Required Viewing for Every Real Boy
Originally Released: 1940
When I was a little boy, Pinocchio really frustrated me: he was careless, foolish, and didn’t listen to the advice of the good people in his life. It really bothered me that he would just run off and get involved in his antics and worry his Father and Jiminy Cricket. Basically, his personality and traits were different from what I remember being like as a child. For me, the thought of getting in trouble terrified me, and I also really worried about what my parents and teachers would think of me. This was usually enough to keep me from doing something wrong. I never could relate to Pinocchio, and he ended up being my least favorite character in the movie.
Despite my lack of affection for the protagonist, I still enjoyed this movie growing up. It was a good story that illustrated the consequences of being bad. Certainly, I didn’t want to turn into a donkey, get locked in a scary foreigner’s cage, or make my father get eaten by a monstrous whale. Seriously, though, Walt Disney must have been proud of this film. I wonder how many little boys it helped persuade to be a little better. There are many good lessons which can be reaped from the movie. They are lessons that are just as important in today’s world as they ever were in the past.
Beyond the obvious moral lessons of the movie, what most impressed me as I watched this film today is how much improved it was in almost every aspect from Walt Disney’s previous effort, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. For example, the artistry and animation dwarfs (pardon the pun) that of Snow White. It is amazing that in only 2-3 years the team was able to make such strides in their techniques and tricks. I enjoyed the transparency effect used on the Fairy, the underwater sequence, and other little touches like the marionette dancing movements.
Story-wise, I thought Pinocchio had more depth, was more complex, and each character, was filled with personality. During the movie I found myself falling into Geppetto’s shoes and wondering how I would feel if I had a little boy and lost him. Likewise, I wondered about how Jiminy Cricket felt as he struggled and failed to be a good conscience. I saw that this is Jiminy Cricket’s story just as much as it is Pinocchio’s, which is a nice touch to the movie. He had his own flaws to overcome and struggled to learn how to be a better mentor, and he also had to learn to be brave, truthful, and unselfish, right along with Pinocchio. These are great characters, and the movie is full of them. Even the minor characters such as Figaro have loads of charm to them.
Pinocchio is another Disney classic that can rightfully be called just that – a classic. It is a movie that discourages wrongdoing and encourages good things like listening to “that still small voice that people won’t listen to.” Oh, it also has a really wonderful and creative clip of wooden clocks of all shapes and sizes, including a farmer unsuccessfully attempting to chop a turkey’s head off, a hiccuping drunkard, and a mother spanking her naughty boy’s bottom. What more could you want in a movie?