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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
Shirley Jones, the actress well known for playing the mother on The Partridge Family (1970) (among many others projects) originally played the Fairy Godmother. Partway through recording she pulled out of the project. Due to her departure mid-production, there was a rush to find a new voice for the character. After several actresses/singers turned down the role, pop singer Ricky Lee Jones took the role. See more »
When the Fairy Godmother gives Pinocchio his freedom back, she also transforms him back into a real boy. A few shots later, when she asks him why he isn't at home in bed, he is a puppet again. See more »
I grew up watching the Disney film, and also love the book by Carlo Collodi. This is a wonderful underrated gem from 1987, that is a lot of fun. If I had to decide which is better, Disney's "Pinocchio" or "Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night", the Disney film but only marginally.
For one thing, the animation is very impressive. The backgrounds are surprisingly detailed and the character movements are convincing. The animation on the Emperor of the Night is absolutely brilliant. Also, the songs are fun and memorable. "Love is the Light Inside Your Heart" is not only haunting but a genuine tearjerker. "Neon Cabaret", while more a background song is also great, while "You're a Star" is wonderfully upbeat.
Other advantages are an engaging, dark and heartwarming story that keeps to the spirit of the book, a strong script and good characters, including the hilarious Igor and Puppetino(the part when he turns Pinocchio into a puppet was quite frightening). Pinocchio is engaging enough, and the Emperor of the Night while very intense is a great villain. Oh and the Good Fairy is gorgeous.
The voice acting is top notch, you don't hear much of James Earl Jones but once again he does an awesome job as the voice of the Emperor of the Night. Tom Bosley is surprisingly good as Geopetto, while William Windom is unrecognisable as Puppetino. Also Frank Welker deserves credit for his hysterical performance as Igor. In conclusion, this is wonderful and something quite special. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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