51 Days of Disney (Day 2): Pinocchio

If you have ever wished upon a star, then this is the movie for you.

Disney Version watched: 2009 Blu-Ray release with Disney View

If  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was incredibly close to being perfect, Pinocchio is even closer to the almost impossible distinction of being a perfect film. It even has the distinction of being the best animated Disney film, according to Rotten Tomatoes (I do not agree with this statement, but I do believe that it should be in the top 5)

Pinocchio, based off of the Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, follows the story of a marionette brought to life and his attempts to become a real boy by proving to the Blue Fairy that brought him to life that he can be brave, truthful, and unselfish with the help of his conscience, Jiminy Cricket. The story, like the book it was based off of, is incredibly episodic due to the fact that the story was serialized as it was first released. Due to this, the film has characters constantly entering and exiting, most of which you will never see again, and it works surprisingly well for the film. Within the first few moments you see a character, you can instantly understand what the character is like. Doing that takes a lot of skill in both character design, voice acting, and animation to actually pull off well. Marc Davis had always been able to do this very well, but he was not with the company at this time, so it’s nice to see that he was not the first master of this working for Walt Disney.

The most interesting thing about this movie is how much it affected the Walt Disney Company, and the fact that it was not successful in it’s original theatrical run in 1940. The film had a budget of around $2,000,000 and made about $1.4 million. The major problem here was what was going on in the world at the time, World War II. The second great war absolutely killed the international market for Disney’s films, and that is where they made most of their money. The oddest thing about this is how the film created the philosophy of the Walt Disney Company. “When You Wish Upon a Star” went on to win Best Original Song and the score won Best Original Score at the Oscars that year, and the song, of course, went on to be the main message the company tries to say.

The same praise that I gave to Snow White can be applied to this film, but even more so. The music is better, the little animation glitches that could be seen in some versions of Snow White are gone and there is a greater variety of character designs. You have an anthropomorphic fox, cat, and cricket, you have people of different nationalities (Cockney Coachman is, of course, from the United Kingdom and you have Strombolli) who look and act completely different.

Ultimately, Pinocchio an incredibly touching movie about self-improvement and learning and everyone needs to see it.


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