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  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are a hundred great things about "Pinocchio". Pleasure Island, for one. I'm amazed how quick the Disney artists were to discover that the multiplane camera, as well as providing accurate perspective and spectacular landscape shots, could be used more subtly to suggest sinister murk. (We get a similar effect in "Fantasia" in the first half of "The Rite of Spring".) And Lampwick's transformation into a donkey is a disturbing moment, for many reasons ... today they might have made the mistake of using flashy computer morphing, which would have been a mistake: expert animation and cutting gives us the distinct impression - almost all done with shadows - that there is a donkey BREAKING THROUGH from inside; which, in his case, is metaphorically accurate. (Probably the reason Pinocchio survives us that he is as free from native vice as from native virtue. He must LEARN to adopt the mind-set of Pleasure Island. This takes time: time enough for him to escape.)

    But there's much, much more: clever use of songs (note the obvious, but none the less effective, irony of "I've Got No Strings"); daring use of stark WHITE backgrounds as well dense crowded ones; an intelligent, mythic story; a wonderful dash of humanity in the form of a cricket; a good musical score; rich atmosphere. The last is hard to describe. Of all Disney's films this one has the most pronounced Old World feeling, yet it doesn't seem to take place anywhere in particular - not even in Italy. Nor does it seem to take place in any particular era. I fear that no modern film could be so imprecisely evocative; the artistic innocence in which "Pinocchio" was forged may be lost forever.
  • When I - and I assume, most people - think of Pinocchio, we think of his nose growing longer when he tells a lie. Yet, that is only one scene in this movie - the first one ever done on this famous fictional character, I believe.

    This is strictly a fantasy-adventure story, not a parable or a full story about lying, although that obviously is one of the messages. There are several moral messages in here, so it's a worthwhile story for kids to see.

    Sometimes I think these totally-innocent first few Disney efforts (Bambi, Fantasia) are still better than all the stuff they have put out since.

    The colorful scenes are another attraction. particularly in the beginning in the old man's house with all the fancy clocks and toys. That part is better than much of the adventure story, as it turns out. The story lags a bit in the middle and then picks up with a rousing finish with a big whale.

    Overall, I enjoyed "Jiminy Cricket" the best and also appreciated that they didn't overdo the songs in here: short and sweet, and not that many. They don't make 'em (normally) like they used to!!
  • Darker in tone than most Disney animated features (except for 'Hunchback of Notre Dame'), 'Pinocchio' came shortly after 'Snow White' and showed marked improvement in the art of animation technology to produce startling special effects.

    The first twenty-five minutes alone raise the film to the level of true animation art. Gepetto's inventive clocks come to life as realistically as any real-life photography could do. The warmth and cosiness of his dwelling and the charming shenanigans of Figaro the kitten and Cleo the goldfish, are all perfectly realized. The imaginative use of music and animation art is never finer than in these opening scenes.

    Afterwards, as the plot thickens, the special effects are just as impressive. The scene of Gepetto searching for Pinocchio with a lantern on a rainy night after he has been captured by Stromboli is unforgettable imagery. The wagon lurching along roads with Pinocchio in a cage is a frightening thing. Even darker are the adventures that await Pinocchio when he reaches Pleasure Island. The scene of the boys turning into donkeys is probably one of the most awesome and frightening moments in the film.

    Altogether charming are the underwater sequences before the meeting of Monstro the Whale. The climactic chase after the escape from the belly of the whale is handled brilliantly. The music perfectly accents the dramatic chase for this sequence and the songs throughout are in keeping with the mood and characters of the story. It is the sharp contrast between the lighter moments and the darker ones that gives the film a correct blend of fantasy and horror.

    Parents should be cautioned that very young children may be frightened. Has to be considered one of the most beautifully animated Disney features of all time. A treasure to see again and again.
  • Studio Morye Reviews17 February 2001
    Last night I watched Pinocchio, Disney's second feature-length film and in my opinion one of the studio's best features. Based on the 19th century book by Carlo Collodi, but not half as unpleasant, Pinocchio combines winning animation with great humor and excitement. There are songs, but they're never like the huge production numbers that last four minutes and feature the voice of some up-and-coming princess of pop (who'll be gone in a year) that the studio later adopted with the applicable exception of When you Wish Upon a Star. My favorite song is "Little Wooden Head" which is featured in the beginning and is a truly wonderful scene as Gepetto and Figaro play happily with the new puppet.

