Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pinocchio {1940}

{Animated Disney Film #2 of 52}

At the risk of having my nose grow, I have to be honest and admit that I don't particularly like Pinocchio. I can't quite explain why, but it's one of my least favorite Disney films that I've seen. Apparently I liked it well enough as a kid, because I remember watching it and I had a Pinocchio t-shirt. :)

I guess after the loveliness of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio feels kind of strange and disjointed. The animation is beautiful, of course, so I guess it's the story and characters that I just can't seem to connect with. Anyway, here are some thoughts I jotted down while watching the film...

I like the songs okay, though I'm not crazy about Jiminy Cricket's voice. They're not the best songs in a Disney movie, but "I've Got No Strings" has been stuck in my head since I watched this on Monday. It's getting a bit annoying.

I remember really liking all of the clocks and music boxes and lovely detail in Geppetto's workshop. And the Blue Fairy is fantastic! I love how she's slightly transparent in certain scenes. She's certainly got a 30s/early 40s look about her. And she's very sparkly. :)

A couple of things really struck me as funny. Pinocchio and Stromboli's little interaction of "No, no, no!" and "Yes, yes, yes!" really reminded me of that scene from Singin' in the Rain where the audio for Lina Lamont and the villain's dialogue gets out of sync. I wonder if that was accidental or an intentional reference in SitR? Also, Jiminy Cricket's line, "What does an actor want with a conscience, anyway?" cracked me up. :)

It's interesting how overwhelmingly moral this story is. Lessons taught: Go to school. Don't listen to temptation. (Don't become an actor. :) Don't board pretty steamboats bound for a place called Pleasure Island. Don't smoke or drink. Don't play pool. If you do these things, you'll turn into a donkey (or as it's referred to in the film, a word I don't care to say :). There's even a kind of Biblical Jonah reference here. Or at least that's what being swallowed by a giant whale reminds me of. {Pinocchio's complete naivety gets annoying quickly. After the first time, Jiminy Cricket ought to have known better than to even leave Pinocchio's side!}

Seriously...can you believe that this image comes from a Disney film?? :)

I remember feeling scared by quite a few scenes in this movie...when Pinocchio catches his finger on fire, everything about Stromboli, the boys turning into donkeys, the monstrous whale, etc. In conclusion, the reason why I don't like Pinocchio now is probably because I was subconsciously scarred for life by the movie as a kid.

That's what we're going to go with, anyway. :)
Do you like Pinocchio, or does he sort of get on your nerves, too?
Up next on the Disney list is Fantasia. Should be an interesting change of pace. I don't think I've ever seen it all the way through! I'll probably post about it in the next week or two. I didn't make it a goal to watch one Disney film a week, but it seems to be going that way right now!

Until next time,


  1. Pinocchio was never one of my favorite films, either, though I always liked the Blue Fairy. :) I think it was mainly because I was so into the "princess" films as a kid and missed the romance, and the fact that the whale scene scared me as a kid. :)

    1. I was way more into the princess stories also, Ruth. :)

  2. I totally feel what your saying in this post! I never liked the story, just the animation.

  3. Ditto - not my favorite Disney film. The animation was beautiful, though, especially the underwater scenes!
    And I thought the exact same thing while watching the "No, no, no!" "Yes, yes, yes!" scene! It reminded me of the scene with Lina in Singin' in the Rain. :)

  4. Guess being frightened by this one was a trend, Kristin. ;)

    Way back when, I saw this as a kid and was terrified by it. The whole whale thing freaked me out. Now, years later, I've still never re-watched though obviously I could "handle it" now. :)

  5. It's been years since I watch this Disney...but the over prevailing "sense" I have from the times that I do remember watching it feels...depressing and sad! Donkeys turning into boys? Kidnapping? Evil people masquerading as friends? Monstro? Eeeek....not my kind of "classic Disney!" I'll stick with my princesses or The Rescuers. :)

  6. I've always thought that Pinocchio was the movie that nightmares were made of! I watched it when I was young and I still get creeped out thinking about it. :)


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