Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and based on the story The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It is the second animated film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Made after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio was released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 7, 1940.
The plot of the film involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto who carves a wooden puppet named Pinocchio who is brought to life by a blue fairy, who tells him he can become a real boy if he proves himself "brave, truthful, and unselfish". Thus begin the puppet's adventures to become a real boy, which involve many encounters with a host of unsavory characters.
The film was adapted by Aurelius Battaglia, William Cottrell, Otto Englander, Erdman Penner, Joseph Sabo, Ted Sears, and Webb Smith from Collodi's book. The production was supervised by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske, and the film's sequences were directed by Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, and Bill Roberts.
Pinocchio won two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Score and one for Best Original Song for the song "When You Wish upon a Star".
- Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards) - A cricket who acts as the partial narrator of the story and who eventually becomes Pinocchio's conscience.
- Pinocchio (Dickie Jones) - The wooden muppet made by Geppetto and turned into a living puppet by the Blue Fairy.
- Geppetto (Christian Rub) - A toymaker who creates Pinocchio and wishes for him to become a real boy.
- Figaro - Gepetto's black and white house cat.
- Cleo - Gepetto's goldfish Figaro's love interest.
- J. Worthington "Honest John" Foulfellow (Walter Catlett) - A sly fox who tricks Pinocchio.
- Gideon (Mel Blanc) - Honest John's feline accomplice, and a minor antagonist
- Stromboli (Charles Judels) - A large Italian puppet maker who forces Pinocchio to perform onstage in order to make money.
- The Coachman - A corrupt coachman who owns and operates Pleasure Island.
- The Blue Fairy (Evelyn Venable) - The magical fairy who causes Pinocchio to become alive and who eventually turns him into a real boy.
- Lampwick (Frankie Darro) - A naughty boy Pinocchio meets on his way to Pleasure Island.
- Monstro - The whale that swallows Geppetto, Figaro, and Cleo whole during their search for Pinocchio.
The plan for the original film was considerably different from what was released. Numerous characters and plot points, many of which came from the original novel, were used in early drafts. But Walt Disney was displeased with the work that was being done and called a halt to the project midway into production so that the concept could be rethought and the characters redesigned. An illustration from the original production can be seen here.
Originally, Pinocchio was to be depicted as a wise guy, equally rambunctious and sarcastic, just like in the original novel. He looked exactly like a real wooden puppet with, among other things, a long pointed nose, a peaked cap, and bare wooden hands. But Walt found that no one could really sympathize with such a character and so the designers had to redesign the puppet as much as possible. Eventually, they revised the puppet to make him look more like a real boy, with, among other things, a button nose, a child's Tyrolean hat, and regular, four-fingered hands with Mickey Mouse-type gloves on them. The only parts of him that still looked more or less like a puppet were his arms and legs.
Additionally, it was at this stage that the character of the cricket was expanded. Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards) became central to the story. Originally, he was depicted as an actual (or at least a less anthropomorphized) cricket with toothed legs and waving anntenae. But again Walt wanted someone more likable, so Ward Kimball conjured up "a little man with no ears. That was the only thing about him that was like an insect."
Mel Blanc (most famous for voicing Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and many other Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters from the Warner Bros. classic theatrical animation line-up), was hired to perform the voice of Gideon the Cat, who was Foulfellow the Fox's sidekick. However, it was eventually decided for Gideon to be mute (just like Dopey, whose whimsical, Harpo Marx-style persona made him one of Snow White's most comic and popular characters) and all of Blanc's recorded dialogue in this film had been deleted, save for one military hiccup, which was heard three times in the film.
According to Leonard Maltin's book, The Disney Films, "With Pinocchio, Disney reached not only the height of his powers, but the apex of what many of his (later) critics considered to be the realm of the animated cartoon."
Release: reactions and criticismsEdit
Pinocchio was not commercially successful when first released, and Disney only recouped about half of its $2.3 million budget, which was due in part to poor timing, with the cut-off of European markets, due to World War II. By the time the film was released, the mood of Americans had also darkened, also due to the war. People just weren't as keen on seeing fairy tales as they were in the days of Snow White.
But there were other reasons why Pinocchio didn't quite pan out on initial release. One thing that Snow White had that Pinocchio didn't was romance. There wasn't much in the way of "falling-in-love-at-first-sight" in Pinocchio as there had been in Snow White, which apparently was what people had come to expect of in Disney. To add insult to injury, Paolo Lorenzini, nephew of the original story's author, had beseeched the Italian Ministry of Popular Culture to charge Walt for slander in portraying Pinocchio "so he easily could be mistaken for an American," when it was perfectly obvious that the little puppet was in fact Italian. Nothing had apparently come of the protest.
Nevertheless, there were positive reactions to the movie, as well. Archer Winsten, who had criticized Snow White, wrote: "The faults that were in Snow White no longer exist. In writing of Pinocchio, you are limited only by your own power of expressing enthusiasm." Also, despite the poor timing of the release, the film did do well both critically and at the box office in the United States. Finally, Jiminy Cricket's song, "When You Wish Upon a Star," became a major hit and is still identified with the film, and later as a fanfare for The Walt Disney Company itself. Pinocchio also won the Academy Award for Best Song and the Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and in 1994 was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2005, Time.com named it one of the 100 best movies of the last 80 years. Overall, Pinocchio is considered a true-blue classic today, and many film historians consider this to be the most technically perfect of all the Disney animated features while numerous people in general hail it as one of the most beautifully animated ever.
