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Pinocchio (1940 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed bySupervising DirectorsSequence Directors
Story by
Based onThe Adventures of Pinocchio
by Carlo Collodi
Produced byWalt Disney
Music by
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc. (1992 reissue)
Release dates
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.6 million[3]
Box office$164 million

Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on Carlo Collodi's 1883 children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, it is the second Disney animated feature film, after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). It is also the third animated film overall produced by an American film studio, after Fleischer Studios' Gulliver's Travels (1939).

The plot involves an old Italian woodcarver named Geppetto who carves a wooden puppet named Pinocchio, who is brought to life by a blue fairy. He wishes to be a real boy, and she informs him that he can if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish." Along his journey, Pinocchio encounters several characters representing the temptations and consequences of wrongdoing, as Jiminy Cricket, who takes the role of Pinocchio's conscience, attempts to guide him in matters of right and wrong.

The film was adapted by several storyboard artists from Collodi's book. The production was supervised by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske, and the film's sequences were directed by Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, and Bill Roberts. Pinocchio was a groundbreaking achievement in the area of effects animation, giving realistic movement to vehicles and machinery as well as natural elements such as rain, water, lightning, smoke, and shadow. After premiering at the Center Theatre in New York City on February 7, 1940, Pinocchio was released in theatres on February 23, 1940.

Although it received critical acclaim and became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award — winning two for Best Music, Original Score and for Best Music, Original Song for "When You Wish Upon a Star" — it was initially a box office bomb, mainly due to World War II cutting off the European and Asian markets. It eventually made a profit after its 1945 rerelease, and is considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, with a 100% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. The film and characters are still prevalent in popular culture, featuring at various Disney parks and other forms of entertainment. In 1994, Pinocchio was added to the United States National Film Registry for being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."[4]

A 2000 live-action movie titled Geppetto, told from Geppetto's perspective, was released direct to television.[5] A live-action remake of the same name was released on Disney+ in 2022 and received negative reviews from critics.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Pinocchio(1940) - Pinocchio Becomes A Real Boy



Jiminy Cricket addresses the audience as the narrator and begins telling a story.

Jiminy came to a village in Italy sometime in the late 19th century, where he arrived at the shop of a woodworker and toymaker named Geppetto, who creates a marionette he names Pinocchio. As he falls asleep, Geppetto wishes upon a star for Pinocchio to be a real boy. Late that night, the Blue Fairy visits the workshop and brings Pinocchio to life, although he remains a puppet. She informs him that if he proves himself to be brave, truthful, and unselfish, he will become a real boy. When Jiminy reveals himself, the Blue Fairy assigns him to be Pinocchio's conscience. Geppetto awakens upon hearing the commotion from Pinocchio falling, and is overjoyed to discover that he is alive and will become a real boy.

The next morning, while walking to school, Pinocchio is led astray by con artist fox Honest John and his sidekick Gideon the Cat. Honest John convinces him to join Stromboli's puppet show, despite Jiminy's objections. Pinocchio becomes Stromboli's star attraction, but when he tries to go home, Stromboli locks him in a bird cage and leaves to tour the world with Pinocchio. After Jiminy unsuccessfully tries to free his friend, the Blue Fairy appears, and an anxious Pinocchio lies about what happened, causing his nose to grow. The Blue Fairy restores his nose and frees Pinocchio when he promises to make amends, but warns him that she can offer no further help.

Meanwhile, a mysterious Coachman hires Honest John to find disobedient boys for him to take to Pleasure Island. Though the Coachman's implication of what happens to the boys frightens Honest John and Gideon, the former reluctantly accepts the job and finds Pinocchio, convincing him to take a vacation on Pleasure Island. On the way to the island, Pinocchio befriends Lampwick, a delinquent boy. At Pleasure Island, without rules or authority to enforce their activity, Pinocchio, Lampwick, and many other boys soon engage in vices such as vandalism, fighting, smoking and drinking. Jiminy eventually finds Pinocchio in a bar smoking and playing pool with Lampwick, and the two have a falling out after Pinocchio defends Lampwick for his actions. As Jiminy tries to leave Pleasure Island, he discovers that the island hides a horrible curse that turns the boys into donkeys after making "jackasses" of themselves, and they are sold by the Coachman into slave labor. Pinocchio witnesses Lampwick transform into a donkey, and with Jiminy's help, he escapes before he can be fully transformed, though he still has a donkey's ears and tail.

