Disney: Pinocchio

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. A shortened version of this song is used for Disney's Vanity Plate (the one with the castle) at the beginning of their videos and DVDs.

There is an unofficial sequel titled Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night. In The '90s, Disney created a Made-for-TV Movie musical, Geppetto, 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:

  • 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.
  • 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 Expansion: In the original story, Jiminy Cricket was a minor character and was never even given a proper name, being referred to simply as the "talking cricket". He has since become something of the anthropomorphic (well, cricket-morphic) personification of conscience.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Mangiafuoco to Stromboli, Lucignolo (literally just "wick") to Lampwick. The cricket, the fox and the cat and the dogfish had No Name Given in the book, here they're called Jiminy Cricket, Honest John Worthington Foulfellow, Gideon and Monstro.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original novel, Pinocchio was a quite bratty and disobedient child, who knew right from wrong but still chose wrong more often, despite learning his lesson in the end. Disney's version portrays him in a much more sympathetic manner. Here he is a generally well meaning but naive child who is talked into bad things due to his innocence.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Red Lobster Inn, which is where the Coachman 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.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Where young boys were turned into donkeys, shipped off and forced into labor, the parents not knowing what happened to their sons and if they did find them, they wouldn't have recognized their own kid, seeing how they are now stuck as donkeys.
    • And a subtler example from the same includes the moment when Geppetto puts on his coat to go out in the pouring rain to look for Pinocchio who never returned home from school. Hearing the agony in his voice as he paces around his kitchen is enough to make parents whose children like to play hide-and-seek in department store racks flashback a little.
      Geppetto: What could have happened to him? Where could he be at this hour? I better go out again and look for him...
  • Aesop Collateral Damage: When Pinocchio plays hooky and ends up on Pleasure Island, Geppetto gets trapped inside Monstro the whale so his adopted son can learn the lesson about being a good boy.
  • 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.
  • All Part of the Show: Stromboli becomes so livid with rage at Pinocchio's initially messing up on his puppet show performance, tripping and falling down the stairs as he did, that he becomes borderline violent toward the puppet, but when he hears the audience laughing, he calms down and tries to make it look like it's all part of the act. "Cute kid!" Stromboli says of the puppet.
  • 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.
  • Angrish: Stromboli unleashes quite a bit of this.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The eponymous Pinocchio.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Jiminy Cricket doesn't resemble an actual cricket at all. To be fair, however, Jiminy was originally depicted as an actual (that is, less anthropomorphized) cricket with toothed legs and waving antennae. But Walt wanted something more likable. So he assigned animator Ward Kimball to redesign the cricket. Kimball whittled away at any and all cricket-like appendages until Jiminy became, in Kimball's words, "a little man with an egg head and no ears. And the only thing that makes him a cricket is because we call him one."
    • Monstro the whale resembles a sperm whale, but has teeth on both jaws, when real sperm whale only have teeth on their lower jaw. He is also seen sleeping at the bottom of the ocean. Whales don't sleep that way, or else they would drown.
      • Perhaps Monstro is the last surviving member of an ancient species of sperm whale that did have teeth on both jaws—the largest predatory teeth ever found, making it more than a match for the Megalodon. (Although said fossil whale would still need to breathe air.)
  • Ascended Extra: Jiminy Cricket in the original story, he was a nameless cricket who was squashed by the title character early on and appeared later as a ghost. In the Disney version, he was given the name Jiminy Cricket and promoted to narrator. Not only did he practically steal the movie away from its title character, but he's gone on to host/narrate other Disney films, short subjects, and theme park shows. He's also a notable character in several of the Kingdom Hearts games.
    • Demoted to Extra: Conversely, the Blue Fairy had a much bigger role, being a mother figure and fulfilling the role of his conscience. In almost every adaptation, most of her actions are done by the cricket character. Another adaptation didn't even have the Blue Fairy, the cricket almost completely taking her place.
    • Jiminy went on to become a recurring character in the Disney Animated Canon (appearing again in Fun and Fancy Free), as well as host a series of educational cartoons in the 1950s, and his theme music became the theme for Disney in general.
    • And is now played in Once Upon a Time by the same actor who was Revan and Shepard's "voice of conscience".
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Pinocchio comes up with the idea of building a big fire on the boat to get Monstro to sneeze.
  • Badass Grandpa: Geppetto. The scene where Monstro eats the tuna is a fishing opportunity. This is born out of desperation, but it's still a pretty cool moment.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The Red Lobster Inn, where Honest John and Gideon discuss business with the Coachman.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: One of the vices on Pleasure Island.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The boys in Pleasure Island turn into jackasses and get forced into labor.
