Classics Review: Pinocchio (1940)

In 1937, Walt Disney released his first ever animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It became a milestone in the film industry as the first theatrical animated film, rather than a very short subject. Back then, there was no such thing as television. People only went to a nearby theater if they wanna watch something. Anyway, Disney’s next project is a film adaptation of a book known as, “Pinocchio.”

Pinocchio was released in 1940. (same year Bugs Bunny was born) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers. However, it didn’t make money at the box office, due to World War II overseas. Overtime, Disney recoup their expenses with re-releases. Decades Later, Pinocchio is considered to be one of the best Disney animated films. Famous faces such as Terry Gilliam, Carol Burnett and the late Roger Ebert. I almost forgot, “When You Wish Upon a Star” won an Oscar for “Best Original Song.” Today, it’s officially Disney’s main theme before a movie starts.

An upcoming live action remake of Pinocchio with Tom Hanks as Geppetto and Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future Trilogy, Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) directing. It will stream soon on Disney Plus. Another remake not associated with Disney is a stop-motion adaptation directed by Guillermo Del Toro starring Ewan McGregor as Jiminy Cricket. This time he’s renamed, Sebastian J. Cricket. It’ll stream this Christmas on Netflix. Prior to the aforementioned remakes, there’s already a remake of Pinocchio with Drew Carey as Geppetto. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m setting my expectations super low on the two upcoming remakes.

It doesn’t matter if SPOILERS are listed. We’ve all heard of the story countless times.

Real & Fake Qualities

Real: Voice Actors all did a good job for their respective voiceover performances.

Animation is presented in hand drawn format bringing character models, fluid movement and environmental locations to life. It still holds up decades later.

When You Wish Upon a Star is sung by Jiminy Cricket in both the Opening and Epilogue. Again, the song is Disney’s main theme before a movie starts. Thus, marks the company’s tradition like “The National Anthem” is played before a football, baseball or basketball game starts.

Besides that one song, “ I Got No Strings On Me” is another signature tune. It was briefly used in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

My favorite part is Geppetto & Pinocchio flee from Monstro.

Fake: Walt Disney didn’t do a solid job coordinating the story.

I know smoking was common back then, but Disney didn’t have to cross a huge line showing Pinocchio smoke a cigar. Although he doesn’t have lungs, it’s the closest thing to depict underage smoking.

As a kid, I never got the heebie jeebies when Lampwick becomes an ass. Amber Heard’s butthole. Just a stubborn mule. As an adult, I never had a nightmare turning into a donkey.

Plot Holes involving a few reasons. Why didn’t Blue Fairy fix Geppetto’s predicament on trying to raise Pinocchio properly? I got three reasons why Blue Fairy is the worst character. The more disregard-less she is towards Pinocchio & Geppetto’s well-beings, the more I subtract Blue Fairy is a POS. There’s no explanation why she can’t help them both. And I thought Glinda the Good Witch was terrible not telling Dorothy she had the power to click her heels and return home.

Plot Holes

  1. Blue Fairy should’ve changed Pinocchio’s personality into an honest boy. The equivalent of removing a computer virus.
  2. When Blue Fairy frees Pinocchio in a cage, why didn’t she teleport him back to Geppetto? Ugh! Cosmo from “The Fairly OddParents” is more competent than her!
  3. Could’ve been easier for Blue Fairy to rescue Geppetto & Pinocchio before they’re eaten by Monstro.

The lore is inconsistent. Some townspeople are shocked there’s a talking puppet. Ignoring the fact, Honest John is literally a fox who can talk and walk with two legs. Is every person in this movie blind like Stevie Wonder?!

Honest John, his lackey Gideon, Stromboli & the Coachman never meet their fates. Imagine if Calvin Candie, his sidekick Stephen and their henchmen from “Django Unchained” never got what they deserved for being despicable racists?

The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!

As a kid, I used to like the cartoon. Now that I’m older it has problems. Hate to break to ya Disney fans, the original Pinocchio did not aged well. As a movie goer and critic, I have to give classic movies tough love if they’re widely considered a masterpiece or not. If I were Walt Disney, I would’ve changed a few things like giving Blue Fairy a bigger role to assist Geppetto, omit underage smoking and give the villains a taste of their own medicine. There’s a reason why some directors need to change problematic stuff in a book. Stanley Kubrick took a big gamble altering Stephen King’s “The Shining.” The latter hated what Stanley made by making a two-part television mini-series. I’ll tell you what, it’s a stinker!

I’m really not looking forward to the upcoming Disney Plus remake. I’m gonna predict it’ll suck donkey balls.

One thought on “Classics Review: Pinocchio (1940)

  1. There is a lot I have learned in this post, and a lot that I have to agree with.
    1: It comes off as no surprise to me that “Pinocchio” didn’t make too much money in the box office due to WWII.
    2: I am intrigued to discover that “Pinocchio” came out the same year Bugs Bunny did.
    3: I also admire how you compared “When You Wish Upon a Star” as Disney’s equivalent to “The Star Spangled Banner” before every football game (and all sporting events).
    4: I did not realize that no one freaked out with a wooden puppet walking around. I, too, realize that that’s not very believable.
    I am curious to why you thought the blue fairy should have given Pinocchio honesty.
    I also thought that this plot line, as well as many other literary elements, are very similar to 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast,” especially the endings. Disney recycles a lot, although it’s usually their animation shots and characters’ movements. But I am pretty sure that their adaptations of “Pinocchio” and “Beauty and the Beast” having similar plots is merely a coincidence.


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