Upon returning home, Pinocchio and Jiminy find Geppetto’s workshop deserted and get a letter from the Blue Fairy in the form of a dove, stating that Geppetto had gone out looking for Pinocchio and sailed to Pleasure Island. However, he was swallowed by a sperm whale called Monstro and is now trapped in its stomach. Determined to rescue his father, Pinocchio jumps into the ocean with Jiminy and is soon swallowed by Monstro, where he reunites with Geppetto. Pinocchio devises a scheme to make Monstro sneeze and allow them to escape, but the whale chases them and smashes their raft with his tail. Pinocchio selflessly pulls Geppetto to safety in a cove just as Monstro crashes into it and Pinocchio is seemingly killed.

Back at home, Geppetto, Jiminy, Figaro, and Cleo mourn Pinocchio. However, having succeeded in proving himself brave, truthful, and unselfish, Pinocchio is revived and turned into a real human boy by the Blue Fairy, much to everyone's joy. As the group celebrates, Jiminy steps outside to thank the Fairy and is rewarded with a solid gold badge that certifies him as an official conscience.

Voice cast

  • Dick Jones as Pinocchio, an exuberant and endearing wooden puppet carved by Geppetto and brought to life by the Blue Fairy.
    • Jones also voiced Alexander, a disobedient boy who is turned into a donkey at Pleasure Island, but still talks.
  • Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket, a cheerful, optimistic, intelligent, and wisecracking cricket, who acts as Pinocchio's "conscience" and is the partial narrator of the story.
  • Christian Rub as Geppetto, a kind and elderly wood-carver and Pinocchio's creator, who wishes for him to become a real boy. He speaks with an Austrian accent.
  • Clarence Nash as Figaro, Geppetto's spoiled pet cat who is prone to sulk. Cleo, Geppetto's flirty pet goldfish with a habit of being Figaro's counselor, is unvoiced. Figaro and Cleo were original characters not present in the original story, and were added to the script by the Disney team.[6]
  • Walter Catlett as "Honest" John Worthington Foulfellow, an anthropomorphic red fox con artist who swindles Pinocchio.
  • Charles Judels as Stromboli, a greedy, sadistic, and abusive puppeteer who intends to force Pinocchio to perform onstage to make money and use as "firewood" once he gets "too old" to perform. He speaks English with an Italian accent, and curses in Italian gibberish when angry. He is called "Gypsy" by Honest John, likely due to his theatre and caravan always travelling, as well as other names like "rascal" and "faker".
    • Judels also voiced the nefarious and cunning Coachman, the owner and operator of Pleasure Island.
  • Evelyn Venable as the Blue Fairy, who brings Pinocchio to life and promises to turn him into a real boy if he proves himself brave, truthful, and selfless. Live-action references for the Blue Fairy were provided by Marge Champion, who served as the live-action reference for the titular heroine in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Frankie Darro as Lampwick, a naughty and spoiled boy who Pinocchio befriends on his way to Pleasure Island and is turned into a donkey for his mischief.
  • Stuart Buchanan as the Carnival Barker, the announcer at Pleasure Island. In a book adaptation of the film, "Barker" is the Coachman's name.
  • Thurl Ravenscroft as Monstro, the sperm whale. He swallows Pinocchio, Geppetto, Figaro, and Cleo, then tries to kill them after they escape from his belly by making him sneeze.

The voice cast was all uncredited, as was the practice at the time for many animated films.



In September 1937, during the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, animator Norman Ferguson brought a translated version of Carlo Collodi's 1883 Italian children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio to the attention of Walt Disney. After reading the book, "Walt was busting his guts with enthusiasm," as Ferguson later recalled. Disney then commissioned storyboard artist Bianca Majolie to write a new story outline for the book, but after reading it, he felt her outline was too faithful.[8] Pinocchio was intended to be the studio's third feature, after Bambi (1942). However, due to difficulties with Bambi (adapting the story and animating the animals realistically), Disney announced that Bambi would be postponed while Pinocchio would move ahead in production. Ben Sharpsteen was then re-assigned to supervise the production while Jack Kinney was given directional reins.[9][8]

