Pinocchio (1940)

G   |    |  Animation, Comedy, Family


Pinocchio (1940) Poster

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.


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16 August 2009 | bkoganbing
9
| "I've Got No Strings"
For it's second full length animated feature, Walt Disney Studios picked the Carlo Collodi children's classic Pinocchio. The wooden puppet boy who turns into flesh and blood because of a heroic deed has been done a few times on screen, but the Disney version remains the standard.

In some of the animated features of recent years we've come full circle in the fact that a lot of well known Hollywood figures have sought to lend their voices to animated productions. Coming to mind immediately are Mel Gibson as Captain John Smith and Eddie Murphy as the donkey in the Shrek movies. It wasn't as chic a thing to do back in Disney's day, still Walt came up with several good ones like young Dickie Jones as Pinocchio, Walter Catlett as J. Worthington Foulfellow, Frankie Darro as Lampwick, and most important Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket.

These folks lend their voices to one of Disney's best musical scores with Catlett making immortal the thespians ballad An Actor's Life For Me, Jones celebrating the fact he's been liberated from all manner of restraint with I've Got No Strings and Cliff Edwards talking about his new responsibilities as the puppet boy's conscience in Give A Little Whistle.

Most important though is the Academy Award given to that most plaintive song of yearning When You Wish Upon A Star as introduced by Cliff Edwards. Edwards was a major performer in the Twenties and early Thirties with his ukulele Ike character and introduced many popular songs like It's Only A Paper Moon and Singing In The Rain. But he had come up on hard times with a lot of substance abuse problems when Walt Disney offered him the part of Jiminy Cricket's voice. The movie Pinocchio and the songs he sang there resurrected his career and even when down and out, Edwards could always get work at the Disney Studio because of Jiminy Cricket's enduring popularity.

Animation never really dates and the best animation in the world was pioneered at Disney Studio. People can see Pinocchio on the same bill as Shrek even today and I daresay the audience would be equally responsive.

And you can appreciate Pinocchio today as much as your grandparents and great grandparents did through the magic of YouTube or Amazon. If not wish upon a star and fate will step in and see you through.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the title Jiminy Cricket is actually the main character of the film while Pinocchio is the secondary character. This is because Jiminy appears at the beginning and end of the film and has more screen time and lines than Pinocchio and he is also assigned to keep an eye and teach Pinocchio right and wrong by the Blue Fairy.


Quotes

Jiminy Cricket: Pretty, huh? I'll bet a lot of you folks don't believe that, about a wish comin' true, do ya? Well, I didn't, either. Of course, I'm just a cricket singing my way from hearth to hearth, but let me tell you what made me change my mind.


Goofs

If you look very closely at the scene where Lampwick looks at his refection in the billiard's mirror when his transformation has begun, you will notice that Lampwick's refection has gray hair while the Lampwick outside the mirror has black hair.


Crazy Credits

There are no end credits for this feature film. However, the credits are at the beginning.


Alternate Versions

The 2009 Platinum Edition DVD (English mono and 5.1) omits two single lines of dialog: Jiminy Cricket's reassuring "Right!" to Pinocchio's utterance of his name during the song "Give a Little Whistle", and the "look out, Pinocch'!" a minute later. Even the subtitles and captions omit this line as well. Past releases, and even the 2009 Platinum Blu-ray (mono and 7.1), have the lines intact. Both of these lines are also intact in the Walt Disney Signature Collection release.


Soundtracks

I've Got No Strings
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by
Leigh Harline
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Performed by Dickie Jones
Later sung a cappella by Charles Judels

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Animation | Comedy | Family | Fantasy | Musical

Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,769,251 25 December 1984

Gross USA:

$84,254,167

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$121,892,045

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