    The movie takes a sadistic, cruel, heartless little wooden boy (Collodi's character) and turns him into an interesting, 3-dimensional kid with a good heart but who is weak-willed and doesn't always listen to reason. The animation makes brilliant use of the multiplane camera, featuring a sprawling opening sequence in which the viewer practically sees the entire village at night. The characters are colorful and fun (I especially love Honest John Foulfellow and his sidekick Gideon) and the story has never a dull moment. This film is a reminder of the sort of efforts Disney put int o their films; the man himself had a great storytelling passion that was lost in later works (Alice in Wonderland, 101 Dalmatians). Pinocchio was never as famous as some of the others, and this is unfortunate because it is his masterpiece.
  • Pinocchio is a true classic in the world of movies. Pinocchio is based on the Italian story about the puppet who became a real boy. Pinocchio is one of Disney`s finest and it beats all the new ultracommercial cartoons, which the company produces nowadays. The story is good, the characters are very likable and warmhearted, and the music is sheer perfection. These old Disney classics are cartoons that are suitable for the WHOLE family, not just the small kids. Watch it, and prepare to be stunned! 9/10
  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is the best animated Disney movie I have eve seen, and I have seen most of them. It's so different from all the other ones, as the bad guy not only lives, he also wins. The Coachman is probably one of the most evil villains Disney has ever produced; he turns kids into asses and makes them do hard labor for the rest of their lives...and he gets away with it. Although the ending is happy, there's still bitterness to it because every bad guy gets away, including Stromboli who is evil because of his greed, as with the two foxes who "befriend" Pinocchio. Supposedly the book is darker than the movie, but this movie is as dark as it needs to be.

    The music is memorable, featuring the classic "When You Wish Upon a Star," which is the only song that seems to be normal for a Disney movie. It does have other musical numbers, but they all seem to have a dark undertone to them. The animation itself is brilliant, especially for 1941; I've always loved the clock sequence. I only wish that animated movies would get back to drawing animation instead of the new cgi crap; it may take longer, but it looks so much better. It's pretty sad when a movie from 1941 looks better than current ones.

    This is the only Disney movie I gave a 10/10.
  • The 2nd animated Disney classic is Disney's finest movie ever. A favorite of mine and a very dear film to me. It is an improvement over "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and more captivating.

    "Pinocchio" is a masterpiece. It is so good that I can't find any faults in. Perfection is notorious in every way: the excellent artwork, palette colors and attention to detail. All of them obey to very high standards. Everything is so well drawn and painted with heart and soul: the sceneries, the characters, the backgrounds, the wonderful details...

    Although the atmosphere is quite dark and creepy in some parts, most of the time it is a sweet movie that is also great fun, entertaining, heartwarming and magical. Animation and soundtrack are superb as well. I just love all those songs. The movie is also a full plate when it comes to classic humor, thanks to many funny moments and hilarious lines.

    Being an Italian tale, it takes place in Italy. To be more specific, in a nice village interestingly named Collodi - nothing less than the name of the book's author, Carlo Collodi.

    This movie also had the honor of being a pioneer in camera use: just notice that nice close-up of a church and how the camera goes straight to the heart of the village.

    This is a timeless classic. No question about that. In fact, it stands the test of time so well that it's difficult to believe this movie is from the year 1940 because it doesn't look any dated. No, sir! It always looks fresh and modern.

    Fabulous voice performances is another thing this film doesn't lack. All of them terrific: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Cliff Edwards, Charles Judels, Walter Catlett, Evelyn Venable and even some brilliant ones in the art of making sounds like Mel Blanc and Marion Darlington...

    As for the characters, they're also part of the movie's appeal. Cleo and Figaro are such cute and adorable creatures. Who wouldn't want to have a gold fish and a kitten like that? Geppetto, the kind woodcarver, is so distracted that he's hilarious. Pinocchio is cute, innocent and lovable like a human child, although stubborn and prone to temptation at times. Jiminy Cricket is humorous and cool, but a bit impatient sometimes.

    Stromboli is hysterical and explosive. His nasty temper makes him so funny, especially whenever he mouths off in Italian! The Blue Fairy has got to be one of the kindest and most beautiful Disney ladies ever. She's so pretty! The coachman looks harmless, but behind his kind looks he's corrupt and a demon.

    Honest John and Giddy are a perfect comic relief. Giddy is a cat and a funny mute character (like Dopey). Honest John is the epitome of the sly fox: not *really* evil, but clever, hilarious, charming, shameless, unscrupulous and greedy. Ironically, despite his aristocratic manners, he is incapable of hiding a certain rudeness and lack of culture. For example, he can't spell the name "Pinocchio" correctly. Honest John's real name is never mentioned in the movie: J. Worthington Foulfellow, likely the strangest name I ever heard.

    Monstro, the enormous sperm whale, is one of the most impressive animated beasts of all time.

    This should definitely be on Top 250.
  • 'Pinocchio' benefits from one of the finest collection of songs to grace a Disney cartoon; from 'I Got No Strings', to 'An Actor's Life For Me', and (best of all) 'When You Wish Upon A Star' - brilliant sung by 'Ukelele Ike' Edwards as Jiminy Cricket.

    This cute adaptation from Carlo Corolli's classic novel adds pets with the 'aw' factor (cat and fish), as well as a truly scary sequence involving donkeys. The characters are all memorable and Pinocchio is convincing in his move from a wooden puppet to a real boy, even in cartoon form. Good voice talent from Evelyn Venable as the Blue Fairy too, especially in the bits where Pinocchio can't help revealing he isn't telling the truth!

