler, a nervous child. He takes shelter from a storm in a library, where the librarian tells him to take a special book. Richard slips on water, gets knocked out, and enters (or hallucinates) a fantasy world - the movie changes from live action to animation at this point.

His experiences in the fantasy world leave him more adventurous; a review on IMDB notes that:

The Pagemaster sends Rich back to the library, where he awakens. The librarian helps Rich up, and Rich checks out three books - Adventure, Fantasy, and Horror. Rich rides his bike home, a braver and changed boy. Rich's parents find him sleeping in his tree house, with his three books by his side.

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    And there is a bicycle scene as well: youtu.be/… Commented May 25 at 21:55
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    Definitely Pagemaster. Now you mentioned them, I remember the three books.
    – Alfred
    Commented May 25 at 22:21

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