Trivia / Pinocchio

The 1940 animated film:

  • Acclaimed Flop: Its critical success was pretty close to Snow White's and it did well at the American box office. Unfortunately, the film had a large budget and it was released during World War II, meaning it could not get a foreign release, which resulted in it being a Box Office Bomb. It lost RKO tons of money and left Walt Disney depressed. Fortunately, the reissues in theaters and then on video did far better, more than making up for the film's initial losses.
  • 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 are voiced by a former trombonist in the Disneyland marching band.
    • Also Dickie Jones who voiced Pinocchio also voiced Alexander the boy who after he has turned into a donkey is still able to talk.
  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Songs:
    • #7, "When You Wish Upon A Star"
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers: #38
  • AFI's 10 Top 10:
    • #2, Animation
  • Box Office Bomb: When it originally came out in 1940 thanks to WWII. Budget, $2,289,247. Box office, $1.4-1.9 million (original theatrical release tally only).
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Famous musician Cliff Edwards (better known as "Ukelele Ike") voicing Jiminy Cricket was probably the first example of this trope in a feature film.
  • Cut Song:
    • There's a handful, but "I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow" in particular later becomes the opening song for Fun and Fancy Free.
    • Another song, "Turn On the Old Music Box" was cut, but the tune remains as Pinocchio's Leitmotif.
    • "Three Cheers For Anything" was about the boys on the journey to Pleasure Island singing about what they're going to do once they get there.
    • "Honest John", which was included as a bonus feature on the 2009 DVD/Blu-Ray release.
  • Doing It for the Art: The film's production was just as ambitious, if not more so than Snow White. How much work was put into the film? To give an idea, 85,000$, or a fairly large chunk of the films 2,289,247$ budget, was spent on two specialized multiplane camera shots that barely amount to a minute and 30 seconds total on screen! That's close to the budget of two Disney short cartoons!
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The animators had a hard time coming up with a design for Geppetto (an early version of whom looked far too much like Doc from Snow White), that is until Christian Rub was cast for the role.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Would you believe that the voice of kindly old Geppetto was a Nazi sympathizer?
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Foulfellow and Gideon were supposed to meet Pinocchio a third time, and be caught by the police. Cutting this effectively made them Karma Houdinis.
    • There was to be a Dream Sequence where Geppetto would tell Pinocchio a bedtime story about his grandfather, a mighty pine tree.
    • Originally the donkey Lampwick was supposed to join Pinocchio and Jiminy in their escape from Pleasure Island but he is captured by the Coachman's minions, as he is being carried away he says "Go on without me, it's no use I'm a goner", some storybook adaptations keep the scene.
    • The movie was originally going to take place around Christmas time, which meant that it would also be snowing. Walt Disney nixed the idea because he wanted the movie to be enjoyed year-round (its original theatrical release was around Valentine's Day on top of that).
    • As noted under Acclaimed Flop, had World War II not broken out, the film would've been released internationally and probably would've been a box office success.

  • Pinocchio is one of only two Disney Animated Masterpieces to be on Roger Ebert's Great Movies List; the other animated classic from Disney to be on that list is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Pinocchio was the first Walt-supervised film and the second film period to be released in Walt Disney Home Video's The Classics/Walt Disney Classics line in 1985 (it has the fan name "Black Diamond Classics"), which was a crucial release in developing home media for Disney; this also made it the third single-story Walt film after Dumbo and Alice In Wonderland to reach home video. It was reissued a year later as part of a box set/sale for Sleeping Beauty's Classics premiere and then again as Walt Disney's Masterpiece as the quarterfinal release in the Classics line. Pinocchio is also the Grand Finale issue for the Walt Disney Platinum Editions series, which made it the second "Untouchable" after Sleeping Beauty to reach Bluray. No Diamond Edition version of Pinocchio was released, though; making it the only Platinum Edition to not have a Diamond Edition counterpart and ensuring that none of the films from the Gold Classic Collection got a subsequent release as part of the Diamond Editions (everything in the Platinum/Diamond Editions were released in the Classics and Masterpiece Collections combined).
  • All of the original Classics Pinocchio VHS tapes from 1985 have the 1984 white-and-red F.B.I. warning screens, then the 1984 "Cheesy Diamond" The Classics: Walt Disney Home Video logo, then the film's opening credits and the film afterwards (it skips the Buena Vista/RKO logo). The very early pressings of this tape also have a theatrical trailer for The Black Cauldron inbetween the warnings and the Classics logo, with footage that new studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg had edited out of the final version of that movie. The Black Cauldron would hit theaters just over a week after Pinocchio hit store shelves, and it went on to be a giant Creator Killer Box Office Bomb; the trailer for that movie was quickly removed from the later Pinocchio tapes, which now were identical to almost all of the "Cheesy Diamond" tapes in opening. The reissue the next year had dark-red F.B.I. warnings identical to the 1991 green warnings, a video dealer message, the "Cheesy Diamond" logo, which now freezes for 10 seconds, and then the film (this opening is the same as Sleeping Beauty's Classics opening except for the freezing logo).
  • The 1993 Walt Disney's Masterpiece reissue VHS starts with the 1991 green F.B.I. warning screens, then plays a theatrical trailer for Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and then a home video trailer for the new Walt Disney Classic, Aladdin. The Aladdin trailer is followed by the 1992 lilac-blue cursive handwritten Feature Presentation bumper, the 1992 distorted Sorcerer Mickey Walt Disney Classics logo, a Buena Vista logo that appears in place of the RKO Radio Pictures logo (with the harp music over it), then the opening credits and the film (the Laserdisc starts with the 1986 Sorcerer Mickey Walt Disney Home Video logo).
  • Pinocchio is the first "Untouchable" and Disney Animated Canon film to be released on DVD, as the first release in a short line called the Walt Disney Limited Issues. These discs were Vanilla Edition discs that only had the Gold Walt Disney Home Video logo, a few menus, and the movie, but Pinocchio was repackaged in the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection series a few months later as the only "Untouchable" in that line.
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