    Short, sweet, funny, and involving, 'Pinocchio' is worth an hour of anybody's time, young or old.
  • For seventy years, people of all demographics have been entertained and enchanted by the animated features brought out by the Disney studios. In an era when most animated films lack imagination and spirit, it's always nice to watch an earlier Disney film, whether it be one of their old classics or the works released during the early 90's renaissance. Most film historians claim that Snow White and Fantasia are the best films to come out of the beginning years and while I agree they are certainly historically important, they don't quite give me the joy provided by 1940's Pinocchio. Adapted from the Italian story, Disney may have changed things plenty during the writing progress, but the result is a magical and unforgettable experience that proves to not only be a fun romp, but also one of the best cautionary tales brought to the screen.

    The story is, of course, familiar to everyone. A kindly, old woodcarver named Gepetto builds his own "little wooden boy" and soon enough the puppet is brought to life. However, before he can become a real boy, Pinocchio must prove himself worthy and with Jiminy Cricket as his conscious, he goes out into the real world, full of crooks and criminals. Naturally, Pinocchio the ever youthful puppet, lands into plenty of trouble, first becoming an actor for a scary marionette master and then being turned into a donkey. The audience, especially the young children watching, are absolutely enthralled by the whole production, but also scared by what is shown on screen. Unlike today's cartoons, that try to be as "friendly" as possible, Walt Disney wanted his films to leave an impact and Pinocchio certainly fits into that category. While the film enchants, it also provide plenty of frightening moments as well.

    Quite possibly the scariest scene in the film is when on Pleasure Island, troublesome boys are transformed into donkeys and sent to the salt-mines. Pinocchio can quite possibly be called the greatest anti-cigar film ever made, just for the fact that it doesn't say that smoking is bad, it shows it (although, ironically, Disney himself was a massive smoker)! Another scene that really gets to young audiences is the part in which Pinocchio begins to lie up a storm and his nose grows, even producing a nest with birds at the end. It's enough to make children squirm in their seats and have them afraid to tell a lie again. One of the reasons these scenes are so successful in leading people to the right decision is the fact that Pinocchio is not just a little wooden boy, he represents the child in every one of us: naive and ready to set out into the world, but not fully aware of the dangers awaiting us.

    Along with the donkey-transformation and nose-growing scenes, the most memorable aspect of Pinocchio is the music. "When You Wish Upon a Star" is Disney's anthem for a reason. It's not only beautiful, but also brings about what we all want: to wish for a better world, one without evil puppet masters, children taking bad habits and devilish foxes bringing people to the dark side. Finally, the most touching scene comes in the end, when Pinocchio seems like he might die, but his bravery to save Gepetto finally allows him to become a real boy. Even remembering that scene leads one to smile as it's not only Gepetto and Pinocchio's wish that is fulfilled, but ours as well. Everybody loves a happy ending and Pinocchio features the best of them all. Not only is it the best film made by Disney, but it's also their most optimistic. And that's why Pinocchio is such a classic.
  • Pinocchio is my favorite movie since I was a child. We can learn many important things that we living for a human from this movie. For example, we donft tell a lie, we don't escape toward an easy thing and what we have courage and so on. I'll never forget the goddess of star say One lie leads to another, and you don't cover the lie in the end. I felt that I don't wont to tell a lie in my childhood. My favorite scene is the scene where Pinocchio go help his father Gepetto in the sea. I think that it is brave of him to fight with a monster whale because he helps his father. And I was impressed with cricket of Pinocchio's conscience. He always helps Pinocchio and lead Pinocchio for good way. It is superb what the goddess of star is always watching Pinocchio in the night sky too. I rated this movie at 9/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Disney's 'Pinocchio', in my humble opinion,is Disney greatest achievement. i've studied Disney's life and legacy since childhood and i think my opinion counts for something. it's not like i don't know Disney films or have just a passing relationship with them. i've been a serious fan all my life.

    actually, 'Dumbo' is my personal favorite from Disney. but personal taste, and opinion based on some education and knowledge, are really two different measures of evaluation. personal taste is often clouded by, well, personal opinion and taste. opinions based on knowledge and education are often less biased and more objective. when speaking from personal feelings,'Dumbo' is the Disney film i truly love the most, but when i evaluate objectively, i realize it's 'Pinocchio' that is Disney's greatest work of cinema.

    when i was younger this definitely wasn't my favorite. as a matter of fact, my mother recalled that when i was very young, about four or five, my father had to take me out of the movie theater during 'Pinocchio' screaming my head off in terror. i've also talked with other people who said they were Disney fans, and they either had similar disturbances watching this film when younger or they were kind of negative about the film. when i saw it years later on a reissue when i was about nine, i remember finding it interesting, but thought it to be a little weird and kinda creepy. i remember liking things like 'Mary Poppins' or 'Robin Hood' or 'The Aristocats' better, and feeling more comfortable with those kind of Disney films. 'Pinocchio' seemed like a lot of art deco weirdness from decades long ago. it wasn't until i was much older and had read a few books about Disney that i started to have a intellectual appreciation for the classic films. i suddenly found myself rethinking 'Pinocchio' and when i saw it again on a reissue when in my twenties, i was blown away by it and was convinced it was one of the very best films i'd ever seen period. in fact 'Pinocchio' is one of my top five favorites of all time.

