Thursday, October 13, 2011


"Pinocchio" is an early animated classic from Walt Disney which consists of two wildly different halves, the first comprising of scenes of delightful imagination and the second containing dark and terrifying passages. The well known story begins with the folksy Jiminy Cricket stumbling into the home of Geppetto, a kindly woodcarver who has just crafted a boy like marionette. That night, he makes a wish upon a star that the puppet Pinocchio will become a real boy. His wish is slightly granted by a blue fairy who says he must attain virtuous qualities to become human. So, with Jiminy in tow as his conscience, the naive Pinocchio sets out for a series of misadventures. "Pinocchio" is one of the true wonders, not only for animation, but for movie storytelling as well. The animation is incredibly intricate and beautiful, and the early scenes in Geppetto's hovel, where he dances in revelry with Pinocchio, Figaro the cat, and Cleo the fish as Jiminy dances with the cuckoo clock figurines, are an exercise in pure delight. The following scenes where Pinocchio is sold by the devious Honest John and Gideon to Stromboli and is forced to perform in his travelling show are comical and magical as well. Then as the coachman discusses his sinister Pleasure Island plan and laughs his sinister laugh, I was immediately taken back to scenes of childhood fright as thoughts of the donkey boys and Monstro the whale came rushing back to my brain. "Pinocchio" is a painstakingly beautiful film that is both dark and funny and far too daring for any studio to attempt to replicate for today's prudish audiences.