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Fridge / The Phantom Tollbooth

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Fridge Brilliance

  • Officer Shrift's ridiculous prison sentences and nonchalance about seeing someone out and about well before the several million years are up make perfect sense when you remember he's an authority in Dictionopolis, where numbers don't matter. He has no idea just how big or little any number, be it two or six million, really is.
  • Of course Canby jumps to Conclusions all the time. The way that he gives hints about his name ("I'm as stupid as can be", etc) is chock full of them! Because even after he grows to giant-size when he says he's "tall as can be", it'd still be hypothetically possible for him to grow taller still, same as Milo's guess at the number of greatest possible magnitude can still be added to.
  • Film only: There are two easily-missed moments hinting that Azaz and the Mathemagician aren't as irreconcilable as they like to pretend. Azaz says "Things which are just as bad also are equally good," a mathematical idea. And in the Mathemagician's song, he refers to numbers as "Dewey Decimal dearies," referring to the Dewey Decimal System of organizing books. Also their songs aside from differing emphasis on numbers/words and tones, are essentially the same song.
  • Film only: While the other characters have smooth designs as expected of Jones' later works, with the exception of the Terrible Trivium- who looks inviting because it suits his manipulative nature more, the Demons all have rough and sketchy lines to their designs- symbolizing their chaotic nature.
    • Additionally characters like the Lethargians and the Awful Dyne both have unstable designs because they lack order for different reasons- the former are too lazy to remain in one shape and the latter is a cloud of dissonant noise.
  • The Humbug should have known that he hadn't named the biggest number he could think of (9,999,999,000,999 9/10), even excusing unfamiliarity with infinity — he completely zeroed out the thousands, and he didn't fully extend the trillions of places.
  • Both the Lethargians and ultimately the Demons have one thing in common, they both can combine into larger forms and lack the individuality of the heroes, which makes sense given their themes. The former is too lazy and actively tries to avoid effort, thus doesn't attempt to make the conscious choice to establish uniqueness as they will literally blend into and split out from each other without care. In the case of the latter, they are a collective of ignorant personifications of evil, who give off the pretense of being individualized with their evils. Still, when truly pushed to a corner, they will blend into mindless beasts to instinctively crush their enemies. While good can make the effort to find commonality between others to make up for their differences evil tends to cave into collective mentality when they're not intentionally loners, joining as one creature because they're all ultimately facets of the same concept on a fundamental level. They lack the creativity to apply their specialized talents and resort to brute force due to their ignorance.

Fridge Horror

  • Film only: The Lethargians, unlike the book, where they just happened to align from a pre-Character Development Milo's mindset on laziness and didn't have nefarious purposes, reveal themselves to be very insidious and sinister, wanting Milo to become completely devoid of effort including breathing and thought for an unknown yet heavily implied disturbing outcome, which have two equally creepy implications. Either they're planning to have him killed or be absorbed into the consciousness of the implied Lethargian hive-mind- with Milo being implied being the latest of countless victims that ended up there.
  • Fim only: While the Gelatinous Giant was going to eat them and the Demon of Insincerity was just going to intimidate them into submission, the Terrible Trivium