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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are a hundred great things about "Pinocchio". Pleasure Island, for
one. I'm amazed how quick the Disney artists were to discover that the
multiplane camera, as well as providing accurate perspective and spectacular
landscape shots, could be used more subtly to suggest sinister murk. (We
get a similar effect in "Fantasia" in the first half of "The Rite of
Spring".) And Lampwick's transformation into a donkey is a disturbing
moment, for many reasons ... today they might have made the mistake of using
flashy computer morphing, which would have been a mistake: expert animation
and cutting gives us the distinct impression - almost all done with shadows
- that there is a donkey BREAKING THROUGH from inside; which, in his case,
is metaphorically accurate. (Probably the reason Pinocchio survives us that
he is as free from native vice as from native virtue. He must LEARN to
adopt the mind-set of Pleasure Island. This takes time: time enough for him
But there's much, much more: clever use of songs (note the obvious, but none the less effective, irony of "I've Got No Strings"); daring use of stark WHITE backgrounds as well dense crowded ones; an intelligent, mythic story; a wonderful dash of humanity in the form of a cricket; a good musical score; rich atmosphere. The last is hard to describe. Of all Disney's films this one has the most pronounced Old World feeling, yet it doesn't seem to take place anywhere in particular - not even in Italy. Nor does it seem to take place in any particular era. I fear that no modern film could be so imprecisely evocative; the artistic innocence in which "Pinocchio" was forged may be lost forever.
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.
Last night I watched Pinocchio, Disney's second feature-length film and in
my opinion one of the studio's best features. Based on the 19th century
by Carlo Collodi, but not half as unpleasant, Pinocchio combines winning
animation with great humor and excitement. There are songs, but they're
never like the huge production numbers that last four minutes and feature
the voice of some up-and-coming princess of pop (who'll be gone in a year)
that the studio later adopted with the applicable exception of When you
Upon a Star. My favorite song is "Little Wooden Head" which is featured in
the beginning and is a truly wonderful scene as Gepetto and Figaro play
happily with the new puppet.
The movie takes a sadistic, cruel, heartless little wooden boy (Collodi's character) and turns him into an interesting, 3-dimensional kid with a good heart but who is weak-willed and doesn't always listen to reason. The animation makes brilliant use of the multiplane camera, featuring a sprawling opening sequence in which the viewer practically sees the entire village at night. The characters are colorful and fun (I especially love Honest John Foulfellow and his sidekick Gideon) and the story has never a dull moment. This film is a reminder of the sort of efforts Disney put int o their films; the man himself had a great storytelling passion that was lost in later works (Alice in Wonderland, 101 Dalmatians). Pinocchio was never as famous as some of the others, and this is unfortunate because it is his masterpiece.
When I - and I assume, most people - think of Pinocchio, we think of
his nose growing longer when he tells a lie. Yet, that is only one
scene in this movie - the first one ever done on this famous fictional
character, I believe.
This is strictly a fantasy-adventure story, not a parable or a full story about lying, although that obviously is one of the messages. There are several moral messages in here, so it's a worthwhile story for kids to see.
Sometimes I think these totally-innocent first few Disney efforts (Bambi, Fantasia) are still better than all the stuff they have put out since.
The colorful scenes are another attraction. particularly in the beginning in the old man's house with all the fancy clocks and toys. That part is better than much of the adventure story, as it turns out. The story lags a bit in the middle and then picks up with a rousing finish with a big whale.
Overall, I enjoyed "Jiminy Cricket" the best and also appreciated that they didn't overdo the songs in here: short and sweet, and not that many. They don't make 'em (normally) like they used to!!
Darker in tone than most Disney animated features (except for 'Hunchback of
Notre Dame'), 'Pinocchio' came shortly after 'Snow White' and showed marked
improvement in the art of animation technology to produce startling special
The first twenty-five minutes alone raise the film to the level of true animation art. Gepetto's inventive clocks come to life as realistically as any real-life photography could do. The warmth and cosiness of his dwelling and the charming shenanigans of Figaro the kitten and Cleo the goldfish, are all perfectly realized. The imaginative use of music and animation art is never finer than in these opening scenes.
Afterwards, as the plot thickens, the special effects are just as impressive. The scene of Gepetto searching for Pinocchio with a lantern on a rainy night after he has been captured by Stromboli is unforgettable imagery. The wagon lurching along roads with Pinocchio in a cage is a frightening thing. Even darker are the adventures that await Pinocchio when he reaches Pleasure Island. The scene of the boys turning into donkeys is probably one of the most awesome and frightening moments in the film.
Altogether charming are the underwater sequences before the meeting of Monstro the Whale. The climactic chase after the escape from the belly of the whale is handled brilliantly. The music perfectly accents the dramatic chase for this sequence and the songs throughout are in keeping with the mood and characters of the story. It is the sharp contrast between the lighter moments and the darker ones that gives the film a correct blend of fantasy and horror.
Parents should be cautioned that very young children may be frightened. Has to be considered one of the most beautifully animated Disney features of all time. A treasure to see again and again.
Pinocchio is a true classic in the world of movies.
Pinocchio is based on the Italian story about the puppet who became a real
Pinocchio is one of Disney`s finest and it beats all the new ultracommercial
cartoons, which the company produces nowadays.
