Pinocchio (Disney film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

When you wish upon a star,
Your dreams...come true...

Released in 1940, Pinocchio is the 2nd film in the Disney Animated Canon, based very loosely on The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi.

The woodworker Geppetto creates a puppet, which he names Pinocchio. Before going to bed, he notices a shooting star and makes a wish on it that Pinocchio would become a real boy. The Blue Fairy hears his wish and brings Pinocchio to life. She promises him that he will become a real boy if he can prove himself honest, brave and unselfish, and she assigns Jiminy Cricket to be his guiding conscience in the meantime.

The opening song "When You Wish Upon a Star" is one of the most well-known and beloved songs of any Disney movie, and has since become the theme song for the Disney Theme Parks. And a short remix of which is used for Disney's Vanity Plate (You know, the one with the castle) ever since.

There is an unofficial sequel titled Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night.

Tropes used in Pinocchio (Disney film) include:
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Pinocchio when Geppetto examines him before he was about to go to School.
    • Pinocchio is just full of this in general. He shows it off in the Stromboli performance.
  • Acting for Two: Charles Judels voices Stromboli and the Coachman. He even gives them different accents -- Stromboli has an Italian accent and the Coachman has a British accent (this bit of voice acting also carried over into the movie-themed dark ride at Disneyland, in which both Stromboli and the Coachman were voiced by a former trombonist in the Disneyland marching band).
    • Dickie Jones, the child actor who voiced Pinocchio, also voiced Alexander, the donkey kid who can still talk.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Even Carlo Collodi, author of the original story, thought his work was a mess that dragged out FAR more than intended due to Executive Meddling. Many agree that the Disney version is noticeably better in terms of storytelling.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: The Blue Fairy had her hair changed from blue to blond, and changed her eyes to blue. Instead, her dress is blue.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The Talking Cricket = Jiminy Cricket
    • The Fairy with Turquoise Hair = The Blue Fairy
    • The Terrible Dogfish = Monstro
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Red Lobster Inn, which is where the Coachman often tends to hang out whenever he's not kidnapping boys, taking them to Pleasure Island, turning them into donkeys and shipping them to either the salt mines or the circus.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Jiminy Cricket goes from angrily not watching Pinocchio's show to excitedly watching it with eyeglasses on when he sees the French girl puppets doing the kick dance.
  • Ambiguously Human: The Coachman.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Pleasure Island.
  • Anachronism Stew: Pleasure Island.
  • An Aesop: Pleasure Island is meant to be this, especially in the original Collodi novel. If you actively avoid school and bettering your education, you'll end up ignorant (donkey = the famous donkey-eared cap used in late 1800s schools to humiliate dumb students) and won't go far in life, having to do grunt work in order to make a (meager) living. Some Anvils Needed to Be Dropped in the book, as when it was published the percentage of analphabets was really high.
  • And I Must Scream: See Baleful Polymorph below.
    • The ones who could still talk were thrown in a pen. The ones who could only make donkey noises were shipped off. Now remember what people use donkeys for; working in harsh enviroments, breeding more donkeys... In the original book, Pinocchio himself almost ends up skinned.
    • This might fall under Disproportionate Retribution as well.
  • Angrish: Stromboli unleashes quite a bit of this.
  • Animal Abuse: Before Pinocchio was brought to life, Geppetto makes him kick Figaro, the kitten, when he plays with him by making him walk and dance with strings.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The eponymous Pinocchio.
  • Ascended Extra: Jiminy Cricket, who was a nameless cricket in the book who gets squashed.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: Pinocchio comes up with the idea of building a big fire on the boat to get Monstro to sneeze.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: One of the vices on Pleasure Island.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Boys in Pleasure Island turn into jackasses and get forced into labor.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals: J. Worthington Foulfellow and Gideon.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Gideon is a rare male example.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Pinocchio and Jiminy can breathe, and speak, underwater. Which makes it all the more confusing when Pinocchio drowns in less than a foot of water.
  • Beard of Evil: Stromboli, the puppet master.
  • Become a Real Boy
  • Belly of the Whale: Monstro the Whale.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Jiminy Cricket can't sleep because of all the ticking clocks in Geppetto's shop, so he yells "QUIET!" They all stop.
    • Also used by Stromboli after he imprisons Pinocchio in the cage and Pinocchio cries out to be let out.