    as i've got older i've also developed more of a taste for classic children's literature and nursery rhymes and fairy tales. they amuse and are whimsical. i actually read Collodi's 'Pinocchio' again for the first time since third grade only a few years ago. can't say i actually liked it except as a curiosity. i greatly admire Lewis Carroll and James Barrie as well as Frank Baum and other children's book writers. can't say i feel that way about Collodi. he was kind of weird and didn't always show a lot of good humour. plus 'Pinocchio' is not a very cute book or character. the drawings in the Disney cartoon are a lot more appealing and cuter. i've never been big on too much moralizing either. doesn't appeal to me. that whole "a little boy that won't be good thing..." just plain scares me and annoys me to all hell. for one thing i find being good to tall a order and not of much appeal to me since i am by nature, naturally rebellious. Collodi can sit on his book for all i care, the Disney cartoon simply has some rad looking animation unlike anything seen before or since. it's a little more intense than the usual Disney offerings, even at this time, that's why i dig it.

    i don't like a lot of petty, judgmental moralizing, just ain't my thing. i also don't wish on stars, believe in guardian angels or sentimentalize too much about childhood or family. but i do think a lot of Disney's 'Pinocchio' is funny, hilarious stuff. if you also like outrageous mind blowing weirdness in your animation soup, this is your mix. this is pretty eccentric and peculiar fixings that still give me creepies and disturb my nightmares as much as any horror show. i love it. and there is even a happy ending, some cute Disney songs and cuddly furry widdle kitty.
  • It certainly is interesting reading other viewers comments. I can't imagine anyone being "bored" with this film. But then, I don't even go to movies anymore, because I find those made today to be either horrific and traumatizing, or brain-numbingly stoopid and poorly made. Pinocchio, on the other hand, is the ultimate in everything that is "movie" : camera-work, special effects, background music, musical numbers, characterization, story development with narrative sweep, high-drama and low-comedy (but never Lockerroom-low), color, motion, editing, use of sound, artwork, audience manipulation... and in the end, life-affirming! I cannot possibly recommend this movie too highly. In my opinion, considering cinematic effectiveness, Pinocchio rates way up with Citizen Kane, Sherlock Jr., and Battleship Potemkin.
  • Having just re-watched Pinocchio after many years, it's evident that this remarkable feat of animation is the great triumph of Disney's "Nine Old Men". These artists were the core of Disney's animation studio for many years, turning out what are now revered as the classics from Disney.

    What sets Pinocchio apart from every other Disney feature is the sheer depth of care those nine old men (and their assistants) put on the screen. No other Disney feature looks this tremendous, only Snow White comes close. Every, and I mean every, background painting is superb. The medium used for the backgrounds was a water-based paint called gouache. No other animated film looks like this. To think that the entire film was done by hand is amazing, the spectacle of Pleasure Island and the last underwater segment are brilliant compositions by illustrative geniuses. As the darkest fable Disney would bring to the screen, each of the nine old men brought their A game to their characters. Bill Tytla, the studio's "villain master" (he was responsible for the unforgettable Chernobog in Fantasia's "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence) brings Stromboli to energetic life here. Watch carefully for the table sequence in which Stromboli is eating. He has swallowed part of an onion before berating Pinocchio and shaking the puppet. His breath brings tears to Pinocchio's eyes...this goes by very quickly, but shows the attention to detail crafted in every frame of this terrific film.

    Many reviews here seem to dwell on the voice acting and the use of "nobodies" to speak the lines. One review casually suggests that the actors were simply picked off the street. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though the actors are uncredited here, the roster of talent was very top-notch for 1940. Comedian Walter Catlett voices the Fox, Catlett was extremely popular at the time and known for his signature round spectacles. The Fox wears these same specs for a brief moment, a nod given to Catlett by the artists. Frankie Darrow was a well known juvenile actor, most famous for his leading role in 1933's "Wild Boys of the Road". He voices Lampwick, which is a thinly veiled caricature of the real actor. Dickie Jones, the voice of Pinocchio was another child star who kept a remarkable career alive for many decades. Mel Blanc, the "man of 1000 voices" lends his talent to the hiccups of Giddy the Cat, Evelyn Venable is the warm and lovely voice of the Blue Fairy, Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald Duck for years, supplies both Figaro and the donkey brays by the doomed boys of Pleasure Island. Last but not least is Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards, the voice of Jiminy Cricket. Edwards will always be known as the man who sang "When You Wish Upon a Star" so brilliantly. He owns that song as surely as Judy Garland owns "Over the Rainbow". No real voice talent in Pinocchio? Not true. These actors were as famous in their day as the current crop of voices used for animated features. Their work brings the heart to the skill of the animator's art.