The story is good, the characters are very likable and warmhearted, and the
music is sheer perfection. These old Disney classics are cartoons that are
suitable for the WHOLE family, not just the small kids.
Watch it, and prepare to be stunned!
'Pinocchio' benefits from one of the finest collection of songs to grace a
Disney cartoon; from 'I Got No Strings', to 'An Actor's Life For Me', and
(best of all) 'When You Wish Upon A Star' - brilliant sung by 'Ukelele Ike'
Edwards as Jiminy Cricket.
This cute adaptation from Carlo Corolli's classic novel adds pets with the 'aw' factor (cat and fish), as well as a truly scary sequence involving donkeys. The characters are all memorable and Pinocchio is convincing in his move from a wooden puppet to a real boy, even in cartoon form. Good voice talent from Evelyn Venable as the Blue Fairy too, especially in the bits where Pinocchio can't help revealing he isn't telling the truth!
Short, sweet, funny, and involving, 'Pinocchio' is worth an hour of anybody's time, young or old.
Pinocchio is my favorite movie since I was a child. We can learn many important things that we living for a human from this movie. For example, we donft tell a lie, we don't escape toward an easy thing and what we have courage and so on. I'll never forget the goddess of star say One lie leads to another, and you don't cover the lie in the end. I felt that I don't wont to tell a lie in my childhood. My favorite scene is the scene where Pinocchio go help his father Gepetto in the sea. I think that it is brave of him to fight with a monster whale because he helps his father. And I was impressed with cricket of Pinocchio's conscience. He always helps Pinocchio and lead Pinocchio for good way. It is superb what the goddess of star is always watching Pinocchio in the night sky too. I rated this movie at 9/10.
The 2nd animated Disney classic is Disney's finest movie ever. A
favorite of mine and a very dear film to me. It is an improvement over
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and more captivating.
"Pinocchio" is a masterpiece. It is so good that I can't find any faults in. Perfection is notorious in every way: the excellent artwork, palette colors and attention to detail. All of them obey to very high standards. Everything is so well drawn and painted with heart and soul: the sceneries, the characters, the backgrounds, the wonderful details...
Although the atmosphere is quite dark and creepy in some parts, most of the time it is a sweet movie that is also great fun, entertaining, heartwarming and magical. Animation and soundtrack are superb as well. I just love all those songs. The movie is also a full plate when it comes to classic humor, thanks to many funny moments and hilarious lines.
Being an Italian tale, it takes place in Italy. To be more specific, in a nice village interestingly named Collodi - nothing less than the name of the book's author, Carlo Collodi.
This movie also had the honor of being a pioneer in camera use: just notice that nice close-up of a church and how the camera goes straight to the heart of the village.
This is a timeless classic. No question about that. In fact, it stands the test of time so well that it's difficult to believe this movie is from the year 1940 because it doesn't look any dated. No, sir! It always looks fresh and modern.
Fabulous voice performances is another thing this film doesn't lack. All of them terrific: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Cliff Edwards, Charles Judels, Walter Catlett, Evelyn Venable and even some brilliant ones in the art of making sounds like Mel Blanc and Marion Darlington...
As for the characters, they're also part of the movie's appeal. Cleo and Figaro are such cute and adorable creatures. Who wouldn't want to have a gold fish and a kitten like that? Geppetto, the kind woodcarver, is so distracted that he's hilarious. Pinocchio is cute, innocent and lovable like a human child, although stubborn and prone to temptation at times. Jiminy Cricket is humorous and cool, but a bit impatient sometimes.
Stromboli is hysterical and explosive. His nasty temper makes him so funny, especially whenever he mouths off in Italian! The Blue Fairy has got to be one of the kindest and most beautiful Disney ladies ever. She's so pretty! The coachman looks harmless, but behind his kind looks he's corrupt and a demon.
Honest John and Giddy are a perfect comic relief. Giddy is a cat and a funny mute character (like Dopey). Honest John is the epitome of the sly fox: not *really* evil, but clever, hilarious, charming, shameless, unscrupulous and greedy. Ironically, despite his aristocratic manners, he is incapable of hiding a certain rudeness and lack of culture. For example, he can't spell the name "Pinocchio" correctly. Honest John's real name is never mentioned in the movie: J. Worthington Foulfellow, likely the strangest name I ever heard.
Monstro, the enormous sperm whale, is one of the most impressive animated beasts of all time.
This should definitely be on Top 250.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the best animated Disney movie I have eve seen, and I have seen
most of them. It's so different from all the other ones, as the bad guy
not only lives, he also wins. The Coachman is probably one of the most
evil villains Disney has ever produced; he turns kids into asses and
makes them do hard labor for the rest of their lives...and he gets away
with it. Although the ending is happy, there's still bitterness to it
because every bad guy gets away, including Stromboli who is evil
because of his greed, as with the two foxes who "befriend" Pinocchio.
Supposedly the book is darker than the movie, but this movie is as dark
as it needs to be.
The music is memorable, featuring the classic "When You Wish Upon a Star," which is the only song that seems to be normal for a Disney movie. It does have other musical numbers, but they all seem to have a dark undertone to them. The animation itself is brilliant, especially for 1941; I've always loved the clock sequence. I only wish that animated movies would get back to drawing animation instead of the new cgi crap; it may take longer, but it looks so much better. It's pretty sad when a movie from 1941 looks better than current ones.
This is the only Disney movie I gave a 10/10.
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