Stromboli: QUIET! SHUT UP! Before I knock-a you silly!

  • Bittersweet Ending: Pinocchio gets reunited with Geppetto and becomes a real boy, but the Complete Monster villain, the Coachman, is never punished. And those hundreds of innocent children who were taken from their families, turned into donkeys, and sold into slavery? They're still donkeys. No one comes to their rescue.
  • Book Ends: The movie both starts and ends with Pinocchio and Geppetto dancing, although the first time Pinocchio's still an inanimate puppet, and the last time he's a real boy. Jiminy Cricket even lampshades it by saying, "Hey, this is about where I came in!"
  • Bootstrapped Theme: "When You Wish Upon a Star" for Disney in general.
  • Breakout Character: Jiminy Cricket. He has become a representative of Disney second only to Mickey himself. To a far lesser extent, Figaro the cat reappeared in some Disney shorts, usually as a pet of Minnie's or a foil to Pluto.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Gideon to "Honest" John.
  • Cats Are Mean: Gideon is a cat and is supposedly a bad guy.
    • Figaro however averts this.
  • Carnivore Confusion: When waiting for Pinocchio to come back for dinner, Figaro the pet cat is chastised by the goldfish, Cleo, to not eat his dinner just yet, as they are to wait Pinocchio. Said dinner is a fish.
    • If you really think about it, it's not so bad, as they don't eat goldfish. Cleo logically has no more reason to be upset about them eating fish than we would have about someone eating mammals.
    • Though it brings up the Furry Confusion of why these fish weren't sapient.
  • Career Killer: "Honest" John is implied to be this as he says to the Coachman "Who do I have to (makes throat slashing motion)", his book counterpart was one too.
  • Constantly Curious: Pinocchio is full of questions. Although, when he doesn't know what school is, let alone what other children are, one would think one would question his ability to get to school all by himself.
  • Contrived Clumsiness: Honest John gets Pinocchio's attention by tripping him up with his cane.
  • Covers Always Lie: Most of the posters or video covers look pretty cheery. The film itself, on the other hand, is pretty dark for being so early in Disney's animated canon.
  • Covert Pervert: Jiminy Cricket, believe it or not.
  • Crap Saccharine World: It's as bright, colorful, and detailed as any other Disney film of its time, but some of the tropes on this page tell a different story.
  • Creating Life Is Awesome: the titular character is created by the joint efforts of Gepetto (who built his body) and The Blue Fairy (who gave him life). It is all treated as a good thing.
  • Cub Cues Protective Parent: Jiminy is being hassled by a little fish while in the ocean floor. He starts to shoo it away when its mother appears.
  • Cut Song: There's a handful, but I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow in particular later becomes the opening song for #9 Fun and Fancy Free.
    • Another song, "Turn On the Old Music Box" was cut, but the tune remains as Pinocchio's Leitmotif.
    • Another was "Three Cheers For Anything" about the boys on the journey to Pleasure Island singing about what they're going to do once they get there.
  • Death by Adaptation: The Coachman in the video game.
  • Disney Death: Pinocchio loses consciousness rescuing Geppetto from Monstro the whale. However, by proving himself in doing so, the Blue Fairy finally makes him a real boy, also bringing him back to life.
  • Disneyfication: The original book was grimmer. Pinocchio is constantly a little jerk, and the very first appearance of the Fairy is ghastly. The Cat and the Fox (Gideon and Honest John) try to steal money from Pinocchio disguised as street bandits and later hanged Pinocchio from a big tree. When the Cricket first appears, Pinocchio kills it with a hammer (then we see it again like a ghost and again alive in the house of the Fairy). Oh, and Pinocchio bites off the Cat's paw.
    • The original Geppetto was a very, very poor carpenter in Tuscany and not a Tyrol carpenter. People in real Tyrol mostly don't have Italian names. He was also a bit more temperamental.
