Author Topic: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio  (Read 10456 times)

1SO

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Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« on: March 05, 2009, 11:42:20 PM »
Pinocchio (1940, Hamilton Luske and Ben Sharpsteen, supervising directors)

Pinocchio plays like a passable follow-up to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  There are great moments and classic characters.  Disney’s human touch is all over this film, enough so as to put it in league with the Disney classics.  But the film’s fable-like qualities and morality play structure lead to serious problems with suspension of disbelief… major head-scratchers connecting the brilliant set pieces together.  It ranks 14th on my complete list of all the films in this marathon, and is a Disney classic because of its individual moments, not for how the pieces add up.

The film’s strength is in its many high points…
“When you Wish Upon a Star”, considered the quintessential Disney song.
Geppetto’s many cockoo clocks.
Honest John and Gideon during “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee”
Pinocchio’s nose growing when he lies.
Pleasure Island
Lampwick in the pool hall
The Monstro climax.

As with Snow White, character movements are startlingly rendered.  The early scene “Little Wooden Head” where Geppetto manipulates his new wooden puppet to the delight of Figaro the cat and Cleo the goldfish rivals “The Silly Song”.  Overall, however I would have to say that the animation is less inspired than “Snow White”.

Now for the Prizes:

Biggest Surprise: How dark it gets in the sequence with the boys being turned literally into jackasses.

Biggest Letdown: How easily Pinocchio gets a second chance and how quickly he gets into trouble again.  I also think Pinocchio returning home to learn via a magic bird that Geppetto was swallowed by a whale is some real weak storytelling.

Best Shot: Lampwick’s hands transform into hooves.

Best Lead Performance:
The film may be called Pinocchio, but this one belongs to Jiminy Cricket.  He’s the most interesting character.  Not just comic relief, Jiminy is the film’s true heart and soul, especially since Geppetto is off-screen for so long.

Best Supporting Performance:
I just loved how they animated Geppetto's pet cat, Figaro.  The amount of personality crammed into that little cat surpasses all of The Aristocats.

Best Line:
Jiminy Cricket: What does an actor want with a conscience anyway?

This is the only Disney film to cast Warner Bros. legend Mel Blanc.  He was hired to perform the voice of Gideon, who was Honest John's sidekick. However, it was eventually decided for Gideon to be mute (mainly based on the popularity of Dopey). All of Blanc's recorded dialogue in this film was subsequently deleted, save for a solitary hiccup, which is heard three times in the film.

And if the Carnival Barker outside The Roughhouse sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Jack Mercer who also voiced Popeye in the classic cartoons.


Junior

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 12:03:14 AM »
I just finished watching this and I pretty much agree. The whole thing doesn't amount to the magic of Snow White but there are select moments of awesomeness. This one is a lot darker and I enjoyed that now, though I feel that it is a factor in my lack of positive memories from this one. Only the clocks and "I've Got No Strings" did I remember fondly, and the Pleasure Island and Monstro stuff I remember scaring the crap outta me. Now I realize some of the really dark things, especially the transformation of Lampwick, are pretty well done, similarly to the fourth part of Fantasia (more on that in two weeks!). I haven't seen Pinocchio as much as I have many other Disney films because I don't think I ever really liked it all that much. Perhaps it was the combination of scariness and the overplayed nose thing. This watching went by pretty quickly but there was little to no joy outside some of the stuff with Jim C. and the cat. I didn't hate it but I didn't particularly like it, either. The problem here is that I barely smiled where I was constantly smiling during Snow White.

C+.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
2. Pinocchio
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 12:21:15 AM by Junior »
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FLYmeatwad

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 09:46:39 AM »
I hope to watch this today, unless it gets too late and I give Camp Rock a try. Either way, neither one can be worse than Snow White, right?

saltine

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2009, 09:48:39 PM »
Pinocchio - Dickie Jones is the boy who gave Pinocchio his voice and his nose

Seventy years on, Dickie Jones talks to Marc Lee about what it was like bringing to life one of Disney's most iconic characters

This article appeared in our local newspaper this week, and I was able to find it on line to share with you.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 09:51:41 PM by saltine »
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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2009, 09:58:28 PM »
You guys are absolutely insane, this film easily surpasses Snow White in every single aspect. And now I'll get on to a standard review.

