Q: I was watching Pinocchio the other day and my family and I can't figure out what country the movie takes place in. Could you help us out?
Catie, Lakeville, Massachusetts
Catie, Lakeville, Massachusetts
A [Dave Smith]: Pinocchio is an Italian story, written by Carlo Collodi. So the locale is likely Italy.
Pinocchio is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the 1883 children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, and has since appeared in many adaptations of that story and others. Carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a small Italian village, he was created as a wooden puppet, but dreamed of becoming a real boy. Pinocchio is often a term used to describe an individual who is prone to telling lies, fabricating stories and exaggerating or creating tall tales for various reasons.
Amongst the nipping and tucking, there were two longer scenes taken out. One included an extended scene of Pleasure Island. The other is of Geppetto telling Pinocchio of his grandfather, a pine tree.
Mel Blanc, best known for performing the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and many other cartoon characters--particularly from the Warner Bros. stable--was cast as Gideon, which became his only Disney role. Walt Disney, however, eventually decided that the character should be mute, and all of the dialogue that Blanc recorded was cut, save for a solitary hiccup that can be heard inside the Red Lobster Tavern.
When Pinocchio is changed into a real boy, his hands are transformed from three-fingered and white-gloved Mickey Mouse hands into four-fingered (plus thumb) human hands sans gloves. Woodcarver/dad Geppetto, however, sports a full compliment of gnarly digits throughout the film.
After a year of meticulous restoration, which included cleaning and removing scratches from the original negatives frame by frame, eliminating age-old distortions on the sound track, and revitalizing the color, the now-pristine film was reissued in 1992.
Lampwick, the red-headed boy whom Pinocchio befriends at Pleasure Island is a caricature of Disney animator Fred Moore.
The theme song from Pinocchio, "When You Wish upon a Star," was ranked #7 in the 2004 American Film Institute's List of the Top Movie Songs of All Time, the highest-ranking song on the list among Disney animated films.
June 2008 Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Animation".
Lux Radio Theatre on the CBS network, with Cecil B. DeMille as the Presenter, broadcast a condensed version of "Pinocchio" on Christmas Day, 1939. The program featured the performers who did the voices in the film.
Carlo Collodi was really Carlo Lorenzini, a journalist and rabble-rouser who settled down to write children's stories. He took his pen name from the town of his mother's birth, Collodi. When he originally published "Pinocchio" in the form of a magazine serial, Lorenzini's intention was to kill Pinocchio by having him hang himself. At the suggestion of his editor, Lorenzini added chapters sixteen to thirty-two, giving the story a happy ending and creating the character of the Blue Fairy.
The Blue Fairy in Pinocchio (as well as the prince in Snow White) was created by using the rotoscope technique.
Disney, more than any other studio, would effectively market re-releases to take advantage of its films reaching each new audience generation. And since virtually all its pre-1959 animated library are considered classics, the studio is able to reap huge profits with the advent of new media formats and limited-time purchase availability within a particular format.
In 1940, Victor Young conducted a four-record 78-RPM Decca album of the songs from "Pinocchio". The album featured three songs eventually deleted from the film before its release: "Jiminy Cricket"; "Turn on the Old Music Box" and "Three Cheers for Anything". Cliff Edwards, who did the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the film, was the only actor from the movie who appeared on the album. Also featured were Julietta Novis (who sang the "Ave Maria" in Disney's Fantasia), The King's Men and The Ken Darby Singers. It is also claimed that around this time, RCA Victor released an album that was supposedly the actual film soundtrack of "Pinocchio", but whether or not it really was the soundtrack has never been confirmed.
The August 1993 issue of Playboy cited 43 instances of violence and other unfavorable behavior in this film, including 23 instances of battery, nine acts of property damage, three slang uses of the word "jackass," three acts of violence involving animals, two shots of male nudity, and one instance of implied death.
Due to the war, the movie was not released in either Germany or Japan before the 1950s. In 1951, when the movie was released in Germany, it was dubbed with rather unknown actors. Only Horst Buchholz, as the voice of Lampwick, was to become famous in later years. In 1971, the movie was re-dubbed along with other Disney classics such as Dumbo and Bambi. The original dub is now unknown in Germany.
Among the debris in the destruction house at Pleasure Island, a print of 'Leonardo Da Vinci''s "Mona Lisa" can be seen.
During the musical number "When You Wish Upon a Star," when a spotlight is seen on Jiminy Cricket, one is able to see two books to the left of the screen, which are "Peter Pan" and "Alice in Wonderland." Walt Disney started developing these two stories for the big screen at the time of this film's release, and they would be released in 1953 and 1951, respectively.
Award-winning children's-book illustrator Gustaf Tenggren helped create the European-storybook conceptual design, rendering town streets and the undersea landscapes. His design sketches ultimately influenced design work for Disneyland. Although Tenggren heavily influenced the overall look of the film, he left the Disney studios before the film was completed, and received no credit.
Stromboli's wagon was a filmed model printed on cels and painted. A similar technique was used twenty years later in 101 Dalmatians.
When J. Worthington Foulfellow attempts to coax Pinocchio to go to Pleasure Island, he gives the little puppet a card with an Ace of Spades on it, calling it his "ticket". In popular myth and folklore, the Ace of Spades is referred to as "The Death Card".
Despite the iconic nature of the scene in which Pinocchio's nose grows, it only happens once in the film.
Honest John's "real" name is given in promotional materials as J. Worthington Foulfellow, but this name is never mentioned in the film itself.
According to sequence director Jack Kinney, despite casting Christian Rub's role as the voice of Geppetto, he was actually an irascible fellow who drove the animation crew crazy with his ramblings about the glories of Adolf Hitler. They eventually got even with him when they did the live-action shooting for the scene with Geppetto fishing from inside Monstro the whale. Here, they had Rub on a makeshift stage where he pretended to fish while the stage was jostled by some grips who "rocked the boat" to give the desired effect and effectively giving Rub a ride he never forgot.
This was originally intended to be the studio's third film, after Bambi, but given the long, tedious process for that film, it eventually got bumped down in favor of this one.
posted on February 23rd, 2012 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center
Seventy-two years ago today, Walt Disney Pictures’ “Pinocchio” was released nationwide, causing kids and adults everywhere to watch their nose whenever telling a lie.
The story of a wooden puppet who becomes a real boy captured the hearts of moviegoers, and introduced Pinocchio, Geppetto, the Blue Fairy and Jiminy Cricket who are now often seen in our theme parks. (Can you even imagine Wishes without Jiminy as the narrator?)
In August 1978 at Magic Kingdom Park, Pinocchio and Geppetto along with Stromboli, Lampwick, Gideon, J. Worthington Foulfellow and the marionettes posed together in Fantasyland.
While Stromboli and Lampwick are not often seen around the Disney Parks, if you do ever run into them just remember Jiminy’s advice and “always let your conscience be your guide.”