    • Candlewick's death at the end of the novel, from overwork was pretty gut wrenching.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The boys who go to Pleasure Island are turned into Donkeys and sold into slavery, apparently as punishment for drinking, smoking, gambling and...playing billiards?
    • Values Dissonance. Contemporary audiences would've instantly recognised the latter as shorthand for bad company (billiard-halls being the places where all that drinking, smoking etc were popularly supposed to happen).
  • Drunken Song: Foulfellow's reprise of "An Actor's Life For Me".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Foulfellow and Gideon are perfectly fine with conning small children out of their money and freedom, and if one scene is to be believed, with doing hits as well. However, when the Coachman mentions taking boys to Pleasure Island, they're absolutely horrified. And when the Coachman assures them that the boys will never return as themselves and makes a Nightmare Face for emphasis, the fox and cat cower in fear.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Coachman.
  • Evil Laugh: Stromboli and The Coachman lashes out some of these (they are both voiced by the same actor, so the laugh sounds almost the same).
  • Evil Overlooker: The Coachman and/or Stromboli and/or Monstro in some posters.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: It doesn't feel it, given the sprawling story it was adapted from, but the movie is strongly implied to take place within less than two days.
    • While Geppetto's first seen fishing inside Monstro, however, he says he hasn't had a bite in days.
    • That could be an Adaptation-Induced Plothole, as the pacing suggests that Pinocchio turns into a donkey later the same night he arrives on Pleasure Island (e.g. Jiminy Cricket comments on how quiet it's suddenly gotten).
  • Fat Bastard: Stromboli and the Coachman.
  • Faux Affably Evil: "Honest John" and Stromboli.
    • The Coachman as well: "Give a bad boy a good rope and he'll make a jackass on himself (laughs evilly)"
  • Follow Your Heart: "When You Wish Upon a Star".
  • Foreshadowing: Before the plot of the boys being transformed into donkeys occurs, look carefully at the chair Pinocchio is sitting on at the pool hall, it has a donkey face on the head, it is also subtly hinted by the Coachman in his dialogue like for instance: "They never come back... AS BOYS!" and a team of donkeys pull his coach.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Pinocchio (never mind that poster), Jiminy, Foulfellow, Gideon, and Coachman.
  • Furry Confusion: Features Figaro the pet cat and the mute Funny Animal Gideon the Cat.
  • Go On Without Me: "Pinocchio, save yourself..."
    • Also originally Lampwick was supposed to join Pinocchio and Jiminy in their escape but he is caught and he utters these words, some story book adaptations keep the scene.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Averted. Jiminy Cricket calls Lampwick a jackass even BEFORE he learned of the whole "turning boys into donkeys" plot.
  • Greedy Jew: Stromboli, despite being Italian, seems to be the model of this. This has resulted in offending a number of people.
  • Hammerspace: Gideon pulls the mallet he tries to hit Pinocchio with out of nowhere.
  • Happily Ever After
  • Harsh Life Revelation Aesop:
    • Be Careful What You Wish For as the Blue Fairy puts it; she grants Gepetto's wish to turn his marionette Pinocchio into a real boy halfway, by bringing the marionette to life. She says that for Pinocchio to become real, he has to prove himself worthy. Turns out she had the right idea; Gepetto is now a father and is clearly out of his depth with how Pinocchio doesn't fear fire despite being made of wood, and thinks that his one-day old son is ready to go to school. If not for Pinocchio being a puppet, he likely would have been permanently transformed into a donkey on Pleasure Island.
    • There are cruel people in the world that will exploit naïve boys For the Evulz or out of sheer greed. Part of Pinocchio's trouble is that he gets waylaid by conmen that want to use him for money.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: "What do I look like, a jackass?"
