A bit over two years after Snow White and Seven Dwarfs came Pinocchio. The story is based on the book The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. This was published from 1881 to 1882 in a children’s magazine.
Moving from Snow White to Pinocchio the animation becomes significantly better. The definition of the characters is stark, except for the Blue Fairy which may have been done on purpose. The backgrounds feel complete and each location has its own feel. It uses a muted color palette, but that is consistent with the mood of the movie.
The music of Pinocchio again has a couple classics, but most of it really doesn’t stand out. There is a noticeable matching of mood to music, but it is still missing that special Disney connection that is about to emerge between the action and the music.
In stark contrast to Snow White, the story of Pinocchio is strange and hard to make sense of it. The narrative is easy to follow, but the reasoning behind why things happen is missing. This is not necessarily important, but if you have a moment where your mind stops suspending disbelief, there are many questions that emerge.
Jiminy Cricket feels like he should be the comic relief, but the relationships of the characters are bit more complicated than that. He provides a few laughs and helps the narrative, but the movie is missing the pure entertainment value that the Dwarfs provided in Snow White. There is also a talking cat in the movie, but other than that and the cricket all the other characters that speak are people…. Or a puppet…
Overall, this is a better movie than Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but it is weird and very dark. Lots of disturbing themes emerge and it feels like the type of movie that our society has become too soft to show our children.
Run Time – 88 Minutes
13th Academy Awards – 2 Nominations – 2 Wins
Best Original Score – Won
Best Original Song – “When You Wish Upon a Star” - Won
Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality
1. Pinocchio 2-7-1940
2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937