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Pinocchio (1940) Poster

(1940)

Trivia

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Figaro was Walt Disney's favorite character. Disney pushed for the kitten to appear in the film as much as possible. After the film, Disney swapped Minnie Mouse's little cocker spaniel with Figaro.
Mel Blanc, best known for performing the voices of many cartoon characters--particularly from the Warner Bros. stable--was cast as Gideon, which became his only Disney role. Walt Disney, however, eventually decided that the character should be mute, and all of the dialogue that Blanc recorded was cut, save for a solitary hiccup that can be heard inside the Red Lobster Tavern. He was also going to voice Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) until it was decided to make Dopey mute. With the exception of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (where he only provided the voices of the Warner Bros. cartoon characters), this was the only time Mel Blanc contributed a voice to a Disney film.
Working models for all of Geppetto's cuckoo clocks were built as guides for the animators.
According to sequence director Jack Kinney, despite casting Christian Rub's role as the voice of Geppetto, he was actually revealed as a Nazi sympathizer who drove the animation crew crazy with his ramblings about the glories of Adolf Hitler. They eventually got even with him when they did the live-action shooting for the scene with Geppetto fishing from inside Monstro the whale. Here, they had Rub on a makeshift stage where he pretended to fish while the stage was jostled by some grips who "rocked the boat" to give the desired effect and effectively giving Rub a ride he never forgot.
The character of Jiminy Cricket wasn't introduced into the story until nine months into production. In an early chapter the 1883 novel, Pinocchio killed Jiminy Cricket, who was known only as Talking Cricket, by throwing a mallet at him. However, the Cricket shows up alive in a later chapter with little explanation given.
Jiminy Cricket required 27 different colors.
The August 1993 issue of Playboy cited 43 instances of violence and other unfavorable behavior in this film, including 23 instances of battery, nine acts of property damage, three slang uses of the word "jackass", three acts of violence involving animals, two shots of male nudity, and one instance of implied death.
Amongst the nipping and tucking, there were two longer scenes taken out. One included an extended scene of Pleasure Island. The other is of Geppetto telling Pinocchio of his grandfather, a pine tree.
Originally budgeted at $500,000, the development of the film caused it to go way over-budget and ultimately cost $2.5 million, one of the most expensive films produced at the time.
During the musical number "When You Wish Upon a Star", when a spotlight is seen on Jiminy Cricket, one is able to see two books to the left of the screen, which are "Peter Pan" and "Alice in Wonderland". Walt Disney started developing these two stories for the big screen at the time of this film's release, and they would be released as Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953).
Foulfellow and Gideon were supposed to meet Pinocchio a third time and be caught by the police after he rejects them.
The first animated film to win an Academy Award in a competitive category. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) won an honorary Oscar two years earlier.
When Foulfellow attempts to coax Pinocchio to go to Pleasure Island, he gives him a card with an Ace of Spades on it, calling it his "ticket". In popular myth and folklore, the Ace of Spades is referred to as "The Death Card".
Carlo Collodi was really Carlo Lorenzini, a journalist and rabble-rouser who settled down to write children's stories. He took his pen name from the town of his mother's birth, Collodi. When he originally published "Pinocchio" in the form of a magazine serial, Lorenzini's intention was to kill Pinocchio by having him hang himself. At the suggestion of his editor, Lorenzini added chapters sixteen to thirty-two, giving the story a happy ending and creating the character of the Blue Fairy.
Walt Disney wasn't happy with progress on the film so halted it halfway through production to rethink the story and redesign the characters.
Stromboli's wagon was a filmed model printed on cels and painted. A similar technique was used twenty years later in 101 Dalmatians (1961).
Evelyn Venable, who was the physical model and voice of The Blue Fairy, was the model for the original Columbia Studios logo.
The theme song from Pinocchio, "When You Wish upon a Star", was ranked #7 in the 2004 American Film Institute's List of the Top Movie Songs of All Time, the highest-ranking song on the list among Disney animated films.
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The Blue Fairy in Pinocchio (as well as the prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)) was created by using the rotoscope technique.
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When Walt Disney picked up his honorary Oscar statuettes for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), he told the Academy Award audience about Pinocchio, which was still in production, holding their attention for a full twenty-five minutes.
Honest John's "real" name is given in promotional materials as J. Worthington Foulfellow, but this name is never mentioned in the film itself.
John Musker and Ron Clements would consult on how Pinocchio (1940) achieved its underwater effects when they were in the process of developing The Little Mermaid (1989).
Lampwick is a caricature of Disney animator Fred Moore.
Award-winning children's-book illustrator Gustaf Tenggren helped create the European-storybook conceptual design, rendering town streets and the undersea landscapes. His design sketches ultimately influenced design work for Disneyland. Although Tenggren heavily influenced the overall look of the film, he left the Disney studios before the film was completed, and received no credit.