    Still a thrilling experience for fans of the nine old men. In this day of computer technology, it's worth remembering that a computer can't bring the same humanity and love delivered by these great artists.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Pinocchio" is probably the only Disney film where the magic operates almost instantly, using its most representative score for the opening credits. As soon as we hear these magic lyrics of the Oscar-winning "When You Wish Upon a Star", we know we're embarked in a whole new dimension, a unique world that only the perseverance and creativity of Disney animators could have lead us to. It became Disney's most defining music, embodying all the values that Disney films stood for: believing in dreams, believing in the ability to 'give life' to drawn characters. The making of the film plays like a poetic allegory, Disney studios ' animators are all little Gepetto's with the same craftsmanship and dedication to their work, and the blue Fairy tale is Walt Disney giving them lives and dreams, something enabling us to identify with them. "I Dream, therefore I Am" sounds like Disney's cogito.

    We instantly identify with "Pinocchio" for his dreams to be a real boy, to be a reason for his gentle father's pride. Yet the movie doesn't deal with this existentialist issue, the core of the action in "Pinocchio" –which on this level, remains one of the most thrilling animated adventures- is the temptation. Tasting jam, stealing, not going to school, lying, childhood is the most exposed moments to temptations, everything is new then everything looks pretty, and when the standard for kids is to obey to authoritarian figures who know the best for them, the most precious lesson in "Pinocchio" is not to obey for the sake of obedience but to follow his conscience, to differentiate between right or wrong. That's what being a real boy is about, being unselfish, trustful and brave, not being obedient. And that, my friends, is quite thought-provoking in the way it recognizes a right for children to exercise their free will, but not without a vital element.

    On that level, the character of Jiminy Cricket is a great invention because he embodies the necessity of a conscience, while most of the time; we can see Pinocchio making his own decisions without questioning Jiminy. Temptation is the ugly cousin of unconsciousness and remains a predominant figure in the movie, always incarnated by adult figures. This aspect conveys the perfect feeling of childhood, a period of our life when we're small and therefore most likely to follow the bigger ones, any adult is a potential parent, and while our parents are the ones who say 'no' or 'don't'. As kids, we're most eager to follow those who say 'yes' and 'do'. Foulfellow and Gideon, the fox and the mute cat are the intermediaries between Pinocchio and the two main villains of the film so even if the duo was meant to be a comic relief, I always found them scary in the way they tried to ruin Pinocchio's life twice.

    Naturally, as a film conveying a perfect lesson about life, trust, and temptation, it features two villains that had probably inspired many nightmares. From Stromboli and his scary lips, as the ruthless puppeteer who wants to make fortune with the only puppet without strings or the Coachman, the films echoes children's most inner fears: being exploited, tortured and abused by ruthless adults. The image of Stromboli throwing Pinocchio in his cage or the close-up on the Coachman's devilish face, prove that "Pinocchio" is darker and more daring than it seems. And to those who associate Disney with cute little animals and singing flowers, I invite them to watch carefully the Pleasure Island sequence, and to see the cute Pinocchio smoking a cigar and drinking a beer with his buddy Lampwick. This sequence alone highlights the dangers of exercising free will without questioning good old conscience.

    And what follows is another demonstration of Disney's cinematic talent, when we see what happen to the poor boys that made 'jackasses' of themselves. The heart-breaking part when a little Alexander cries for his mommy is scary enough, but kids had to face the metamorphosis of Pinocchio's buddy, his face changing, and the voice of his "Mommmma" turning into hysterical braying and desperate glass breaking to measure the danger of making a fool of yourself. This scene alone is one of the most horrific of cinema's history and works as a magnificent symbolism, mirroring the calmer and most poetic moment when Pinocchio's lie makes his nose grow "until it's as plain as a nose in your face". Disney has a unique talent to speak through simple images universal statements about childhood and coming of age, and I wonder how many kids thought twice before lying or acting 'jackasses'.

    The second intervention of the blue Fairy tale informs Pinocchio that his father is in the belly of Monstro, the whale, which leads to the climactic confrontation with the only villain of the film that would be defeated. The part where he swims to Monstro with Jiminy is magnificent and the escape is totally gripping thanks to the patient build-up that made us figure Monstro's reputation and the film's unique use of special effects. The whole film is a masterpiece of innovation and technical accomplishment, with so many zooms and close-up, dominating space and screen like only Disney could have done, the action sequences, the panoramic views on the village the animation of the Fairy tale, were so impressive that I can't count how many times I wondered what the film would have been like in the movie theater.

    But how many animated films now would show a kid drinking or smoking, turning into a donkey and not even being saved, "Pinocchio" is a film that dares to portray kids the way they sometimes do for the sake of intelligence, while 70 years later, for the sake of political correctness, kids have to endure sappy and moralizing educative cartoons. If only for a film like "Pinocchio", Walt Disney is the greatest entertainer who ever lived, because one of the few that truly understood what being children meant.
  • This movie is just impossible not to love. For the fantastic music to the AMAZINGLY likable characters this film is simply a masterpiece. Now it was hard to pick the best. You have the "Toy Story Trilogy", other Pixar works, "The Little Mermaid", "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", "The Lion King", "Beauty and the Beast", "Spirited Away", and many other great movies to pick from. After all the time choosing I pick this. Why? Well honestly I have to say the characters in this movie are as likable as movie characters can get. Also it has a lot of good bad guys. My personal favorite is the Honest John and Gideon. I consider them to be the most underrated Disney villains ever. Honest John is a slimy jerk who wants to trick Pinocchio. Gideon is his sidekick who is a brainless idiot. Both of them together create a great villain team. Then I have to mention "When You Wish Upon a Star". I think we all know that it is a masterpiece. Disney sure knows it because they put their logo to that song at the beginning of their movies. Then you have the most revolutionizing animation in film history. "Snow White" was a revolutionary film, but it was simply baby steps into animated filmmaking. This just a few years later takes the first animated leap into the air. Overall this movie is a masterpiece.