    • "Hi-Diddle-Ee-Day, an actor's life is gay." Admittedly, this was long before the word gained its modern connotations.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pinocchio gives his life to save Geppetto from Monstro; don't worry, he gets better.
  • Honest Advisor: Jiminy Cricket.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Trope Codifier.
  • Induced Hypochondria
  • Informed Species: Monstro doesn't look like any real species of whale. From the side he looks a bit like a sperm whale, but a sperm whale's jaw is narrow, unlike Monstro's shovel-jaw.
  • It Can Think: Monstro must be pretty clever if he pretends to be asleep in order to catch the school of tuna. Besides if he keeps on chasing Pinocchio and Geppetto, it's quite obvious he has a brain.
  • Jerkass: Lampwick.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • There isn't any implication that Foulfellow ever got punished or even stopped at what he was doing. A planned scene that was ultimately deleted from the final film would have had Foulfellow and Gideon get caught by the police after running into Pinocchio a third time. In fact, they were hired specifically by the Coachman to bring him back so that "the law doesn't learn of their business", so the implication in their capture is that the Coachman will follow suit, as Foulfellow and Gideon are clearly the types to squeal. Damn it Disney, why did you have to leave this scene out?
    • Stromboli doesn't get any punishment other than not being able to use Pinocchio for his show - he even gets to keep all the money from the first night. However, the Disney Wiki says that Stromboli had made Pinocchio his star attraction, and that he likely had a Villainous Breakdown upon finding out the puppet was missing, and that his next show most likely bombed without Pinocchio, and may even have left him bankrupt! Consider that a sweet consolation prize!
    • The Coachman is probably still out there, turning naughty boys into donkeys.
  • Kid Hero: Take a guess.
  • Large Ham: Stromboli's voice actor; "Going-a home-a to your father!" Also, Honest John's flamboyant gesturing.
  • Leitmotif: Jiminy gets his own theme that pops up quite a bit during the film.
  • Licensed Game: Was adapted in 1996 into a fairly generic platformer for the Super NES, Game Boy, and Sega Genesis. And you actually get to kill the Coachman!
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!
  • Little Bit Beastly: He looks like a puppet version of a Kemonomimi when he gains donkey ears and a donkey tail while visiting Pleasure Island. He loses the donkey ears and donkey tail when he turns into a real boy.
  • Make a Wish: When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are...
  • Mars Needs Women: Jiminy seems to have a preference for human(ish) women.
  • Meaningful Name: J. Worthington Foulfellow, although he is called Honest John in the actual film.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The Ostriches on Pleasure Island.
  • Mixed Metaphor:

Jiminy: You buttered your bread. Now sleep in it!

Lampwick: Ah, you smoke like me grandma!

  • Nightmare Face: "As...BOYS!
  • No More for Me
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Monstro the Whale. Yes, he's frightening, but he's just an ordinary predator who follows his instincts. His only fault was to swallow Geppetto and Pinocchio, but he probably did it unintentionally (whale doesn't eat human flesh).
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The Blue Fairy is the only realistically drawn character in the entire movie compared to the more cartoony looking humans in the film. In comparison she looks rather other-worldly.
    • This was intentional - while all the other characters are traditionally animated (drawn right on the cels), the Blue Fairy is rotoscoped (a live actor is filmed, and then the animator traces them from one cel to the next). This produces a slight Uncanny Valley effect compared to the other characters.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying Over You!/Not Quite Dead:

Pinocchio: Father, whatcha crying for?
Geppetto: Because... you're dead, Pinocchio.
Pinocchio: No. No, I'm not.
Geppetto: Yes. Yes, you are. Now, lie down...