Additional Information about the Feature Film Pinocchio

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Pinocchio (1940) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film Pinocchio

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  • Walt Disney Studios
  • Animated Characters: Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket, Figaro, Cleo, J. Worthington Fowlfellow, Gideon, Stromboli, Lampwick, Monstro, the Blue Fairy.
  • Awards: Academy Award Winner, Best Original Song, "When You Wish Upon a Star" (Music: Leigh Harline, Lyrics: Ned Washington), 1941.
    Academy Award Winner, Best Original Score, Leigh Harline, Paul Smith, Ned Washington, 1941
  • Originally Released in 1940.
  • Production Number: 2003
  • Running Time: 88 minutes.
  • TechniColor
  • U.S.A.  U.S.A.

Release Dates:

  • Feb 7, 1940- General Release
  • 1945- Theatrical Re-release (RKO)
  • 1954- Theatrical Re-release (RKO)
  • 1962- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • 1971- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • 1978- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • 1984- Walt Disney Classics VHS
  • 1984- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • 1992- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • 1993- VHS Release
  • 1999- VHS and DVD Release
  • Mar 10, 2009- Platinum Edition Blu-ray

Cartoon Production Information:

The first animated film to win an Academy Award for best original song for best original score.

In 1994, Pinocchio was one of 25 films added by the Library of Congress' National Film Preservation Board to the National Film Registry.

Songs and scenes from Pinocchio were recreated for a Christmas 1939 broadcast of CBS Radio and Cecil B. DeMille's Lux Radio Theater Show. Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Eve Venabile, Walter Catlett and Cliff Edwards performed their characters on the radio adaptation of the movie.

The scenes of Pleasure Island were based upon the images of the 1939/1940 New York World's Fair. The intention was to satirize its hideous atmosphere in the film.

Despite this film's success with American moviegoers, Pinocchio was not accepted by the surviving members of the Collodi family, who felt that the film misused the strong social satire of the original book. To this day, Disney's Pinocchio is criticized by the Collodi family.

Walt Disney employed more than 750 staff members on Pinocchio, working them for several years.

Technicians developed an enhanced multiplane camera which could dolly in and out of an animated scene (similar to live-action photography), as opposed to the vertical method of shooting used in Snow White.

Animators pioneered using glass plates over the animation to create a realistic underwater look for the scene in the ocean, and established a technique called "the blend" to give the two-dimensional animation some depth.

Twelve artists labored for 18 months to design the character of Pinocchio alone. Disney, a perfectionist, is rumored to have thrown out over 2,300 feet of footage (representing at least five months of work) because it did not fit his vision.

Box-office returns for Pinocchio did not surpass those for Snow White, as Disney had hoped.

This film was rereleased theatrically in 1945, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1978, and 1984. The film went under a full restoration process in 1991 and was reissued in 1992 as a "special edition."

Pinocchio was released to video in 1984, starting the "Walt Disney Classics" video series. The digitally remastered version was released to video in 1993, and again in 1999 on both VHS and DVD as a "40th Anniversary" edition.

This was the second film in the official Disney list of animated films.

Traditional, Hand-drawn Animation.


Riding high from the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Walt Disney embarked on a project that would come to be regarded by critics, artists, and historians as the zenith of animation's Golden Age- the most complex and refined art of any other of Walt Disney's animated features.

Pinocchio is based on an 1881 Italian tale by Carlo Collodi, which had been written in serial form and rambled through an assortment of adventures in numerous locales. The Disney story team narrowed the plot's focus and refined the story but continued to have problems with the basic lack of sympathy in the title character.

Six months into development, these problems led Walt Disney to scrap the entire project and start afresh. One of the obstacles was the little puppet himself. His delinquent traits and physical characteristics were softened. The animators had been thinking of Pinocchio as a moving puppet, instead of a real boy, which resulted in a cold, wooden feeling. Frank Thomas softened Pinocchio's facial design, and Fred Moore redesigned his body, so the character falls in the middle-he does many things a puppet can't and many things a real boy can't.

The critical and public reaction to Pinocchio was strong and positive, but at the time of its release, the European market was cut off by World War II, eliminating a vital source of income for this and other expensive films in the works at the Walt Disney Studio- Bambi (1942) and Fantasia (1940) among them.

Pinocchio was an enormously expensive venture, primarily due to Walt Disney's vision of the film as a sumptuous visual and atmospheric piece. This entailed meticulous and time-consuming character and setting development, and extensive use of the expensive Multiplane Camera technology, which had been further refined from its use in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

These refinements enabled the animators to use a greatly increased depth of field of focus- a field twice the size of that used in Snow White. Under the direction of Charles Philippi, Hugh Hennesy, and Ken Anderson, animation layout reached an unprecedented level of inventiveness, sophistication, and beauty in Pinocchio. The opening pan over the rooftops of Geppetto's village is a masterpiece of animated camera movement.

Gustav Tenggren, whose illustration work had been so vital to Snow White, created the quaint European storybook feel of the Pinocchio settings. The rich backgrounds created for Pinocchio's adventures include Geppetto's warm and fanciful toyshop, a dingy waterfront pub, the belly of a whale, and a nightmarish amusement park. Albert Hurter, once described by Walt Disney as a "master creator of fantasy," designed the picture's intricate decoration, like Geppetto's clocks and music boxes.

In order to draw the audience's focus away from Pinocchio's delinquent actions, the story emphasis was shifted toward a companion for Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket. In the book, the cricket was a sermonizing pest, whom Pinocchio promptly squashed. In refining the character as a point of access for the audience, animator Ward Kimball recalled, 'I started with a real cricket with toothed legs and antennae, but Walt didn't like it. I did 12 or 14 versions and...ended up with a little man, really. The only thing that makes him a cricket is that we say he is.'

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A classic, nuff said.

Comments By:

My all time favorite Disney movie! loved it since i was 3 in 1985 when my parents bought me this excellent, dark and unique animated movie. The original Carlo Collodi story is way more darker but this one manages to become a pure more)

2 of 16 people found this comment useful
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Best Disney Feature

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I'm finishing a review of the 40+ Disney Animated Features, and I believe Pinocchio is the best. The animation surpasses Snow White, and is the last time Disney truly went all out in animating a film: World War II, labor unrest, and creative...  (read more)

3 of 12 people found this comment useful
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Quite possibly the best animated film ever produced. The movie speaks for itself. Watch it over and over, you won't be sorry.

3 of 14 people found this comment useful
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One of Disney's best! Interesting fact: Mel Blanc did the voice of Gideon. Disney later decided that Gideon should not speak. All of Blanc's dialogue was cut out except for a single hiccup that Gideon has in...  (read more)

1 of 5 people found this comment useful
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Comments By:
Bar none, Disney's best animated film! Stromboli, Lampwick, Monstro -- I first saw this in a re-release when I was a kid, and it's left me awestruck ever since!

2 of 7 people found this comment useful
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