Part of its charm was the nostalgic roots the film held, and with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland coming out next week another of our childhood classics comes to the screen.
Some of you may remember Norman Juster’s anarchic, witty book The Phantom Tollbooth, and maybe more of you will have seen the legendary Chuck Jones bringing the story to life in his 1970 film, but it is often forgotten under the weight of more popular childhood reads. As the movie was unavailable here in the UK at the time I discovered its existence I had to plough through eBay to find a VHS, yes – a video tape, of the film.
The news today, from Pajiba (via the always excellent FirstShowing) that Pleasantville director Gary Ross is teaming up with Warner Bros to develop an adaptation of the book had me smiling. The story concerns Milo who encounters, and passes through the titular tollbooth and is swept away to a magical kingdom.
The book worked extremely well on the page as it used the idioms of language to its literal extreme, hence Tock the Watchdog with a Clockface on its body, and the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason, as well as the wonderfully named Faintly Macabre. The book reveled in a love for the nonsense and use of language.
Gary Ross is looking for a writer to bring this world to the screen and I for one can’t wait to take another walk in Digitopolis.