This film is 75+ years young and still ranks right up there when it comes to classic family films. Pinocchio has everything: a great story, beautiful animation, humour, a lovely score, and plenty of touching moments. We could argue for many moons over whether this is Disney’s best film ever made, but let’s all agree that there has probably never been a person who has seen the film that’s come away disappointed.
Gepetto (Christian Rub) is an inventor who just wants desperately to have a son. He decides to take matters into his own hands by making his own little wooden boy who he names Pinocchio (Dickie Jones). Gepetto wishes so hard that Pinocchio was a real boy that his dream comes true. The Blue Fairy (Evelyn Venable) grants Gepetto’s wish and assigns Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards) to watch over Pinocchio. Jiminy has his hands full with this little boy and spends most of his time getting Pinocchio out of trouble.
In order to become a real boy forever Pinocchio must prove himself to be a good person. Trying to be good proves to be quite a feat for Pinocchio and he puts his trust in the wrong people. In the end the trouble he has brought on puts Gepetto in jeopardy.
This film was one of Disney’s first efforts and is still one of the studio’s best. At its most basic elements this is a fantasy adventure story though there are plenty of messages involved, such as lying, listening to reason and being weak-willed. With the colourful and warm hand-drawn animation and the great music adding much to the wonderful adventure that is this story there is never a dull moment in the film. It is just the right blend of fantasy and horror and light and dark.
The type of innocence involved in this film seems to have been lost to us forever. It is from a different time and place yet it still makes a connection with everyone who sees it. It has entertained generations and will continue to do so for many to come, I’m sure.
-Walt’s Story Meetings: Pleasure Island
-In Walt’s Words – “Pinocchio”
-The Pinocchio Project: “When You Wish Upon a Star”
-Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in “Poor Papa”
-Making of “Pinocchio”