Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Disney's second outing into full length animation was not, in my opinion, a huge success.  Apparently the critics disagree with me but the folks of the 1940's agree.  The film was produced in 1940 and by 1947 had only made back about half of its production cost (tidbit courtesy of the wikipedia page).  Here's the thing:  I felt like Pinocchio was by far my least favorite of all of the movies we've watched so far.  I mean, I was a bit harsh on Sleeping Beauty, but I ultimately enjoyed the film.  Pinocchio, I just have no desire to ever watch again.

Let's start off with the positives: the animation is quite good for its time.  It's got some good, memorable songs.  Jiminy Cricket's character is fun, and there are some funny moments.  Jason and I noticed that there are a lot of "butt" jokes.  Seriously - if you don't believe me,watch it again and look for them.  They're especially in the beginning.  Someone's always getting kicked in the butt or something.  And Jiminy Cricket himself was a lot funnier than I remembered.  I never thought of him as being so obsessed with the females, but he ogles every woman he comes across - even the ones made of wood!

However, funny bits aside, I was really not that thrilled with the movie.  First of all, I feel like Geppetto is completely crackers and should never be entrusted with the life of a child, even if it is one made of wood.  He's crazy to begin with for wanting his puppet to turn into a real boy, and then when it does he just lets it skip off to school all alone, on its second day of "life."  And Jiminy Cricket, while I love him, is an awful conscience and being a cricket, he isn't much of a guardian.

The other thing I didn't really like about it was that nothing felt believable or like it made sense.  Okay, I understand it's fantasy, and not everything is real life.  I love fantasy... but I prefer for it to be rooted in some sort of reality.  Even within a fantastical world, things need to happen for a reason.  The bit with Stromboli is fine, it makes sense, but after that everything goes crazy.  At Pleasure Island, for instance, what exactly is making the boys turn into donkeys?  I mean, apparently it's some sort of curse, but what exactly triggers it?  Why do Pinocchio and Lampwick stay human so much longer than the other boys?  And this part makes me sad because even though Pinocchio escapes, all of those other boys are left to their fate as donkeys.

Finally, the whale.  Forget about the fact that Jiminy Cricket can breath underwater.  Never mind the fact that Monstro apparently never digests his food and it all just sits in his stomach for days and days.  No, the part that gets me is How does Pinocchio die??  This is never explained in the least bit, and keep in mind that he is not a real boy.  If he's not a real boy, I would think that the only way to "kill" him would be to chop him up into firewood or something.  It makes no sense.  Feel free to try and explain it to me if you'd like.

Figaro the cat is my favorite.

The Music
The one thing that this movie does have going for it is some good music.  You've got a lot of memorable tunes, including "I've Got No Strings" and "Give a Little Whistle."  And of course, there is the beautiful "When You Wish Upon a Star."  The songs work well with the movie and many of them have become Disney classics.

The Villain
No "main" villain in this one.  You have a few bad guys, including Stromboli, Honest John, and of course Monstro.  But none of them are around long enough to really make any sort of impression.  The main conflict isn't the villains themselves, but Pinocchio's inexperience with life and how he deals with them.  Granted, some of those people listed are pretty horrible, but they're just not that interesting or even vitally important to the plot.

The Disney World Connection
Like many of the other movies, Pinocchio has several characters walking around.  He's also got his own quick service restaurant called Pinocchio's Village Haus, where you can get pizza and other fast food like items.

My rating:  5 out of 10
Jason's rating:  6 out of 10

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