    4 stars out of 4
  • aileencorcoran16 January 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm actually not sure if I ever saw "Pinocchio" before now, but eh. This film took me by surprise, not because I thought it was going to be bad, but at how good it actually was. Based (although from what I've heard without much of the hardcore stuff) on Carlo Collidi's novel of the same name, "Pinocchio" tells the story of the titular puppet who longs to become a real boy. When his creator, and Italian toy-maker named Gepetto, wishes for the marionette to come to life, the Blue Fairy makes his wish come true. Not only that, if Pinocchio can prove himself good, honest and unselfish, he will become a REAL boy. With the help of his conscience, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio will learn how easy it is to be led off the beaten path, and how important it is to put yourself before others, to be honest and to always let conscience be your guide.

    The animation is stunning, with the shading exquisite, especially on the fur of Tuxedo cat, Figaro, and the wily fox, Honest John. The white finish makes to give the fur a distinct, fluffy look. The animation of the water is amazing, with luscious brushstrokes imitating the tide - hell, even the tide is animated well! The backgrounds are once again lovely, with these amazing panning shots that make it seem like it was filmed by an actual camera. The little details are wonderful, such as the flickering flames, the bubbles and the fish's transparent tail. It's a true work of art.

    The characters are plenty of fun too. Jiminy isn't half as annoying as I thought he'd be, in fact I found him charming. Pinocchio is that everyman kid, who soaks things in and comes out on top, but still isn't perfect. Not only is he a very good character due to this, but he acts like, well, a real kid! Kids do act selfish, tell lies and go against authority, but sometimes, especially when very young, they may not even know what they're doing is wrong. Pinocchio is a great example of this, and Jiminy walking away, getting lost and so forth shows the swaying of the conscience. It's very clever. Minor characters are shown for just the right amount of time, showcasing their charisma, likability and sometimes fear. The villains are great; all are malicious on different levels, but the one that shocked me most was the Coach Master, who runs Paradise Island. Call me an overthinker (which I am), but I got this child predator vibe off him; inviting kids to have fun, then stripping them down to a primal level ... ugh he was just creepy. Well, whatever the deeper implications may or may not be, the obvious intent is there, and is clever too. I guess it can be read in many different ways.

    Gepetto was a likable fellow, but who really stood out to me was Figaro, the cat. Let's just say I understand why Disney wanted him to be in the film as much as possible, he's just adorable, and his expressions are great! Overall, "Pinocchio" is a wonderful film , with stunning artwork and numerous important messages for children, and even adults.
  • Trimac2016 December 2004
    Warning: Spoilers
    Note: Spoiler contained Few films explore the human psyche as Disney's 'Pinocchio' released in 1940 - a year that heralded a golden decades of classics from the great studio. Its themes and story are truly universal. Indeed, the Disney version of Pinocchio was a film integral to my early memories of childhood and perhaps those of millions of other children (and adults) at heart. But aside from sentimental emotional attachments, Pinocchio is a fine work of art. Technically superb, with an engaging storyline, Pinocchio is truly is a timeless classic and a beautiful film...

    Few people in the Western world are not familiar with Pinocchio: the mischievous wooden puppet who redeems himself from his not-so-angelic ways, and is finally rewarded for it. Most children are more familiar with the watered down (and some say corrupted) Disney version than the original by Carlos Collodi. I recommend that all children should also read the original book, as it perhaps explores more 'adult' themes, not subjugated into the naivety of the child-world of the Disney Pinocchio. Yet the latter is not as rosy as many Disney offerings - indeed there are some frightening scenes which could be hardly suitable for small children. The scene where the Coachman 'transforms' into his inner sentinel is genuinely disconcerting.

    Pinocchio was Disney's second offering, after the highly successful and ground-breaking 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' of 1937. Indeed, Disney created an entirely new type of film. The animated feature: the world's and characters of these animated worlds were as 'real' to the audience as any real film. Indeed, the fact that the characters in these films do not exist in real life make the characters all the more convincing. In a sense, the characters inhabit the film as a figure in a painting.

    The film is a visual delight. The sophistication of animation at the time was almost unheard of, and extremely sophisticated. The scene were the clocks tick in unison was particularly difficult, as was the Monstro scene. Colours and textures are vibrant and lifelike, while the characters are modeled beautifully. Indeed, for pure animated wizardly Pinocchio rivals many present day cartoons.

