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Join Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer, Milo & Tock, and many others to celebrate the now and then of the classic 1961 children's book
Join Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer, Milo & Tock, and many others to celebrate the now and then of the classic 1961 children's book
Join Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer, Milo & Tock, and many others to celebrate the now and then of the classic 1961 children's book
419 backers pledged $31,226 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Hannah Jayanti 2-time creator on

      Hey Anthony!

      Sorry that you feel that way. We completely understand if you and other first time backers don't want to back our 2nd Kickstarter, and we don't expect you to given how generous all were the first time around!

      We just wanted to let you know where we were at, and try our best to explain the reasons that we need additional funding even though we got more than we asked for on our 1st Kickstarter. Our mistake was not anticipating the actual budget involved with the film, or the time it takes. And for that we apologize, but hope that we have been open about our process and the challenges along the way.

      The film could not have gotten to where it is now without all of your support - so thank you again, and we're excited to have the film so close to completion.

    2. Anthony

      So, I check my email to see a note for a second KS to raise $14k when your first one raised you $15K more than expected? Yeah, that's not going to happen on this end.

    3. Hannah Jayanti 2-time creator on

      Hi Anthony! Maybe a little bit ;) No, but seriously, we've been working diligently on getting the film out! And we really appreciate everyone's patience in it taking longer than we had anticipated. Are you connected with us on Facebook ( - we've been keeping our page updated with the film's progress throughout the months.

      It looks like we may have to wait to get you the film until Fall 2013 - but we'll keep you updated along the way. Feel free to email at, if you want more info about the film! Or get in touch on our page. Happy to answer any questions!

      Thanks again!
      Hannah (& the crew!)

    4. Anthony

      So...17 months the crew stuck in the doldrums?

    5. Lisa Kadonaga on

      Hey, compared with some of the things people have already said on this thread about the influence this book has had on their lives (especially Meaghan!), I got nuthin'! But it did reassure me as a child that I wasn't alone in liking awful puns. And to this day, when I'm walking down the street, I always stop and look around at the buildings, in the hope that it'll keep the neighborhood from disappearing.

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      MediaJolt on

      I read the book when I was12 years old. My family had just moved to Memphis from Denver, and it was quite the cultural shock. We didn't stay long. I had a book on the early comic book heroes written by Jules Feiffer, and through that, I discovered "The Phantom Tollbooth." It brought some sense to the chaos of my life at the time, and I can't count the number of times I re-read it. I also recall reading it to a Wendy Carlos rendition of a selection from Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier," so the music and the book are now inextricably linked to each other. I'm certain my memories will be linked to this film as well, which I eagerly await!

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      Ida Stein on

      While I don't always remember the first time I was introduced to particular books, I do remember the first time I read The Phantom Tollbooth. I was six or so (I started reading very young) and my aunt was visiting New York City from California and took me to Barnes & Noble and promptly sat me down and handed me The Phantom Tollbooth and Matilda and said "you need to read these books. You'll love them." And I did.

    8. Andrew Fry on

      I have four kids. Each of them has received a hardback copy of the book to keep, and I read it to all of them when they were younger. I also had the pleasure of playing the Mathemagician in the children's musical production of the Phantom Tollbooth. Looking forward to the documentary.

    9. Amanda Rudd on

      My first exposure to The Phantom Tollbooth was actually through the 1970 animated movie. I think I was 5 or 6 when I saw it. And I fell in love. I borrowed that book from the library at least a dozen times when I was in elementary school. It's been years now since the last time I read it, but if I ever have kids, it'll be right there at the top of the list of books to read to my children, right beside The Chronicles of Narnia and The Boxcar Children.

      I must admit, I was sorely tempted by the signed copy of the book in the $275 pledge range, but I'm a broke phd student and it was just too steep for me. Also, I really LOVE the way the infographic looks, and it looks like none of the individual pledge gifts follow up to the next pledge level. Sadly. That might have convinced me to just go for it. Heh.

      In any case, I absolutely cannot wait to see how this film turns out! It's going to be amazing, I just know it.

    10. Missing avatar

      Carolyn on

      I can't wait to see what the movie looks like! I have loved this book since I read it for the first time!

    11. Missing avatar

      Joey H. on

      This is my favorite book of all time. I read it as a little kid, and pretty much every year after that, and I love it just as much now that I get all the references as when I was a kid and couldn't quite process characters like Alec Bings. For 30 years this book has inspired me; my hardback copy signed to me from Mr. Juster is one of my most prized possessions. The least I can do is help this project out!