Walt Disney's second film, Pinocchio, is worlds above and beyond the abysmal effort that was Snow White, and the reason for this all boils down to personality and heart, all of which is established early on in a manner similar to Snow White, through the use of a story book sequence, but the audience is, instead of text imposed on the screen, given Jiminy Cricket detailing what is to come as he opens the book, tossing in a joke every so often. We may be in story book land, but at least we are also in movie land as well. The introduction to Geppetto and his pets is well done enough, and while his character is a little under developed, simply established by a quick mention by the Blue Fairy that "He has been so kind to others that he must have a wish" as a way of advancing the plot, he does not really play much of a role in the film any how and his dedication, albeit a bit creepy, is genuine. Pinocchio is pretty interesting as well, taking the blank slate that Snow White served as and injecting a child like whimsy that is believable given his circumstances and makes for a fairly compelling character when he is on screen. Pinocchio is naive, and at times foolish, but it is all in character and believable, which is good. And of course there is Jiminy Cricket who provides playful dialogue while serving the role of pseudo-narrator without overtly drawing attention to the device. The story is a bit simplistic, and the idea that Pinocchio really wants to be a real boy does kind of get pushed to the back burner the clear moral story that goes one makes the chunks all blend coherently as Pinocchio continues to grow, so the film does not really slow down and some sort of plot, mostly subplot, is advanced during this time. The whole film is beautiful to look at too, no scenes stand out as much as the high points of Snow White, though the underwater sequence, first clock sequence, and transformation sequence are all stunning. As a whole though the film is considerably more varied and much more pleasing throughout, and the transformation sequence does rival the Queen's from Snow White. The dark tones are a great touch too and I'm considering picking up the Blu-Ray/DVD re-release just to make sure that nothing is messed with, such as the gun early on and the children smoking and drinking during the Pleasure Island portion. I also really enjoyed the presentation of Honest John and his cohort as they immediately made me think of the King and the Duke from Huck Finn, and they continued to remind me of the two throughout the film. The magic bottle is kind of a weak device and the film is far from perfect, but the songs are developed, and when the words are not there we don't get the constant droning on of 'da-da' or 'heigh-hos' that Snow White had, rather allowing the film to simply move on when the song writer wanted to stop rather than prolonging the film's advancement simply to flex some animation muscles. So yeah, thank God for Pinocchio because it really was a complete turn around from Snow White. It's not insanely complex, though there is depth here, and most importantly it works as a fairy tale/fable and as a film.

B+/A- or 4.2148923473265

Currently in the marathon the rankings go as...

1. Pinocchio
2. Snow White

Pinocchio also achieves a 13.3 out of 17, with 0 being my memory of a specific Disney film that will be discussed at some point in the near future, 8 being my recollection of another specific film in this marathon that will be revealed when it has been watched, and 17 representing how great Hercules is based on my most recent watching, which was likely over the summer, or winter break maybe.

1SO

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 10:28:23 PM »
Pinocchio - Dickie Jones is the boy who gave Pinocchio his voice and his nose

Seventy years on, Dickie Jones talks to Marc Lee about what it was like bringing to life one of Disney's most iconic characters

This article appeared in our local newspaper this week, and I was able to find it on line to share with you.
I went to a special screening at the El Capitan hosted by Don Hahn and he interviewed Dickie Jones before the movie.  Hahn also demonstrated what goes into making an animated feature with the help of Disney animators.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 10:30:13 PM by 1StrongOpinion »

Bill Thompson

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2009, 01:04:09 PM »
My shoddily constructed review,

Quote
For as long as I have been in discussion about movies and been deeply invested in animated films, three movies have been regarded as the original classics. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and Pinocchio. I’ve already covered Snow white And the Seven Dwarfs and I’ll get to Fantasia in a few weeks. This week the focus is on Pinocchio, the second major feature animated release from Disney. It’s safe to say that Disney opened up with a touchdown in the form of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, but can they repeat the process with Pinocchio?