    The direction of the film, sound effects and voicing were very good. Dickie Jones, as a young Pinocchio is well-cast. Direction and 'shooting' was far ahead of many films of the time; the early scene where the 'camera' pans across the rooftops of the village reputedly cost over $20,000.

    Yet the visual and aural aspects are only there to bring the story to life, and this film, as much as any other, displays the strength of good storytelling. While highly moralistic, the film opens with Jimminy Cricket: an endearing, street-smart wanderer who is perhaps more memorable as Pinocchio himself. Geppeto is the kind puppet maker who carves Pinocchio out of wood, who is subsequently granted his wish when Pinocchio is made a real boy. Obviously, Pinocchio does not go to school and this leads him into all sorts of trouble. After escapades in the theatre, Treasure Island and the bottom of the sea he is redeemed by risking his life to save his father.

    Pinocchio is perhaps the most remarkably 'flat' and lifeless character. He is a 'cipher' without any distinct personality traits. On the other hand, the characters which inhabit this fantasy world (supposed to be set in Italy) are the most memorable of any animated feature. There's Honest John, the wise-talking conman (or con-fox), Lampwick and of course the three villains or 'baddies.' Stromboli is a hot-tempered showmaster: bloated and greedy, he is the epitome of the school bully. The Coachmaster lures boys by the promise of a life of fun and enjoyment, however they are duly punished by him.

    In conclusion, Disney's Pinocchio is a tribute to old-fashioned storytelling. While Disney may have been a bit too creative with the original Collodi story, he triumphantly succeeds in canvassing perhaps one of some of the greatest concepts in humanity. That of Good and Evil, Redemption, loyalty and sacrifice. Disney was no doubt successful in transferring Collodi's timeless moral onto the screen.
  • jboothmillard17 March 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of the greatest and one of my favourite Disney films ever made. Pinocchio is a magical and sometimes emotional story about the wooden puppet brought to life by the fairy. Geppetto wishes on a star that his marionette could be a real boy, and the fairy grants his wish. To become a real boy, Pinocchio must prove himself brave, truthful and unselfish. Unfortunately, many things happen to him to stop him from achieving this. For example, two villains make Pinocchio famous by appearing in Stromboli's puppet show, and also he goes to a theme park where there are consequences waiting, like turning yourself into a donkey, and also there is the terrifying giant whale, Monstro, to face, but don't worry, there is the magical happy ending where Geppetto and Pinocchio get their wish come true. Of course, this film would not be complete without the giggles of Jiminy Cricket and the wonderful music, especially the Oscar winning song "When You Wish Upon a Star" which was number 7 on 100 Years, 100 Songs. It won the Oscar for Best Music for Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith and Ned Washington. It was number 83 on The Ultimate Film, it was number 54 on The 100 Greatest Family Films, it was number 38 on 100 Years, 100 Cheers, and it was number 25 on The 100 Greatest Cartoons. Outstanding!
  • Pinocchio (1940)

    **** (out of 4)

    Disney's second feature tells the classic story of an elderly toy maker who makes a wooden puppet he calls Pinocchio. Before bed the old man wishes that he had a real boy and for that the fairy godmother brings the wooden doll to life but before he can become a real boy he must prove himself to be good.

    It's funny to think that upon its original release PINOCCHIO really didn't do that well at the box office and it ended up really hurting the studio. Of course when the film is discussed today it is considered one of the studio's best and most loved films and there's no question that there's really nothing like it. The story has been told countless times by a variety of people but nothing has come close to the magic of this movie.

    I use the term magic because when you get older and view this movie you can't help but be rather amazed at what all it contains. Of course there's the sweet side of the older man wanting a boy of his own and then there's the side of a puppet wanting to become a real boy. Both of these characters are great as is the Jiminy Cricket character who adds some nice laughs. Not only do you have the cute and charming side but there's also a very dark side to the film.

    It's funny but many people call this one of the scariest movies they've ever seen and you can read stories about how this movie traumatized young children. The scenes at Pleasure Island where kids are stolen from their families and turned into donkeys is just so dark yet at the same time you can't help but appreciate the message. Finally, there's the action inside the whale, which just adds to a great little sequence full of adventure and fun.

    Throw in the "When You Wish Upon a Star" song and you've really got one of the most complete Disney movies out there. As you'd expect, the animation from these original Disney features is wonderful and I really loved the terrific detail. Of course animation improved over the years but there's still something special and unique to these original Disney movies. PINOCCHIO is clearly one of the studio's best.
  • MartinHafer31 December 2014
    While I would not place "Pinocchio" among the very best feature- length films by Disney, it's sure close. The only reason I don't score this one a 10 is that around the same time, the Disney Studio made a few better films during this era--particularly "Bambi".

    So why am I so high on this film? Well, it's truly an artistic triumph. The backgrounds are gorgeous--with lots of detail that show that this was a labor of love. And, the animation of the characters is about as good as you can find. Together, they show that the studio had learned and progressed quite a bit since their first feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". And, the film also is possibly the best looking Disney film. But the story itself is the weakest part of the film. It's good but not great. Some of this is due to difficult to like characters (Pinocchio himself is an idiot when you think about it and Jimminy Cricket is a lousy conscience and does nothing to keep the puppet out of trouble) and a story that just doesn't reach your heart the way some of their other films would do. Exceptional nonetheless.
  • Pinocchio was the only the second ever animated film made by Disney and should rightfully be considered a milestone for animation. The film is easily one of the company's best and has barely dated. It features some of their best work which includes wonderful animation, memorable characters and a really engaging story.

