Played by: Macaulay Culkin
A young boy who has a severe phobia of everything and lives a life based on the statistics of accident occurrences. Sent out to the hardware store by his concerned father, Richard gets caught in a storm and takes shelter in a library. Knocking himself out by slipping on a wet floor, he becomes an animated character and ventures on a journey through the library's fiction section to find the exit.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: He believes everything is trying to hurt him in some shape or form. This becomes quite real in the animated world.
- False Crucible: It turns out everything that Richard went through was just a test by the Pagemaster. Needless to say, Richard does not take it very well.
- Genre Blindness: He apparently has read little-to-no literature in his life.
- Hypocritical Humor: When his father falls from the treehouse after Richard drops a bucket of nails on his head, Richard tells his father he cannot argue with statistics. Now who was it who dropped the bucket in the first place?
- Knight in Shining Armor: To battle the dragon.
- Logical Fallacies: Richard follows his life based on the statistics of how many accidents can occur in just about every scenario. As the main page points out, "8% of all household accidents involve ladders. Another 3% involve trees. We're looking at 11% probability here." First, Richard is ignoring some overlap between the 8% and the 3%. Secondly, he's assuming that an accident will happen, in which case the probability that it involves ladders is 8%, but that doesn't tell us anything about the chances that this specific ladder-climbing event will lead to an accident. What he needs is a statistic in the form of "X% of the time somebody climbs a ladder, they have an accident" rather than "X% of all accidents involve ladders."
- Ludicrous Precision: See Logical Fallacies above. In this case, of course, his precision is far more ludicrous than is average for this trope.
The titular character and guardian of literature and reading. He sends Richard on his journey to find the exit, hoping he will overcome his fears. Possibly related to, or is, Mr. Dewey.
- Badass Bookworm: His clothes, his staff and even his beard all seem to be made out of pages.
- Guile Hero: It's revealed that he deliberately sent Richard on his dangerous journey so he could conquer his phobias.
- Magic Staff: Shaped in the form of a scroll.
- Pet the Dog: Sends Richard back to his own world after Richard successfully overcomes his fears.
- Physical God: He's implied to be something like this in his world, judging by how the three books react to him.
A friendly but mysterious librarian who gives Richard his library card. It appears he does not get many visitors to the library and is quite enthusiastic at getting people to check out the books.
- Bookworm: This is clear based on his enthusiasm to give Richard a book.
- Meaningful Name: He's named after the Dewey Decimal System which is used to organize books in libraries.
- Scary Librarian: Subverted, since he only wants people to check out books.
- Secret Keeper: Seems to know what happened to Richard, but might actually be the Pagemaster. It's possible that he knows of the events that happen, thus why he allows Richard to take Horror, Adventure and Fantasy.
A talking book who is an adventurous, daring pirate. He meets Richard after he crashes a book cart into his shelf, Adventure spotting his library card and accompanies Richard to find the exit so he can be checked out.
A sassy book from the fantasy section. Mis-shelved, Fantasy meets Richard by chance and agrees to guide him through the library in exchange for checking her out.
- Ship Tease: With Adventure, though she doesn't seem to want it.
The third of Richard's book companions. Horror is a misshaped book who Richard meets in the horror section, and they quickly bond due to their timid nature, but both learn to become braver over time.
- All There in the Manual: Word of God states that Horror was created with a misshapen spine, and his parents were an encyclopedia and a paperback book. As a result, Horror feels he has been mis-shelved in life and wants to gain a happy ending.
Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
The first literary character met in the film. According to the source material, Jekyll has created a potion (which here looks like a cocktail martini) to separate one's dark side from their body
. Things didn't go as planned and his dark side took over as Mr. Hyde.
- Ambition Is Evil: Wants to help mankind, but ends up becoming a full-on psychopath.
- Ax-Crazy: It comes to mind whether or not Hyde was partially influenced by Jack the Ripper, another murderer of the same vintage.
- Big Bad: While not in the film, unfortunately. Hyde becomes the Big Bad in the PC game.
- Body Horror: Like in the book he was from, Jekyll completely changes when he becomes Hyde. We get a brief glimpse of this when he grabs Richard and his hand begins to get hairier.
- Disney Villain Death: Overlaps with He's Just Hiding. We never find out Hyde's ultimate fate after falling through the hole in his floor.
Played by: George Hearn
The second literary character in the film. Ahab, like in the book he was from, is dead-set on killing Moby Dick.
Long John Silver
The third literary character met in the film. Like in the book, Long John has rallied a band of pirates to find Flint's trove on Treasure Island
- Handicapped Badass: Needs to use a crutch in order to walk.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Like in the book, while he is a villain nonetheless, he is actually quite nice to Richard, reflecting how he treated Jim in the original story. In the climax, he congratulates Richard on facing his fears.
- Large Ham: Well, he is a pirate and voiced by Jim Cummings after all.