With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
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 <email@example.com>
When Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket travel underwater, Jiminy Cricket places a rock in his trousers. But just as he arrives by the time the clams opened themselves, the rock is gone. See more »
[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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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.
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