    The plot sees inventor Geppetto create a wooden puppet named Pinocchio and he wishes for him to be real, the Blue Fairy decides to grant his wish. She gives Pinocchio a conscience in the form of a cricket called Jiminy to keep him out of trouble and if he behaves he can become a real boy. However Jiminy is given a difficult job as Pinocchio frequently faces the wrong types of temptation and it's an uphill struggle to avoid trouble. The plot is brilliant as it quickly moves from one sticky situation to another, never slowing long enough to be boring. The film has plenty of light and dark moments while talking about smart subject matter which keeps everyone entertained.

    The characters are excellent. Pinocchio isn't the most interesting of leads but he's supposed to be naïve, curious and easily led astray much like any young boy so it's a successful role. Jiminy is a lot of fun, always trying and failing to keep Pinocchio in line. He's laid back but has his limits while his exasperation leads to good comedy and his kind nature makes him likable. Geppetto comes across as a kind man, while silent pets Figaro and Cleo have some very funny moments. Honest John and mostly mute Gideon are an excellent double team and the funniest comic pieces come from their slapstick as well as strange humour. Both Stromboli and the Coachman are two of Disney's most sinister villains, Stromboli being intimidatingly loud and the Coachman restrainedly creepy. The Blue Fairy is a pretty decent guide.

    The animation is outstanding and some of the best Disney has ever done. When it wants things to be bright and cheerful it adds some beautiful scenery or colours, the scenes in Geppetto's house show that. While for the dark scenes it keeps a great gloomy and murky look, the Red Lobster Inn scene being prime example. A brilliant aspect to the film is the dark tone that it takes on. It never shy's away from the terrible things that can happen if you do wrong and can be rather frightening, the scenes of the kids turning into Donkeys at Pleasure Island and the whole climax with wild whale Monstro are now classic scary scenes. The fact that all the villains never get punished makes it different from the norm and it reflects real life in that way. The film does have a strong emotion impact, when it wants you to feel happy or sad or scared it makes you feel that way with ease whether it be via the artwork and the atmosphere. The music is superb too and the score itself is very memorable, the songs are fantastic as well as rightful classics including 'When You Wish Upon A Star' and 'An Actors Life For Me'.

    Overall Pinocchio is by far one of Disney's finest films and is a combination of everything great about the company.
  • Pinocchio is probably one of the more sentimental Disney films. I wouldn't say that it's my absolute favourite (that award goes to Bambi), but it is certainly a classic film that all ages can enjoy.

    The film takes a lot of liberties from the original story, but maybe it's for the best. In the book, Pinocchio is a sarcastic and heartless character, and that simply would not work in a Disney film. Even though he's a wooden puppet, like Bambi, he has been modelled to have the features and personality of a young child. Pinocchio is innocent, naïve and sometimes selfish, but he's also playful and often downright adorable.

    The film has its dark moments, the most notable being what happens on Pleasure Island, and the fate that befalls poor Lampwick. I feel that, as surreal as it is, it conveys a very poignant message - 'The Devil makes work for idle hands.' I've seen some fans clamour for Disney to make a sequel where all the boys are rescued from that dreadful place. As nice as it sounds, I feel that it would take away the whole meaning of the film. Pinocchio is dark, but it's never bleak or depressing. It's very funny too, most of the humour coming from the lovable Jiminy Cricket and Gepetto.

    The backgrounds are lovely. The village and countryside are typical of rural Italy, but that's not all. The underwater scenes are incredible - remember, this is the first time characters were animated underwater. Although I wonder how Pinocchio managed to breathe?

    I'm not so keen on the music. 'When you Wish Upon a Star' isn't my favourite Disney song, but it's still quite good. It sure beats any of the Phil Collins music that's piped in over Tarzan soaring through a plastic jungle.

    As beautiful as it is, Pinocchio does have a some minor flaws. I felt that the goldfish character was completely unnecessary, cute as it was. Also, I felt that the story was a little 'Americanized.' But I've seen worse - take a look at Aladdin. Who's going to think that real Arabs are like that? Not me, that's for sure. Don't let it bother you.

    I like Pinocchio a lot more than I have before. It's warm, touching, funny, atmospheric and is somewhat a cautionary tale. It's so much more than 'a cute movie about a puppet.'
  • My Rating : 9/10

    This is a very complete movie. The artwork is perfect and colorful, everything is carefully drawn and painted. The film is a clever combination of some of the funniest moments in cinema history and some of the darkest and most sinister ever. Animation is terrific. The soundtrack is excellent, with lots of musical pieces to enjoy.

    This is an Italian tale, so it takes place in Italy, which is great, for it benefits from a certain Italian touch of film-making and Italian charm.
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