Writing and design

Unlike Snow White, which was a short story that the writers could expand and experiment with, Pinocchio was based on a novel with a very fixed, although episodic, story. Therefore, the story went through drastic changes before reaching its final incarnation.[7] In the original novel, Pinocchio is a cold, rude, ungrateful, inhuman brat that often repels sympathy and only learns his lessons the hard way.[10] The writers decided to modernize the character and depict him similar to Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy,[11] but equally as rambunctious as the puppet in the book. The story was still being developed in the early stages of animation.[10]

Early scenes animated by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas show that Pinocchio's design was exactly like that of a real wooden puppet with a long pointed nose, a peaked cap and bare wooden hands.[7]

Early scenes animated by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston show that Pinocchio's design was exactly like a real wooden puppet with a long pointed nose, a peaked cap, and bare wooden hands.[12] Disney, however, was not impressed with the work that was being done on the film. He felt that no one could really sympathize with such a character and called for an immediate halt in production.[10][11] Fred Moore redesigned the character slightly to make him more appealing, but the design still retained a wooden feel.[13]

Young and upcoming animator Milt Kahl felt that Thomas, Johnston, and Moore were "rather obsessed with the idea of this boy being a wooden puppet" and felt that they should "forget that he was a puppet and get a cute little boy; you can always draw the wooden joints and make him a wooden puppet afterwards." Co-supervising director Hamilton Luske suggested to Kahl that he should demonstrate his beliefs by animating a test sequence.[14]

Kahl then showed Disney an animation test scene in which Pinocchio is underwater looking for his father.[15] From this scene, Kahl re-envisioned the character by making him look more like a real boy, with a child's Tyrolean hat and standard cartoon character four-fingered (or three and a thumb) hands with Mickey Mouse-type gloves.[16] The only parts of Pinocchio that still looked more or less like a puppet were his arms, legs, and little button wooden nose. Disney embraced Kahl's scene and immediately urged the writers to evolve Pinocchio into a more innocent, naïve, somewhat coy personality reflecting Kahl's design.[17]

However, Disney discovered that the new Pinocchio was too helpless and was far too often led astray by deceiving characters. Therefore, in the summer of 1938, Disney and his story team established the character of the cricket. Originally, the talking cricket was only a minor character whom Pinocchio abruptly killed by squashing with a mallet and who later returned as a ghost. Disney dubbed the cricket "Jiminy", and made him a character who would try to guide Pinocchio into the right decisions.[18] Once the character was expanded, he was depicted as a realistic cricket with toothed legs and waving antennae, but Disney wanted something more likable. Ward Kimball had spent several months animating two sequences—a soup-eating musical number and a bed-building sequence—in Snow White, which was cut from the film due to pacing reasons. Kimball was about to quit when Disney rewarded him for his work by promoting him to the supervising animator of Jiminy Cricket.[19] Kimball then conjured up the design for Jiminy Cricket, whom he described as a little man with an egg head and no ears.[20] Jiminy "was a cricket because we called him a cricket," Kimball later joked.[18]


Dickie Jones (right, as an adult) voices Pinocchio in the film.

Due to the huge success of Snow White, Walt Disney wanted more famous voices for Pinocchio, which marked the first time an animated film had used celebrities as voice actors.[21] He cast popular singer Cliff Edwards, also known as "Ukulele Ike", as Jiminy Cricket.[22] Disney rejected the idea of having an adult play Pinocchio and insisted that the character be voiced by a real child. He cast 11-year-old child actor Dickie Jones, who had previously been in Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939).[23] He also cast Frankie Darro as Lampwick, Walter Catlett as "Honest" John Foulfellow the Fox, Evelyn Venable as the Blue Fairy, Charles Judels as both the villainous Stromboli and the Coachman, and Christian Rub as Geppetto, whose design was even a caricature of Rub.[24] Another actor voiced Geppetto originally, but Disney recast him with Rub after feeling that his voice was "too harsh".[25]

Another voice actor recruited was Mel Blanc, best remembered for voicing many of the characters in Warner Bros. cartoon shorts, including Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Blanc recorded the voice of Gideon the Cat in sixteen days. However, it was eventually decided that Gideon would be mute, so all of Blanc's recorded dialogue was subsequently deleted except for a solitary hiccup,[26] which was heard three times in the finished film.