    12. Jacqueline Skelton on

      As an inveterate reader I cannot believe I have never heard of this book before today. Although I cannot afford to pledge at the level to get the book I did pledge for the DVD and immediately place a preorder on the book at Amazon. And I just might have to check it out of the library so I don't have to wait for delivery day.

    13. ML Hart on

      My 5th grade teacher read to us every day after lunch, and The Phantom Tollbooth was one of our treats. I'd always been a reader, but this book opened my eyes to the possibilities of wordplay. Thank you, Norton Juster! and thanks for giving us this behind-the-curtain look at it all.

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      Lisa Herzstein on

      Best wishes with this film! My mother found this book when it first came out when I was around 8; she was the one who told my school library to get copies. I still have my 1961 edition of the book, and although the cover has some tears, it's in remarkably good shape given that it's been subjected to over 100 readings, most of them by me. It's never left my top 10 list of favorite books, and I'm an avid reader.

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      kathryn on

      The Phantom Tollbooth kickstarted my love of words & it's so funny to meet others who have been inspired by Juster. Congrats on getting funded - my first time contributing to a Kickstarter project!

    16. Joe Messina on

      I remember my mom buying this book at one of my elementary school's book fairs. I loved the illustrations and dove right in. Forty years later I think about it whenever I'm in the Doldrums.

    17. Kayo Shibano on

      The first time I had read this book in elementary school, English was my second language but I understood enough to love the story. I then read it again later in life and I remember thinking, 'OMG, this book is fantastic!' when I discovered all the wordplay I had missed the first time around. Can't wait to see the documentary!

    18. H Lynnea

      Oh, I love this book, and I'm so happy to see this project! This book is what made me realize from a young age just how awesome language is.

    19. Terry Michael Gammon on

      Hope this movie comes to the Hot Docs film festival as I would love to see it on the big screen with my gf (phantom tollbooth is her favourite childhood film) and the director in attendance.

    20. Hannah Jayanti 2-time creator on

      Another comment from a backer reminding why we're making this film:

      "That book was utterly seminal in my life. I wouldn't be who I am or likely do what I do without it. My wife and I named our son Milo. How could I NOT back your film? :) Can't wait to see it!"

    21. Hannah Jayanti 2-time creator on

      Excited to announce a new reward. Infographics print at $70 level - beautifully designed, beautifully printed, beautifully Phantom Tollbooth. Thanks to Jan Avendano who designed it and allowed us to share it with you!

    22. Andrew Douglass on

      Ironically I hope never to read TPT again. I remember it from when I was little and bought a copy for my older son before he was even born. It was his first chapter book when he was about 7, the first where, while reading it to him, he started pointing out lots of words and getting excited about it. (They were "ee" words like tree and see. The Alec Bing passage?) ... Anyway, he demanded that we read it again cover to cover. And again. And again. I read it eight f'ing times in a row. (Now that's love.)

      An amazing book. That I can't read. Maybe to my grandchildren....

    23. JJ Casas on

      Am definitely excited to see this funded and watch the documentary!

    24. Kyle McCowin on

      Right you are. I somehow misread that as a signed copy of the DVD instead of the book.

    25. Anders Smith on

      Kyle, the $275 level and above all include a signed copy as one of the rewards.

      Now I just need to find $200 so I can get one.

    26. Kyle McCowin on

      I'm a little surprised none of the rewards involve signed copies of TPT or The Odious Ogre (though I admittedly have not yet read TOO)

    27. Hannah Jayanti 2-time creator on

      I'm thrilled to hear these stories. Meaghan, hope you don't mind but I couldn't resist posting your comment on our blog. This is why I make films!

    28. Missing avatar

      Suriya on

      The comment below is absurdly cute.

    29. Anders Smith on

      I'm the second generation to go through the Tollbooth. The book was the only good thing to come out of third grade for my mom, and it reinforced a love of language and wordplay that persists to this day. Looking forward to seeing how many more this wonderful story has touched through this film.

    30. Missing avatar

      Meaghan on

      Here is my story about The Phantom Tollbooth.

      When I went off to college in 1997 I took my beat up copy of the book as a kind of literary security blanket.

      There was a boy in the room next door who also had a copy on his bookshelf. We started dating pretty much right away. We got married a few years after graduation. And earlier this year we welcomed our first child. His middle name is Milo.