Sadly, I would say no to the above question. Pinocchio retains the whimsy and magic of its predecessor, but it lacks a cohesive feel. Someone other than myself once pointed out that Pinocchio is essentially a series of set pieces. A series of interesting, lovely, charming, beautifully animated set pieces mind you, but not a complete film. While Pinocchio does touch upon some story elements, it isn’t a story but rather a series of situations for Pinocchio to deal with. By itself that wouldn’t be so bad, but after finishing the film I struggled to come up with a connection to the overall film. I could relate to every set piece on a certain level, but as a collective whole it was hard to connect to a movie that didn’t connect its own pieces together.

Read the rest, here.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2009, 04:09:40 PM »
My shoddily constructed review,

Quote
For as long as I have been in discussion about movies and been deeply invested in animated films, three movies have been regarded as the original classics. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and Pinocchio. I’ve already covered Snow white And the Seven Dwarfs and I’ll get to Fantasia in a few weeks. This week the focus is on Pinocchio, the second major feature animated release from Disney. It’s safe to say that Disney opened up with a touchdown in the form of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, but can they repeat the process with Pinocchio?

Sadly, I would say no to the above question. Pinocchio retains the whimsy and magic of its predecessor, but it lacks a cohesive feel. Someone other than myself once pointed out that Pinocchio is essentially a series of set pieces. A series of interesting, lovely, charming, beautifully animated set pieces mind you, but not a complete film. While Pinocchio does touch upon some story elements, it isn’t a story but rather a series of situations for Pinocchio to deal with. By itself that wouldn’t be so bad, but after finishing the film I struggled to come up with a connection to the overall film. I could relate to every set piece on a certain level, but as a collective whole it was hard to connect to a movie that didn’t connect its own pieces together.

Read the rest, here.

This seems to be the complaint that everyone else has had as well, and I just don't get it, especially when Snow White is lauded as such a great film. Sure the plot is not a huge focus, but it does always move forward while the subplots play out, while in Snow White we are given: 'Read This,' 'Move Snow White out,' 'Fill 35 minutes with some dwarfs and shit that add nothing to the film,' 'Remind the audience that the Queen still exists with a beautiful transformation sequence that hardly lasts any time at all,' 'More useless dwarf shit,' 'Hey, Queen's back, now fall asleep,' 'More useless dwarf shit...oh wait! We need to end this thing! 4 minute ending sequence that results in the Queen dying in far less screen time than any major player deserves,' 'Read Me again!' 'Insert happy ending here, lesson learned and conflict resolved, oh wait there was no lesson or major conflict that we were concerned about because this film is nothing more than a way to show that I can draw things all pretty-like.'

Bill Thompson

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2009, 07:44:13 PM »
Like I said before about Snow White, that was a film about innocence. Her innocence was the connecting point of the whole movie, it drove the actions of everyone around her and changed the actions of people around her. Pinocchio lacked that great connector, there's wasn't any driving force for any character that was sustained for the entire film.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Disney Animation Marathon: Pinocchio
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2009, 07:47:42 PM »
Like I said before about Snow White, that was a film about innocence. Her innocence was the connecting point of the whole movie, it drove the actions of everyone around her and changed the actions of people around her. Pinocchio lacked that great connector, there's wasn't any driving force for any character that was sustained for the entire film.

But that innocence is far more apparent in Pinocchio and his circumstances. I mean he comes into the world not knowing anything except how to talk and he learns from there, which we watch unfold, unlike Snow White who is introduced during her younger years.