Animation on the film began in January 1938, but work on Pinocchio's animation was discontinued as the writers sought to re-work his characterization and the film's narrative structure. However, animation on the film's supporting characters started in April 1938.[12] Animation would not resume again with the revised story until September.[17]

During the production of the film, story artist Joe Grant formed a character model department, which would be responsible for building three-dimensional clay models of the characters in the film, known as maquettes. These models were then given to the staff to observe how a character should be drawn from any given angle desired by the artists.[15] The model makers also built working models of Geppetto's elaborate cuckoo clocks designed by Albert Hurter, as well as Stromboli's gypsy wagon and wooden cage, and the Coachman's carriage. However, owing to the difficulty of animating a realistic moving vehicle, the artists filmed the carriage maquettes on a miniature set using stop motion animation. Then, each frame of the animation was transferred onto animation cels using an early version of a Xerox. The cels were then painted on the back and overlaid on top of background images with the cels of the characters to create the completed shot on the rostrum camera. Like Snow White, live-action footage was shot for Pinocchio with the actors playing the scenes in pantomime, supervised by Luske.[27] Rather than tracing, which would result in stiff unnatural movement, the animators used the footage as a guide for animation by studying human movement and then incorporating some poses into the animation (though slightly exaggerated).[27]

Pinocchio was a groundbreaking achievement in the area of effects animation, led by Joshua Meador. In contrast to the character animators who concentrate on the acting of the characters, effects animators create everything that moves other than the characters---vehicles, machinery, and natural effects such as rain, lightning, snow, smoke, shadows and water, as well as the fantasy or science-fiction type effects like the pixie dust of Peter Pan (1953). The influential abstract animator Oskar Fischinger, who mainly worked on Fantasia (1940), contributed to the effects animation of the Blue Fairy's wand.[28] Effects animator Sandy Strother kept a diary about his year-long animation of the water effects, which included splashes, ripples, bubbles, waves, and the illusion of being underwater. To help give depth to the ocean, the animators put more detail into the waves on the water surface in the foreground, and put in less detail as the surface moved further back. After the animation was traced onto cels, the assistant animators would trace it once more with blue and black pencil leads to give the waves a sculptured look.[29] To save time and money, the splashes were kept impressionistic. These techniques enabled Pinocchio to be one of the first animated films to have highly realistic effects animation. Ollie Johnston called it "one of the finest things the studio's ever done, as Frank Thomas said, 'The water looks so real a person can drown in it, and they do.'"[30]


The songs in Pinocchio were composed by Leigh Harline with lyrics by Ned Washington. Harline and Paul J. Smith composed the incidental music score.[31] The climactic Whale Chase was co-composed by Edward H. Plumb. The soundtrack was first released on February 9, 1940.[31] Jiminy Cricket's song, "When You Wish Upon A Star", became a major hit and is still identified with the film, and later as the theme song of The Walt Disney Company itself.[32] The soundtrack won an Academy Award for Best Original Score.[32]


Commentator Nicholas Sammond considers Pinocchio to be a metaphor for American child rearing in the mid-20th century.

M. Keith Booker considers the film to be the most down-to-earth of the Disney animated films despite its theme song and magic, and notes that the film's protagonist has to work to prove his worth, which he remarked seemed "more in line with the ethos of capitalism" than most of the Disney films.[33] Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh believe that the male protagonists of films like Pinocchio and Bambi (1942) were purposefully constructed by Disney to appeal to both boys and girls.[34] Mark I. Pinsky said that it is "a simple morality tale—cautionary and schematic—ideal for moral instruction, save for some of its darker moments", and noted that the film is a favorite of parents of young children.[35]

Nicolas Sammond argues that the film is "an apt metaphor for the metaphysics of midcentury American child-rearing" and that the film is "ultimately an assimilationist fable".[36] He considered it to be the central Disney film and the most strongly middle class, intended to relay the message that indulging in "the pleasures of the working class, of vaudeville, or of pool halls and amusement parks, led to a life as a beast of burden". For Sammond, the purpose of Pinocchio is to help convey to children the "middle-class virtues of deferred gratification, self-denial, thrift, and perseverance, naturalized as the experience of the most average American".[37]

Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who saw the film in theaters in 1940, called the film superior to Collodi's novel in its depiction of children and growing up. "The Pinocchio in the film is not the unruly, sulking, vicious, devious (albeit still charming) marionette that Collodi created. Neither is he an innately evil, doomed-to-calamity child of sin. He is, rather, both lovable and loved. Therein lies Disney's triumph. His Pinocchio is a mischievous, innocent and very naive little wooden boy. What makes our anxiety over his fate endurable is a reassuring sense that Pinocchio is loved for himself -- and not for what he should or shouldn't be. Disney has corrected a terrible wrong. Pinocchio, he says, is good; his "badness" is only a matter of inexperience," and also that "Pinocchio's wish to be a real boy remains the film's underlying theme, but "becoming a real boy" now signifies the wish to grow up, not the wish to be good."[38]

Home media

On July 16, 1985, it was released on VHS, Betamax, CED, and LaserDisc in North America for the first time as part of the Walt Disney Classics label, the second title with the Classics label after Robin Hood (1973) which was released the previous December.[39] It would become the best-selling home video title of the year selling 130–150,000 units at $80 each.[40] It was re-issued on October 14, 1986 to advertise the home video debut of Sleeping Beauty (1959), this release also helped leave out the preview of The Black Cauldron from the original 1985 VHS release due to the preview being too dark and scary for kids. Then, for the first time, it was released on VHS in the US in 1988, 1995, and 2000.[41] The digital restoration that was completed for the 1992 cinema re-issue was released on VHS and Laserdisc on March 26, 1993 and sold 13.5 million copies.[42][43] Its fourth VHS release and first release on Disney DVD was the 60th Anniversary Edition on October 25, 1999.[44]

The film was re-issued on DVD and one final time on VHS as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection release on March 7, 2000.[45] Along the film, the VHS edition also contained a making-of documentary while the DVD had the film's original theatrical trailer as supplemental features.[46] The Gold Classic Collection release was returned to the Disney Vault on January 31, 2002.[47]

A special edition VHS and DVD of the film was released in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2003.[48] The fourth DVD release and first Blu-ray Disc release (the second Blu-ray in the Walt Disney Platinum Editions series) was released on March 10, 2009.[49] Like the 2008 Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray release, the Pinocchio Blu-ray package featured a new restoration by Lowry Digital in a two-disc Blu-ray set, with a bonus DVD version of the film also included.[50] This set returned to the Disney Vault on April 30, 2011.[51] A Signature Edition was released on Digital HD on January 10, 2017 and was followed by a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on January 31, 2017.[52][53]


Initial release

Pinocchio title card

Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times gave the film five out of five stars, saying "Pinocchio is here at last, is every bit as fine as we had prayed it would be—if not finer—and that it is as gay and clever and delightful a fantasy as any well-behaved youngster or jaded oldster could hope to see."[54] Time magazine gave the film a positive review, stating "In craftsmanship and delicacy of drawing and coloring, in the articulation of its dozens of characters, in the greater variety and depth of its photographic effects, it tops the high standard Snow White set. The charm, humor and loving care with which it treats its inanimate characters puts it in a class by itself."[55]

Variety praised the animation as superior to Snow White's writing the "[a]nimation is so smooth that cartoon figures carry impression of real persons and settings rather than drawings to onlooker." In summary, they felt Pinocchio "will stand on [its] own as a substantial piece of entertainment for young and old, providing attention through its perfection in animation and photographic effects.[56] The Hollywood Reporter wrote "Pinocchio is entertainment for every one of every age, so completely charming and delightful that there is profound regret when it reaches the final fade-out. Since comparisons will be inevitable, it may as well be said at once that, from a technical standpoint, conception and production, this picture is infinitely superior to Snow White."[57]