After a year of meticulous restoration, which included cleaning and removing scratches from the original negatives frame by frame, eliminating age-old distortions on the soundtrack, and revitalizing the color, the now-pristine film was reissued in 1992.
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This was originally intended to be the studio's third film, after Bambi (1942), but given the long, tedious process for that film, it eventually got bumped down in favor of this one.
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The first time famous voices were used to provide the voices of cartoon characters. Cliff Edwards, who voiced Jiminy Cricket, was a popular personality at the time.
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The first time that a film won the Academy Award for both its score and one of its songs. The next time this happened was in 1964 for the Disney Studios again when Mary Poppins (1964) triumphed in both categories.
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The first Disney feature available on DVD.
Due to the war, the movie was not released in either Germany or Japan before the 1950s. In 1951, when the movie was released in Germany, it was dubbed with rather unknown actors. Only Horst Buchholz, as the voice of Lampwick, was to become famous in later years. In 1971, the movie was re-dubbed along with other Disney classics such as Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942). The original dub is now unknown in Germany.
On Pleasure Island, the painting Lampwick scratches his cigarette on is Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa".
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In 1937, when the studio was still in the midst of producing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), animator Norman Ferguson brought a translated version of Carlo Collidi's story to Walt Disney's attention. After reading the book, "Walt was busting his guts with enthusiasm," said Ferguson.
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The animators had a difficult time choosing how to animate Geppetto, so eventually decided to model him after his voice actor, Christian Rub.
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In 1940, Victor Young conducted a four-record 78-RPM Decca album of the songs from "Pinocchio". The album featured three songs eventually deleted from the film before its release: "Jiminy Cricket"; "Turn on the Old Music Box" and "Three Cheers for Anything". Cliff Edwards, who did the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the film, was the only actor from the movie who appeared on the album. Also featured were Julietta Novis (who sang the "Ave Maria" in Disney's Fantasia (1940)), The King's Men and The Ken Darby Singers. It is also claimed that around this time, RCA Victor released an album that was supposedly the actual film soundtrack of "Pinocchio", but whether or not it really was the soundtrack has never been confirmed.
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One of the favorite films of director Terry Gilliam
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Lux Radio Theatre on the CBS network, with Cecil B. DeMille as the presenter, broadcast a condensed version of "Pinocchio" on Christmas Day, 1939. The program featured the performers who did the voices in the film.
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The pool hall at Pleasure Island is in the shape of a giant eight ball with a tall cue-shaped structure standing nearby. This is a neat takeoff on the Trylon and the Perisphere at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
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In the Dutch dub, the Dutch marionettes sing the line "i bring you with me to Volendam". Volendam is a city in the Netherlands known for their traditional Dutch clothes.
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[June 2008] Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Animation".
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The animation of the sparkles produced by the Blue Fairy's magic were designed by abstract animator Oskar Fischinger, who was working on the "Toccata and Fugue" sequence of Fantasia (1940).
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The film's international grosses were disastrously affected by the outbreak of war in Europe and Asia.
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In the midst of production, the entire Disney animation branch was also in the process of moving from its old home on Hyperion Avenue into new premises in Burbank.
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On its first release, this movie was billed on posters as being filmed in multiplane Technicolor.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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The flower that Jiminy Cricket is in when talking to Pinocchio is called Jack In The Pulpit.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Pinocchio is changed into a real boy, his hands are transformed from three-fingered and white-gloved Mickey Mouse hands into four-fingered (plus thumb) human hands sans gloves. Geppetto, however, sports a full compliment of gnarly digits throughout the film. Pinocchio spends a great amount of time underwater while looking for the whale, Monstro, and his father. During this time he doesn't need to hold his breath or surface for air, implying he can breathe underwater. At the end, however, he is shown face down on shore in a shallow puddle (appearing to have drowned) and it is said he is dead. This is because of where he landed on the rocks, not because of the water.
Originally the donkey Lampwick was supposed to join Pinocchio and Jiminy in their escape from Pleasure Island but is caught by the Coachman's minions and as he is being carried away says, "Go on, save yourselves, I'm a goner." Some storybook adaptations keep the scene.
The chair Pinocchio sits on during the pool scene has a carving of a donkey which is what the boys turn into.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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