22 March 2007 | TalesfromTheCryptfan
A fantastic underrated 80's animated gem!
A creepy mysterious carnival comes to town, Pinocchio (voiced by Scott Grimes) has just celebrated his first birthday as a human has been given a special assignment from his dad Gheppeto (voiced by Tom Bosley) to return an important jewel box back to the mayor and has been granted the power of freedom from his Fairy Godmother (voiced by Rickie Lee Jones) as he must be responsible for it or else he'll end up a puppet again. He gets swindled by a scandalous Raccoon named Scalawag (voiced by Ed Asner) and his monkey assistant Igor (voiced by Frank Welker) for a worthless fake ruby, it upsets his dad so much that he decides to run away to join the carnival for he falls for the hypnotic singing of a beautiful female puppet named Twinkle (voiced by Lana Beeson) over there and is tricked by the evil Puppetino (voiced by William Windon) as he is magically changed back into a puppet. However, Pinocchio does escape as he looks for the two scumbags that swindled him for they go after the traveling carnival to get the box back and end up in the nightmarish Las Vegas-esquire hellish realm of the empire of the night ruled by the evil Emperor (Voiced by James Earl Jones).
Co-starring the voices of Jonathan Harris and Don Knotts, this is a highly underrated and hugely entertaining animated fantasy from Filmation (The studios behind "He-Man", "Fat Albert", "Star Trek Animated" and "She-Ra") for i believe this is their best movie besides "Starchaser: Legend of Orin" and "The Secret of the Sword". The film does have a few good songs such as the haunting "Love is the light inside your heart" by Rickie Lee Jones, the upbeat "Neon Carbret" and finally the most fun song of all "You're a Star".
I remembered back in 1987 when i was 5 on Christmas night when i lived in St. Louis, my mom took me to see this movie at a shopping mall theater and it sure scared the crap out of me. But now i love it for it's one of my favorite animated movies ever! the animation is just breathtaking here considering it's an improvement over any Filmation animated effort and the film really gets dark with such moments like the absolutely horrifying sequence where Pinocchio changes back into a puppet as he's surrounded by puppets for it will scare the hell out of kids considering it almost escape the "PG" rating plus the Emperor himself is quite an awesome villain here.
If you love animation and good fantasy stories then this is a must see! it's a rare forgotten 80's animated diamond in the rough.
Also recommended: "The Black Cauldron", "Rock & Rule", "Fire & Ice", "Wizards", "The Dark Crystal", "Aladdin", "Big Trouble in Little China", "The Phantom Tollbooth", "Transformers: The Movie", "The Wizard of Oz", "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs", "The Great Mouse Detective", "Sleepy Hollow", "The Corpse Bride", "Willy Wonka and The Chocholate Factory", "Return to Oz", "Oliver & Company", "The Little Mermaid", "The Last Unicorn", "The Secret of NIMH", "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", "Mulan", "Spirited Away", "Making Contact (a.k.a. Joey)".