Inventor Gepetto creates a wooden marionette called Pinocchio. His wish that Pinocchio be a real boy is unexpectedly granted by a fairy. The fairy assigns Jiminy Cricket to act as Pinocchio's "conscience" and keep him out of trouble. Jiminy is not too successful in this endeavor and most of the film is spent with Pinocchio deep in trouble. Written by
Tim Pickett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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[after singing "When You Wish Upon a Star"]
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.
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I think Pinocchio is Disney's best animated movie ever made (as already speculated by many other cartoon fans). The movie just so happens to be an artistic advancement over Snow White, the movie of which the Disney artists initiated their most expensive animation techniques at the time. Pinocchio is partially known as the film of which they successfully mastered the multi-plane camera filming, which gives the background art breathtaking strokes of realism.
Pinocchio has much more than beautiful artwork. It also has creative writing (borrowed respectively from the original novel), great character development, fresh humor, wonderful music, and emotional impact.
Every character, ranging from Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket to Stromboli, the Coachman, and Monstro, has helped make this a milestone in American filmography. I like Pinocchio, because his innocence is used instead of ignorance as the cause for his downfall in both incidents (first with Stromboli, and later with his trip to Pleasure Island). This personifies how many bad things we might do in life are derived from our GOOD intentions, instead of bad. But my favorite character would have to be Jiminy Cricket, who's probably the smartest character in this whole presentation.
The story itself is so emotionally compelling, one would wonder if Carlo Collodi used the Bible for a little inspiration. A lot of what we see in Pinocchio would seem like it. The protagonist (Pinocchio) is brought to life upon his dad's (Geppetto) wish, but must prove himself a good person before he can become a real boy. The one who witnesses his coming-to-life (Jiminy Cricket) is appointed his conscience by the life-bearer (The Blue Fairy). Pinoke is tempted to do bad, what seems good at the time (by Honest John, Gideon, Stromboli, and the Coachman), and befriends one who is eventually condemned from following the wrong path (Lampwick). Pinoke narrowly escapes from being completely condemned, and has to use his mind to save his father from the beast (Monstro). Along with Figaro & Cleo as supporting players, this storyline goes on and on bringing joy where there's joy, grief where there's grief, fear where there's fear, and so on, to the point of stimulating the notion that Pinocchio is a morality tale derived from the Bible. We may never know for sure.
Walt Disney has conquered the art of retelling classic novels more than twice, and here he especially succeeds with flying colors. Pinocchio went on to win 2 Academy Awards following its 1940 debut, and several other states of recognition as recently as the mid-1990's. This is also one of the many pieces of evidence proving how wonderful Walt was (despite scorn from cynics, serious critics and fun-hating intellectuals).
Pinocchio truly is a milestone, not just in American animation, but American filmography in general. But beware: the current Disney Studio has been churning out terrible sequels to vintage animated films. They already got Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Lady and the Tramp, and more are due in the near future. We must make sure that Disney doesn't destroy this movie. As I said in my Sleeping Beauty review, some people just don't know when to LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE. Again, Pinocchio is a masterpiece that has touched the hearts of the past few generations, and will continue to do the same for many future generations.
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