  • Ball of Light Transformation: The Blue Fairy first appears as a bright light that looks like a star before taking the form of a beautiful woman. Then she departs in the same way.
  • 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.
    • In fairness, Pinocchio's still made of wood at this stage - would he even need to breathe?
    • Geppetto, Cleo, and Figaro have no excuse, however. They're implied to have lived in Monstro's belly, at the bottom of the sea, for days if not weeks.
  • Beard of Evil: Stromboli, the puppet master.
  • Become a Real Boy
  • Belly of the Whale: Monstro the Whale.
  • Big Good: The Blue Fairy.
    • Geppetto can be seen as this as well.
  • Big Bad: The film has a Big Bad Ensemble: Stromboli, The Coachman and Monstro.
  • 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 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.
  • Body Horror: The donkey transformation scene.
  • 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, and about on par with Tinker Bell.
    • To a far lesser extent, Figaro the cat reappeared in some Disney shorts, usually as a pet of Minnie Mouse's and/or a foil to Pluto.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Gideon to "Honest" John.
  • Cats Are Mean: Gideon, Honest John's feline stooge. At least once, he tries to hit Pinocchio on the head with a mallet, only to be stopped by the fox.
    Honest John: No, no, stupid! (snatches mallet) DON'T be crude! (whacks Giddy on the head with mallet)
    • Figaro, however, averts this. On the contrary, he is actually tormented by Geppetto when he uses the not-yet-brought-to-life Pinocchio to kick the cat and to scare him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cool Old Guy: Geppetto.
  • 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.
  • Crapsaccharine 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.
    • On a smaller scale, Pleasure Island. It may seem like the best place in the world for naughty children...but in truth it's actually a living nightmare.
  • Creating Life Is Awesome: The titular character is created by the joint efforts of Geppetto (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.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Honest John.
  • 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.
    • Still another was "Honest John", which was included as a bonus feature on the 2009 DVD/Blu-Ray release.
  • Death by Adaptation: The Coachman in the video game.
    • Actually, he just gets kicked by one of his donkey victims into the ocean, there's no indication he drowned. Then again, it's only a video game based on the cartoon, not canon.
  • 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:
    • A few of them.
    Geppetto:: "Who's there?"
    Pinocchio:: "It's me."
    Geppetto:: "Oh, it's me. ... Wh-HUH?!"
    • And this one.
    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.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Blue Fairy flat-out spells it out for Pinocchio at the very beginning, and even Jiminy notes that it won't be an easy task.
    "Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy."
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Sort of. Honest John eats Pinocchio's apple and gives the core back to him.
  • 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 the 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.
  • HAHAHA–No: Stromboli does a terrifying version when Pinocchio mentions that he's going home to Geppetto and will be back in the morning. The showman laughs uproariously, scoops Pinocchio up, and then throws him in a birdcage and starts screaming at him.
  • 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 chracters. 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 movie's 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?
    • 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.
    • 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: Pinocchio looks like a puppet version of a Kemonomimi when he gains donkey ears and a 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!
    • Originally, this was to be one of Jiminy's main shticks, but over the course of the film's production, they were removed. Only the one line above was used.
  • 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. The very image of Pinocchio putting his beer aside is the trope image.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: During "Little Wooden Head," Jiminy blends in with the clockwork performers on one of Geppetto's music boxes by moving up and down in time and singing.
  • 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!
  • Oh Crap!: Jiminy Cricket's epiphany of what happens to the boys on Pleasure Island.
    Talking Donkey: Please! Please! I don't wanna be a donkey. Let me out of here!
    Coachman: QUIET! (cracks his whip) You boys have had your fun, now pay for it!
    Jiminy Cricket: "Boys"?! So that's wha... PINOCCHIO! (Races back to the billiard hall)
  • 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!"), 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: Pinocchio is the protagonist of this story.
  • 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, cost $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, cost 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." Even taking this to account, this takes it to monstrous levels.
  • The Speechless: Honest John's henchman, Gideon.
  • Spit Take: As Stromboli takes a drink of wine, this is his initial response to Pinocchio announcing that he is going home to Geppetto.
  • 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.
    • Pushed even further when he says "What do I look like, a jackass?"
      Pinocchio: (amused) You sure do!
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Done by Russian puppets.