When you wish upon a star
, Your dreams...come true...
Released in 1940
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
. In The Nineties
, Disney created a Made-for-TV Movie
, that switched the P.O.V. character to that of the toymaker and focused on his Character Development
as he learns how to be a good father. Featuring songs from the original alongside new Stephen Schwartz
numbers, it was adapted for the amateur theater circuit
as My Son Pinocchio
in The New Tens
Disney's Pinocchio provides examples of:
- Digital Destruction: The 1992 restoration shifted the color scheme too closely to red tones.note
- 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 more grim (and considering how nightmarish this movie can get, that's saying something!) 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).
- Double Take:
Geppetto:: "Who's there?"
Pinocchio:: "It's me."
Geppetto:: "Oh, it's me. ... Wh-HUH?!"
Honest John:: (upon seeing Pinocchio for the first time) A little wooden boy. Now— a wooden boy?!"
- The Dreaded: Monstro. Also the Coachman, if his Nightmare Face is any indication.
- Drunken Song: Foulfellow's reprise of "An Actor's Life For Me" at the Red Lobster Inn.
- 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. And yet, regardless of their morals, they trick Pinocchio into going there anyway, mainly because they're too scared to refuse the Coachman's proposition after that.
- 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 Plot Hole, 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.
- Fate Worse Than Death: 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 environments, breeding more donkeys... In the original book, Pinocchio himself almost ends up skinned.
- This might fall under Disproportionate Retribution as well.
- 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: It becomes apparent that Pleasure Island isn't a good place when Honest John and Foulfellow are freaked out by the mention of it. Also, 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.
- Also, Honest John convinces Pinocchio to go to Pleasure Island by giving him his "ticket", which is an Ace of Spades card.
- In the Storybook Opening, the books Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan can be seen in the background. Both would later become Disney films, and, in fact, both were in initial development at the time.
- Forgot He Was a Robot: Pinocchio is seen blushing, turning green from cigar smoke, and shedding tears (among other things) while he's still a puppet.
- 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.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Stromboli to be sure.
- Hammerspace: Gideon pulls the mallet he tries to hit Pinocchio with out of nowhere.
- Happily Ever After
- 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.
- Hidden Depths: Despite barely being a teenager, if that, Lampwick shows remarkable skill at pool, given the numerous trick-shots he plays. Makes you wonder how often he frequented bars.
- High Dive Escape: Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket escape Pleasure Island by jumping off a cliff into the sea below.
- Honest Advisor: Jiminy Cricket.
- Honest John's Dealership: Trope Codifier.
- Humiliation Conga: Honest John of all people. Gideon cracks him over the head with a mallet trying to squash Jiminy, stuffing his head into his top hat. Hilarity Ensues and is the only time we see one of this movies villains get any sort of dues.
- 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 (aka Honest John) 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?
- Though then again, Disney was probably trying to go for a more realistic fantasy world setting with this one. And let's face, a lot of evil deeds committed out there do go unpunished.
- 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. However in the SNES game, he gets kicked down a cliff by Pinocchio.
- Kid Hero: Pinocchio.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Geppetto with his kitten Figaro.
- 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!
- Literal Metaphor: A visual one. The boys on Pleasure Island make asses of themselves, smoking and drinking and gambling and so on. So they end up turning into donkeys.
- 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 Echo: The conditions for Become a Real Boy are repeated in voiceover just as Pinocchio earns it.
- Meaningful Name: J. Worthington Foulfellow, although he is called Honest John in the actual film. Also, there is a volcano off the coast of Sicily called Mt. Stromboli; Stromboli in the film is also quite volcanic.
- Mixed Metaphor:
Jiminy: You buttered your bread. Now sleep in it!
- My Grandma Can Do Better Than You:
Lampwick: Ah, you smoke like me grandmother!
- Nightmare Face: "As...BOYS!
- No More for Me: When Pinocchio sees Lampwick start to turn into a donkey, he nervously put his mug of beer aside, then tosses away his cigar. The implication is that the drink and cigars are what's transforming Lampwick, and Pinocchio swears them off in order not to follow suit.
- 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: At the end, Geppetto is crying over the dead Pinocchio when the Blue Fairy brings him back to life and makes him a real boy:
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...
- Off Model:
- One particularly glaring example appears early in the film-during the scene where Pinocchio sets his finger on fire, watch Geppetto's head - his sleeping cap disappears several times throughout the scene! The DVD commentary even points this out and how easy it is to miss it the first time.
- In the frames just before Geppetto tells Pinocchio to "Say hello to Figaro", Pinocchio only has his pupils.
- Also, look at the poster on this page. Pinocchio has his little wooden head but a human body!
- Or My Name Isn't...: Honest John tells Gideon the plan to sell Pinocchio to Stromboli in this way:
Honest John: If we play our cards right, we'll be on Easy Street, or my name isn't Honest John.
- Our Fairies Are Different: The Blue Fairy.
- Parasol Parachute: Jiminy's umbrella at times.
- Partial Transformation: Pinocchio's transformation into a jackass merely amounts to ears, a tail, and occasional braying.
- Pinocchio Nose: Codifier.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: Trope Namer and Trope Codifier.
- Pleasure Island: Trope Namer.
- Precision F-Strike: The usage of the word "jackass", spoken by the Coachman ("Give a bad boy enough rope and he'll soon make a jackass of himself..."), by Jiminy ("Go on, laugh! Make a jackass out of yourself! I'm through! This is the end!"), and by Lampwick ("What's [Jiminy] think I look like? A jackass?").
