Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1940. Walt Disney Productions. Story adaptation by Ted Sears, Otto Englander, Webb Smith, William Cottrell, Joseph Sabo, Erdman Penner, Aurelius Battaglia, based on the story by Carlo Collodi. Produced by Walt Disney. Music by Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith. Production Design by Ken Anderson, Hugh Hennesy, John Hubley, Dick Kelsey, Kendall O’Connor, Charles Philippi, Thor Putnam, Terrell Stapp, McLaren Stewart, Al Zinnen.
Sweet animated fable about a wooden boy who longs to be real after he is created by a lonely clockmaker. Pinocchio, innocent and modest, is befriended by little Jiminy Cricket and takes him on as a conscience in order to be able to differentiate between right and wrong. Unfortunately, Cricket’s abilities don’t do Pinocchio any good in keeping him out of trouble; instead it’s luck and a kindly Blue Fairy who save the little puppet from slavery under a tyrant showman and a metamorphosis into a donkey by an evil merchant of wayward children. To prove his worthiness and earn his right to be a real boy, Pinocchio sets off in search of a giant whale named Monstro in order to rescue his creator from the creature’s belly. The original Italian fairy tale that this charming film was adapted from was much scarier and full of grotesque images, but those have been traded for a sweeter tone and tuneful score by the Walt Disney animation team, and the result is an ages-beloved classic.
Academy Awards: Best Original Score; Best Song (“When You Wish Upon a Star”)