For Anyone Who Ever Wished Upon a Star.
"A witty, touching, beautifully composed fable with strong biblical undertones. Channel 4 Film
|A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.|
"Can be enjoyed by both the young and old for its fine detailed craftsmanship and pleasing fairytale story. Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It still is the best thing Mr. Disney has done and therefore the best cartoon ever made. Frank S. Nugent, The New York Times
"...[a] brilliant, timeless animated cartoon feature...Technically dazzling, emotionally rich, with unforgettable chracters...A joy, no matter how many times you see it. Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide
"The charm, humor and loving care with which it treats its inanimate characters puts it in a class by itself. Time
Walt Disney's second full-length animated feature is a timeless, breathtakingly beautiful classic. Based on an 1800s story by Carlo Collodi, it stars Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Cliff Edwards) as a vagabond insect who spends a rainy night at the shop of toymaker Geppetto. The Blue Fairy brings a marionette to life after Geppetto wishes on a star for a son, and Jiminy Cricket is appointed the new boy's conscience. He has a devil of a time keeping up as Pinocchio is willingly lured through various forms of temptation, the most frightening of which leads him to Pleasure Island, where he drinks, smokes, and is almost turned into a jackass. This sequence, as well as Pinocchio's brave rescue of Geppetto from the belly of a whale, ranks among the most memorable in the history of animation. With such songs as "When You Wish Upon a Star," this is about as magical as cinema can get, a sublimely beautiful coming-of-age story for all to treasure.
Pinocchio (1940) - DVD Review
By: Christopher Null
filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 2/27/2009 5:25 PM
Walt Disney doesn't make 'em like this any more. Hell, they didn't make 'em like this for very long at all. Disney's second feature after Snow White, Pinocchio is a scary and perplexing "children's movie." How so? Jiminy Cricket is a voyeur and a womanizer (even of fish). Gepetto builds sadistic cuckoo clocks with women spanking bare-assed children. When inexplicably swallowed by a whale, he even overfishes the whale's belly for all the tuna it swallowed, not realizing his wooden son is in the water. The blue fairy is mean and vindictive. Even the fish Cleo blows smoke rings....read the full review
Cast & Crew
The wish of a kindly woodcarver comes true when a puppet he created comes to life. |The child, named Pinocchio, means well, but he cannot help lying...and every time he lies, his nose grows bigger and bigger.
||Leigh Harline, et. al., Winner, Best Music, Original Score
||Leigh Harline, Ned Washington ("When You Wish Upon a Star"), Winner, Best Music, Original Song
"...Awesomely restored..." -- 4 out of 4 stars
Los Angeles Times
"...Every element in PINOCCHIO shimmers with the energy of young artists reveling in their newly discovered powers of creation..."
"...The movie looks great....The movie is genuinely exciting and romantic, great to look at, and timeless..."
"...Visually, the movie remains the peak of the studio's craft..."
"Arguably the best told of all the Disney fairy tales....And, as ever, the animation is near flawless..."
"The rollicking adventure, about a lonely old toy maker whose wooden puppet comes to life and dreams of becoming a real boy, is tender and timeless." -- Grade: A
New York Times
"PINOCCHIO remains a technical summit of hand-drawn animation, executed with a grace and expressiveness of movement that even Disney's artists were neve quite able to recapture."
DVD Town 10 of 10
Today's computer graphics produce animations that are crystal clear and three dimensional. But "Pinocchio," released in 1940, remains more beautiful to look at. It's the difference between science and art...Nothing before or since has matched Disney's second full-length animated feature for its style, refinement, detail, and texture. Add to its visual appeal a charming story, endearing characters, and memorable songs and you get one of the most beloved classics of all time. Its appearance on DVD was long overdue, but it was worth the wait; it is the best version of it we have ever had for home viewing...Chief among the film's eye-catching delights are Geppetto's village, gorgeously illustrated like a fine, detailed old painting; the inside of Geppetto's toy shop, with its elaborate clocks and fanciful inventions; and the bottom of the sea, imaginatively realized in the manner of Disney's much later film, "The Little Mermaid"...Songs include everybody's favorite, the Academy Award-winning "When You Wish Upon a Star," plus "Little Wooden Head," "Give a Little Whistle," "Hi Diddle Dee Dee," and "I've Got No Strings." Supporting characters not easily forgotten are Figaro and Cleo; Honest John and Gideon; Stromboli; the evil Coachman; Lampwick; and Monstro the whale...Anyway, as I've said on many occasions before, the film's the thing. And you don't even have to like cartoons to like "Pinocchio." You just have to appreciate good artistry. You'll never see richer, more elegant animation than this.
- John J. Puccio
Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
In 1940, Disney made its second and third cartoon features, "Fantasia" and "Pinocchio," and they are generally considered to this day to be the best of all the studio's animated films. Perhaps they're so good because they came at just the right time in the development of animation...The early pioneers (Walt Disney and Max Fleischer in particular) found ways to make their characters something more than just drawings on a screen--to make them seem to exist in a world of gravity and dimension. They experimented endlessly with how an animated character should move, finding a new kind of stylized realism that carried conviction without mirroring the real world...The story of the little puppet and his quest to become a real boy is a triumph of storytelling with a moral. Has popular culture ever produced a more unforgettable parable about the dangers of telling a lie? The story is just plain wonderful..."Pinocchio" is a parable for children, and generations have grown up remembering the words "Let your conscience be your guide" and "A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face." The power of the film is generated, I think, because it is really about something. It isn't just a concocted fable or a silly fairy tale, but a narrative with deep archetypal reverberations. ("Cinderella," "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King" share that quality, and so do the scenes involving Dumbo and his mother.)...What the Disney shop did with its first animated features has resonated through film history.
- Roger Ebert