Re-releases: theatrical and home videoEdit
With the re-release of Snow White in 1944 came the tradition of re-releasing Disney films every seven to ten years. Pinocchio has been theatrically re-released in 1945, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1978, 1984, and 1992. The 1992 re-issue was digitally restored by cleaning and removing scratches from the original negatives one frame at a time, eliminating age-old soundtrack distortions, and revitalizing the color. The film also received three video releases in 1985 being a hot-seller, 1993, (both of those releases were released as Walt Disney Classics videos) and 1999 as a 60th Anniversary edition. It also had a Disney DVD "Limited Issue" release that year before it was added to the Gold Classic Collection in 2000. It was also released on a special edition DVD overseas in 2003.
Pinocchio theatrical release historyEdit
Pinocchio home video release historyEdit
Cast and crewEdit
Songs in filmEdit
The songs in Pinocchio were composed by Leigh Harline, Oliver Wallace, Ned Washington and Frank Churchill. Paul J. Smith composed the incidental music score.
- "When You Wish Upon a Star" - Jiminy Cricket; Chorus
- "Little Wooden Head" - Geppetto
- "Give a Little Whistle" - Jiminy Cricket; Pinocchio
- "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor's Life for Me)" - J. Worthington Foulfellow
- "I've Got No Strings" - Pinocchio
- "When You Wish Upon a Star (Reprise)" - Jiminy Cricket; Chorus
Songs written for film but not usedEdit
- "I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow" - Jiminy Cricket (this song eventually showed up in Fun and Fancy Free)
- "As I Saying To the Duchess" - J. Worthington Foulfellow
- "Three Cheers For Anything" - Lampwick; Pinocchio
- "Monstro the Whale" - Chorus
- Lampwick is caricatured after Disney animator Fred Moore.
- The August 1993 issue of Playboy cited 43 instances of violence and other unfavorable behavior in the film, including 23 instances of battery, nine acts of property damage, three slang uses of the term "jackass" (respectively by Coachman, Jiminy Cricket, and Lampwick), three acts of violence involving animals, two shots of male nudity, and one instance of implied death.
- The pool hall at Pleasure Island is in the shape of a giant eight ball with a tall cue-shaped structure standing nearby. This is a neat takeoff on the Trylon and the Perisphere at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
- "When You Wish Upon a Star" was ranked #7 in the American Film Institute's 100 Top Movie Songs of All Time, the highest ranking on the list among Disney animated films.
- Among the debris inside the Model Home (which is open for destruction), a print of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Mona Lisa" can be seen.
- One film reviewer compared Pinocchio's first movements and words to the history of cinematic animation itself: the invention of animation ("I can move!"), the advent of sound film ("I can talk!"), and the limitations of animations of cinema itself, the reminder that it's all an illusion ("I can walk!", followed by a stumble).
- The Blue Fairy was animated using the rotoscope technique.
- Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Jiminy Cricket, as well as most of the other Pinocchio characters, appear as regular guest stars on Disney's House of Mouse. In fact, an entire episode of the show was devoted to Jiminy, in which the little cricket becomes Mickey's conscience.
- Monstro the Whale is a playable world in the video games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Pinocchio is also a story-related character in that Riku trys to rob him of his heart and use it for Kairi.
- There was a video game adaptation of this film for both Sega Genesis and Super NES.
- In Mad magazine's parody of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lampwick makes a two-panel cameo as one of the kids in Shredder's gang. In the former of the two panels, Pinocchio himself also appears, being used as a billiards stick.
- A dark ride attraction based on the story of Pinocchio can be found at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland (Pinocchios' Daring Jounrey) and Disneyland Paris (Les Voyages de Pinocchio).
Titles in different languagesEdit
- Arabic: بيونوكيو (Beonokeo)
- Bosnian: Pinokio
- Bulgarian: Пинокио
- Cantonese Chinese: 木偶奇遇記 ("A Puppet's Extraordinary Encounters")
- Croatian: Pinokio (also Pinocchio)
- Czech: Pinocchio
- Danish: Pinocchio
- Dutch: Pinokkio
- Finnish: Pinokkio (also Pinocchio)
- French: Pinocchio
- German: Pinocchio, das hölzerne Bengele (later Pinocchio; known as Die abenteuer des Pinocchio in Austria)
- Greek: Πινόκιο
- Hebrew: פינוקיו
- Hungarian: Pinokkió
- Icelandic: Gosi
- Indonesian: Pinokio
- Italian: Pinocchio
- Japanese: ピノキオ (Pinokio)
- Korean (South Korea): 피노키오
- Mandarin Chinese: 木偶奇遇記
- Norwegian: Pinocchio
- Polish: Pinokio
- Portuguese: Pinóquio
- Romanian: Pinocchio
- Russian: Пиноккио
- Serbian: Pinokio
- Spanish: Pinocho (also Pinocchio in Latin America)
- Swedish: Pinocchio
- Thai: พิน๊อคคิโอ
- Turkish: Pinokyo
- Vietnamese: Pinocchio
- Maltin, Leonard (1973). Pinocchio. In Leonard Maltin (Ed.), The Disney Book, pp. 37. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.
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