Box office

Initially, Pinocchio was not a box-office success.[58] The box office returns from the film's initial release were both below Snow White's unprecedented success and below studio expectations.[59] Of the film's $2.6 million negative cost—twice the cost of Snow White[3]—Disney only recouped $1 million by late 1940, with studio reports of the film's final original box office take varying between $1.4 million and $1.9 million.[60] Animation historian Michael Barrier notes that Pinocchio returned rentals of less than one million by September 1940, and in its first public annual report, Walt Disney Productions charged off a $1 million loss to the film.[61] Barrier relays that a 1947 Pinocchio balance sheet listed total receipts to the studio of $1.4 million. This was primarily due to the fact that World War II and its aftermath had cut off the European and Asian markets overseas, and hindered the international success of Pinocchio and other Disney releases during the early and mid-1940s.[62] Joe Grant recalled Walt Disney being "very, very depressed" about Pinocchio's initial returns at the box office.[59] The distributor RKO recorded a loss of $94,000 for the film from worldwide rentals of $3,238,000.[63]


The film was nominated and won two Academy Awards in 1941 for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (for "When You Wish Upon a Star"), the first Disney film to win either category.[32]
To date, only six other Disney films have made this achievement: Mary Poppins (1964), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), and Pocahontas (1995).

Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards Best Original Score Leigh Harline, Paul Smith, and Ned Washington Won [64]
Best Original Song "When You Wish Upon a Star"
Music by Leigh Harline;
Lyrics by Ned Washington
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Most Performed Feature Film Standards Won
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form Ted Sears, Ben Sharpsteen, and Hamilton Luske Won [65]
National Film Preservation Board National Film Registry Inducted [66]
Online Film & Television Association Awards Hall of Fame – Motion Picture Inducted [68]
Hall of Fame – Songs "When You Wish Upon a Star" Inducted [69]


With the re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1944 came the tradition of re-releasing Disney films every seven to ten years.[70] Pinocchio was theatrically re-released in 1945, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1978, 1984, and 1992. RKO handled the first two reissues in 1945 and 1954, while Disney itself reissued the film from 1962 on through its Buena Vista Distribution division. The 1992 re-issue was digitally restored by cleaning and removing scratches from the original negatives one frame at a time, eliminating soundtrack distortions, and revitalizing the color.[71]

Despite its initial struggles at the box office, a series of reissues in the years after World War II proved more successful and allowed the film to turn a profit. By 1973, the film had earned rentals of $13 million in the United States and Canada from the initial 1940 release and four reissues.[72][73] After the 1978 reissue, the rentals had increased to $19.9 million[74] from a total gross of $39 million.[75] The 1984 reissue grossed $26.4 million in the U.S. and Canada,[76] bringing its total gross there to $65.4 million[75] and $145 million worldwide.[39] The 1992 reissue grossed $18.9 million in the U.S. and Canada bringing Pinocchio's lifetime gross to $84.3 million at the U.S. and Canadian box office.[75]

Modern acclaim

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has the website's highest rating of 100%, meaning every single one of the 60 reviews of the reviews from contemporary, to modern re-appraisals, on the site are positive, with an average rating of 9.1/10.[77] The general consensus of the film on the site is "Ambitious, adventurous, and sometimes frightening, Pinocchio arguably represents the pinnacle of Disney's collected works – it's beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant.".[77] On Metacritic, Pinocchio has a weighted score of 99 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". It is currently the highest-rated animated film on the site, as well as the highest-rated Disney animated film.[78]

Many film historians consider this to be the film that most closely approaches technical perfection of all the Disney animated features.[79] Film critic Leonard Maltin said, "with Pinocchio, Disney reached not only the height of his powers, but the apex of what many critics consider to be the realm of the animated cartoon."[80]

In 1994, Pinocchio was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[4] Filmmaker Terry Gilliam selected it as one of the ten best animated films of all time in a 2001 article written for The Guardian[81] and in 2005, Time magazine named it one of the 100 best films of the last 80 years, and then in June 2011 named it the best animated movie of "The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films".[82]

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Pinocchio was acknowledged as the second best film in the medium of animation, after Snow White.[83] It was nominated for the AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies,[84] and received further nominations for their Thrills[85] and Heroes and Villains (Stromboli in the villains category) lists.[86] The song "When You Wish Upon A Star" ranked number 7 on their 100 Songs list,[87] and the film ranked 38th in the 100 Cheers list.[88] The quote "A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face" was nominated for the Movie Quotes list,[89] and the film received further nomination in the AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals list.[90]

On June 29, 2018, Pinocchio was named the 13th best Disney animated film by IGN.[91] Film critic Roger Ebert, adding it to his list of "Great Movies", wrote that the movie "isn't just a concocted fable or a silly fairy tale, but a narrative with deep archetypal reverberations."[92]


Geppetto and Pinocchio at Magic Kingdom
Pinocchio's village, Disneyland, inspired by Gustaf Tenggren paintings

After the film, Jiminy Cricket became an iconic Disney character, making numerous other appearances in a major role, including the film Fun and Fancy Free (1947), educational serials from The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1977), the featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), and the video game Disney's Villains' Revenge (1999).

