Pinocchio has been a real boy for a year. So his creator, Geppetto makes him a cake to celebrate. After a visit from the Pinocchio's Fairy Godmother (who had turned Pinocchio into a real boy), Geppetto realizes that he must deliver a precious Jewel box to the Mayor. Pinocchio persuades Geppetto to allow to take the box and makes his way to the Mayor's house. Pinocchio also takes with him his hand-make glow worm, which magically becomes real when Pincoccho gets distracted by a Carnival that has come to town. Pinocchio names his glow worm Willikers and decides to take a peek at the Carnival, despite Geppetto telling him not to go anywhere near it. Nearby, Scalawag and his colleague Igor advertise a three-shell game which cheats people out of their money, leading to Scalawag's and Igor's escape by using a cannon to get away from the angry mob. Scalawag meets Pinocchio and trades the Jewel box a ruby, which turns out to be a fake when Pinocchio gets home, which angers Geppetto. Pinocchio ... Written by
The Waltzing Walkman
In early 1985, Filmation announced plans to produce a series of 13 animated films under the umbrella title of "Filmation's New Classics Collection They were to be feature-length stories to be distributed in theaters, on video and then sold for television broadcast and possible spin-off series. The titles were: "The New Adventures of Pinnocchio", "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfelles", "The Challenge of Cinderella", "Time Machine II: The Man Who Saved the Future", "Bambi: Prince of the Forest". "20 Million Leagues Across the Universe", "Frankenstein Lives Again!", "The Further Adventures of Gulliver", "The son of Sleeping Beauty", "L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus", "The Continuing Adventures of the Jungle Book", "New Tales of Arabian Nights" and "Alice Returns to Wonderland". The Walt Disney company sued Filmation before production had even started for proposing to make sequels to their classic films and in the end, only "Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night" and Happily Ever After (1990) were produced. See more »
As the Emperor of the Night is telling Pinocchio that he isn't like his other puppets, the Emperor has no body and you can see right through him. When the Emperor says the line, "Yes indeed," we see him from the back and can't see through him. See more »
Don't be put off by those who would label this little gem a Disney ripoff. In a time when very few animated features were being produced, Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night is a surprisingly nice little animated film. From the opening moments, you can see that this was intended to be something special. There is some great animation, such as the ending on the Emperor of the Night's ship. There are some dark, genuinely frightening moments such as James Earl Jones as the titular Emperor and his macabre carnival, or a scene which has Pinocchio transformed back into a lifeless puppet. There are comical moments with Gee Willikers the wooden glowbug and Grumblebee. There are also bizarre, surreal scenes, notably a sequence where Pinocchio is tempted in a dream-like land by the Emperor and his minions. The song in this scene, "The Neon Cabaret", is jazzy and upbeat, and it enhances strange mood. Don Knotts, James Earl Jones, Ed Asner, and Jonathan Harris all give wonderful voice performances to their respective characters. Rickie Lee Jones as the Fairy Godmother tends to grate though.
The overall impression is that of a very ambitious production. The film moves along at a good pace and boils to a great climactic finish. Definitely worth a look!
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