Pinocchio (1940)

pinocchio poster 1940 movie
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

An animation classic that still wows

Starts a bit slow for some

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Pinocchio

Studio:  Walt Disney Animation Studios

Genre(s):  Animated/Musical/Family

Release Date(s):  February 7, 1940 (Premiere)/February 3, 1940 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

pinocchio blue fairy

When you wish upon a star…toys come to life

The toymaker Geppetto has always wanted a real boy.  When he wishes upon the star, the Blue Fairy grants his wish by turning his toy creation Pinocchio into a living wooden boy.  With Jiminy Cricket as his conscience, Pinocchio learns he can be a real boy if he earns it.  Learning to be good is not easy, and when Pinocchio is lured away from home by Honest John and Gideon, Pinocchio will find that temptation exists everywhere…and getting home will be harder than he ever thought.

Directed by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske, Pinocchio is a family animated fantasy.  Based upon 1883 The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, the film is the second film in Walt Disney’s Classic Animated series following Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.  It was won Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“When You Wish Upon a Star”) and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1994.

pinocchio pleasure isalnd donkeys

I would gladly turn into a donkey to go to this awesome place

Pinocchio is a classic, but it often does not give the love that I give it.  The pacing and storytelling is not necessarily in tune with today’s animated films, but it has a classic feel that echoes through the whole story.

With Fantasia, Pinocchio is probably one of my favorite Disney films. It just has a type of innocence to it that later movies lose. Jiminy Cricket is probably the best cartoon companion of all Disney creations because he doesn’t become overbearing with one-liners and tons of jokes, but still can deliver a laugh (plus, they add in Cleo and Figaro for more fun for kids). I don’t love Honest John and Gideon, though their style has influenced people like Penn & Teller. Lampwick is the quintessential bad kid and of course he gets his just desserts.

I do wish that the movie got going a little faster, but I don’t hold it against it.  The earlier scene (and “I Have No Strings” song) just doesn’t compare to the creepy Pleasure Island or the Monstro scenes. The book was a series of shorts that made up a bigger story so it does feel a little episodic at times.

pinocchio underwater donkey

Are any of you Monstro?

The art of Pinocchio is also fantastic. Disney and the creators really gave the village, the puppet show, Pleasure Island, and Monstro a feel. Pleasure Island is just creepy and the goat boys (and the transformation scenes) are horrifying. I like how the Monstro scenes are done with the wavy art and the newest Blu-Ray transfer of the film makes it look like it was made last year (minus the lack of wide-screen).

Pinocchio is a classic and another important step in animation. Some people dog the movie for being dull and boring, but I can’t see that all. The characters, the story, and the feeling created by the movie is classic Disney and a perfect film for all ages…“When You Wish Upon a Star” still holds true.  Walt Disney followed Pinocchio with Fantasia in 1940.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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