Figaro, Geppetto's kitten, primarily animated by Eric Larson, has been described as a "hit with the audiences", which resulted in him making appearances in several subsequent Disney short films in the 1940s.[93]

Many of Pinocchio's characters are costumed characters at Disney parks.[94] Pinocchio's Daring Journey is a popular ride at the original Disneyland,[94] Tokyo Disneyland,[95] and Disneyland Park in Paris.[96] Pinocchio Village Haus is a quick service restaurant at Walt Disney World that serves pizza and macaroni and cheese.[97] There are similar quick-service restaurants at the Disneyland parks in Anaheim and Paris as well, with almost identical names.[97]

Disney on Ice starring Pinocchio, toured internationally from 1987 to 1992.[98] A shorter version of the story is also presented in the current Disney on Ice production "One Hundred Years of Magic".[98]

Cancelled sequel

In the mid-2000s, Disneytoon Studios began development on a sequel to Pinocchio. Robert Reece co-wrote the film's screenplay, which saw Pinocchio on a "strange journey" for the sake of something dear to him. "It's a story that leads Pinocchio to question why life appears unfair sometimes," said Reece.[99] John Lasseter cancelled Pinocchio II soon after being named Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006.[100]

Live-action adaptations


A Disney's made-for-television movie titled Geppetto was released in 2000. It was based on a book by David Stern, which was a re-telling of the original 1883 original Pinocchio book but told from Geppetto's perspective.[101][5] While not a direct adaptation of the 1940 animated film, it features few commons elements such as the character of Figaro, the song "I've Got No Strings", and Pleasure Island. It stars Drew Carey as Geppetto and Seth Adkins as Pinocchio, and features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.[5]

The movie was in turn adapted into a musical, Disney's My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto's Musical Tale, which premiered at The Coterie Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri in 2006.[102]

2022 remake

A live-action adaptation[103][104] directed by Robert Zemeckis who also co-produced and co-written with Chris Weitz,[105][106][107] and stars Tom Hanks as Geppetto, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as Pinocchio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket, Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Keegan-Michael Key as Honest John, Luke Evans as the Coachman and Lorraine Bracco as a new character named Sofia the Seagull.[108][109][110] The film was released to the streaming service Disney+ on September 8, 2022.[111]

In other media

The Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip published an adaptation of Pinocchio from December 24, 1939 to April 7, 1940. The sequences were scripted by Merrill De Maris and drawn by Hank Porter.[112]

Video games

Aside from the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Game Boy, and SNES games based on the animated film, the characters appear in several Disney video games.

Jiminy Cricket appears as a main character in Disney's Villains' Revenge, being player's guide during the progress of the game.

In the Kingdom Hearts series, Jiminy Cricket appears acting as a recorder, keeping a journal of the game's progress in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II, and Kingdom Hearts III.[113] Pinocchio, Geppetto and Cleo also appear as characters in Kingdom Hearts.[114] and the inside of Monstro is also featured as one of the worlds.[113] Pinocchio's home world was slated to appear in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, but was omitted due to time restrictions, although talk-sprites of Pinocchio, Geppetto, Honest John and Gideon have been revealed.[115] As compensation, this world appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, under the name "Prankster's Paradise", with Dream world versions of Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Geppetto, Monstro and the Blue Fairy appearing.[115]

Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Geppetto, Figaro, the Blue Fairy, Honest John and Stromboli appear as playable characters in the video game Disney Magic Kingdoms, along with some attractions based on locations of the film. Monstro also appeared temporarily as a non-player character for a Boss Battle during the limited time "Pinocchio Event" in which the characters and material related to the film were included. In the game, the characters are involved in new storylines that serve as a continuation of the film.[116]

See also


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"Threads of Melody: Evolution of a Major Film Score" by Ross B. Care in the Library of Congress book, Wonderful Inventions.



When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream

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