MGM's first feature-length cartoon is about a bored child who drives through a magic turnpike and learns from the (too) many strange characters he meets that the world is really a very interesting place. The Norton Juster book it's based on obviously aspired to become a children's classic, being a very moral tale indeed. But although all its teaching is sensible (learning words and numbers can be useful, mistakes don't matter as long as you try), there are just too many lessons here for most kids to take in, and not enough conventional cartoon humour to sugar the pill. But there are some very nice ideas to get older children's imaginations working, particularly the professor who conducts the sunrise from a podium, and a well-directed live action prologue and epilogue.
Cast and crew
Chuck Jones, Abe Levitow animation, Dave Monahan
Chuck Jones, Sam Rosen