This is part of my journey to re-watch all of the Disney animated features, in order, and share some of my thoughts on them!
Highlights: There’s some good music in this one. Jiminy Cricket is a highly entertaining character – I didn’t remember him being so funny! And he’s obsessed with the ladies, even when they’re made of wood 😉 The animation is also really good here. Figaro and Cleo are adorable and fun characters!
Low points: Sadly, I have to admit that for me at least, Pinocchio is probably one of my least favorite animated Disney films. It’s full of fantasy, but I feel like a lot of the fantasy elements don’t make sense or don’t have enough explanation. Why does it take so much longer for Pinocchio and Lampwick to turn into Donkeys? Why does Monstro never digest his food? How can Jiminy Cricket breathe under water? And how can Pinocchio die (by drowning, presumably) if he’s not actually a real boy? If you have a theory on that I would really love to hear it because it’s a question I’ve had since I’ve re-watched this one!
Music: Lots of memorable tunes here, including “I’ve Got no Strings” and “Give a Little Whistle.” But of course the real highlight of the score is the beautiful “When you Wish Upon a Star.” The songs fit in well with the movie.
Villain Rating: You have a couple of villains here, including Stromboli, the Coachman, and Monstro. In some ways Monstro is the most terrifying, but I’m actually the most freaked out by the Coachman. He obviously has no heart when he can watch young boys being turned into donkeys and just sell them off. His character isn’t as well developed and isn’t on evil queen level of villain, but when you think about it he’s a pretty creepy dude.
Fun Fact: Though the critics enjoyed the movie, the public was not so as enamored with Pinocchio. By the end of 1940, the movie had made back less than half of its costs.
Where in the World? In Fantasyland you can dine at Pinocchio’s Village Haus, a quick service restaurant good for flatbreads. You may be lucky enough to see a character or two out and about as well – Jiminy Cricket is somewhat rare, but he has been spotted!
My personal rating: I have to give this a 5 out of 10. It will probably rank as one of the lowest out of all the Disney films for me because I just don’t really enjoy it. But it does have some high points to it, like the music, so it’s not a complete flop for me.
The Animation Commendation says
5/10? Wow, you’re probably in the minority on this.
I love this film and its dark elements so much. A big reason why this film didn’t do well was because of WWII.
Oh yes, I do think I’m in the minority… But at least I’m not afraid to say it! A friend suggested what is the whole thing is actually just happening in Gepetto’s head because he’s so desperate for a child and perhaps a little crazy. Which was a pretty unique interpretation if you ask me!
The Animation Commendation says
Those cartoon conspiracies are so unnerving sometimes.
Yeah, this one definitely isn’t one of my favorites. Although, I think nothing is worse than the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I went back and watched that last week. I don’t even remember it being that awful, but it was. It was also darker than I remember. Maybe I just didn’t get it as a kid.