Everything You Need to Know About Pinocchio
It’s no lie! We love Disney’s Pinocchio, the second animated major motion picture released by Disney back in 1940. The film was the follow-up to the success of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.
Interestingly, the public and the critics loved the film back then too, but it just wasn’t reflected in the box office receipts and the story about a little wooden boy who comes to life was considered a critical success, but a financial flop.
Today, however, Pinocchio has become known as one of Disney’s most endearing classic movies. It cost $2.3 million to make — which was twice as much as what Snow White cost –but originally lost money. It finally turned a profit when it was re-released in 1945 and again a few more times by 1992, for a total of an $84.2 million profit.
The plot of Pinocchio is based off of author Carlo Collodi’s original novel The Adventures of Pinocchio with some Disney magic thrown in, of course. It centers around Geppetto, a woodworker who wishes that his wooden puppet — whose name literally means ‘little wooden head’ — that he just finished could come to life.
The Blue Fairy grants his wish, telling Pinocchio he can become a real boy if, “if he proves himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish.” Jiminy Cricket then serves as his conscience. Of course, the plot of any movie can’t be that simple and the naive little wooden boy gets pulled astray by some unsavory characters to Pleasure Island.
Quick! Can you name the most obvious feature about Pinocchio? Of course it’s his nose — and, in case you didn’t know, when he lies, it grows. What you also might not know about Pinocchio though is that he’s really an obnoxious little boy in the novel, but Walt Disney decided that he needed a more likable character for the movie.
Even though Pinocchio is mischievous, Walt Disney makes him cute and amiable. He doesn’t forget the mischievous side of him though.
Walt Disney’s favorite character in Pinocchio was Figaro, an adorable little kitten. As a matter of fact he liked Figaro so much that Walt made him a companion for Minnie Mouse. In case you forgot, Minnie had a cocker spaniel at the time, but not anymore. Sorry Minnie!
Does that hiccup by “Giddy” Gideon the Cat, sound familiar? Probably not, but it was voiced by the incomparable talent Mel Blanc of Looney Tunes, who also voiced Bugs Bunny. But they didn’t call in Blanc just for a quick hiccup. He actually had a bunch of dialogue, but it was removed after Disney decided they wanted Gideon the Cat to be mute, like Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Pinocchio didn’t do well at the box office in the 1940s, but it did do well at the Academy Awards, winning for Best Music, Original Song (“When You Wish Upon a Star”) and Best Music, Original Score. In the movie, “When You Wish Upon a Star” is sung by Jiminy Cricket who is voiced by Cliff Edwards. The American Film Institute ranked “When You Wish Upon a Star” seventh in their 100 Greatest Songs in Film History.
If you love Pinocchio as much as we do, you can enjoy Pinocchio’s Daring Journey which is a dark four-minute ride at Disneyland in California; Tokyo Disneyland; and Disneyland Park in Paris.