- Professional 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.
- Protagonist Title
- Punny Name: Jiminy Cricket, Foulfellow, Monstro and even Stromboli (after a volcano near Sicily).
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: "What do I look like, a jackass?"
Pinocchio: (amused) You sure do!
- Ribcage Stomach: The inside of Monstro.
- Scare 'Em Straight: The children do naughty things and are doomed for it for the rest of their lives.
- Scenery Porn: Most notably the inside of Geppetto's shop with all those fabulous clocks and music boxes. Remember, this was when everything was done by hand.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Jiminy is more than a little upset to see Pinocchio enjoying himself on Pleasure Island. It doesn't help that Lampwick laughs at him.
Jiminy: Go on, laugh, make a jackass outta yourself! I'm through! This is the end! (storms off)
Pinocchio: But Jiminy, Lampwick says a guy only live once!
Jiminy: Lampwick, hmph!
- Second Face Smoke: Done by Lampwick to Jiminy Cricket.
- Serendipitous Symphony: The cuckoo clocks and the music boxes.
- Setting Off Song: "An Actor's Life For Me".
- Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Where bad boys turn into donkeys after misbehaving on Pleasure Island. We see this happen to Lampwick, as animal instincts replace his human reason, and a combination of the shape change itself, and desperate braying and bucking casts all of his clothes off.
- Shoot the Money: You know that opening multiplane camera shot on the day Pinocchio goes to school? The one that's barely on screen for a full minute? That entire shot, which used a specially constructed horizontal multiplane camera, costed 50,000$ to shoot, as much as the budget of a single Disney short cartoon!
- The panning multiplane crane shot during the "Hi Diddley Dee" number, which barely lasts 33 seconds on screen, costed almost as much money (around 35,000$).
- Shout-Out: The exterior of the pool hall on Pleasure Island is a giant eight-ball and cue stick, a nod to the Trylon and Perisphere of the 1939 New York World's Fair.
- Sidekick Song: "Give a Little Whistle".
- Significant Monogram: Jiminy Cricket.
- The Silent Bob: Gideon.
- Sissy Villain: Honest John, probably due to his Large Ham persona and the fact that he just can't stop waving his hands around.
- Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Cleo, Monstro and Figaro are real animals. Jiminy, Foulfellow and Gideon are anthropomorphic animals.
- The Smurfette Principle: Not counting Cleo the goldfish, the Blue Fairy is the only female character in the movie.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: A meta example. À la Pink Floyd and The Wizard of Oz, a fan synced the entire movie with, unbelievably, Tom Waits' albums Foreign Affair and Blood Money. The scariest part? It works perfectly.
- Space Whale Aesop: Underage drinking and smoking will turn you into a jackass. Think about it.
- Actually, the message would be "If you don't go to school and play all day, you will become a dumbass."
- Still, this takes it to monstrous levels.
- The Speechless: Honest John's henchman, Gideon.
- Supernatural Aid: The Blue Fairy.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Monstro.
- Surprise Creepy: Starts off cute and lighthearted, then we get to Pleasure Island...
- Take That: "What does an actor want with a conscience anyway?"
- Tempting Fate: After Jiminy Cricket storms out giving up trying to set Pinocchio straight after he finds him making a fool of himself with Lampwick, moments later, Lampwick scoffs "To hear that beetle talk, you'd think something was gonna happen to us!" Don't even ask what takes place right after he says that.
- That Russian Squat Dance: Done by Russian puppets.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Honest John and Gideon.
- Through a Wooden Face: Pinocchio (who is still made of wood at this point) turns red when inhaling too much while smoking a cigar, then green when he accidentally swallows the smoke. Also, the green Jiminy Cricket blushes red when the beautiful Blue Fairy asks him to be Pinocchio's conscience.
- Transformation Trauma: The donkey scene.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Pinocchio goes from Kids Are Cruel (original story) to Children Are Innocent, to the point it can come as a shock to some who see that the Pinocchio in the books has more in common with Lampwick.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Lampwick.
- Underside Ride: Jiminy Cricket hitches a ride on the coach that takes children to Pleasure Island.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Averted when seemingly all the fish within a mile follow behind Pinocchio and Jiminy while they search for Geppetto at the bottom of the sea.
- Villain Song: "An Actor's Life For Me". It's cheerful, but it's sung by Honest John to convince Pinocchio to become an actor.
- Villainous Breakdown: Monstro during the climax in a rather terrifying way. Though seeing as two people just lit a huge fire inside him, you'd think its understandable that he'd be pissed, but no, all this act does is merely make him sneeze. When he realizes two people just escaped from his belly, he truly flips out. He gets more terrible and wrathful the more they dodge him and get closer to shore, so much so, he doesn't even care he's about to crash into a landmass.
- Visual Pun: When Pinocchio is on Pleasure Island Jiminy Cricket is behind the eight ball. First figuratively, then literally.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: What about that island full of polymorphed child slavery?!
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve: This is when the coach to Pleasure Island departs.
- White Gloves: Pinocchio has both white gloves and Four-Fingered Hands as a puppet. He loses the gloves when he becomes a real boy, as well as having a proper set of five fingers on each hand. All of the Funny Animals in the movie (Jiminy Cricket, Honest John, Gideon) also sport gloves, sometimes with holes in the fingers.