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Anime / Piccolino no Bouken

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Piccolino no Bouken is a 52 episode Animated Adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio. It is done by Nippon Animation and first aired in 1976.

Basically, the plot is similar to the book, but it expanded the subplots.

Geppetto lives with his cat Giulietta and a woodpecker called Rocco. One day, he creates a puppet from a log.

See also Mokku of the Oak Tree, an earlier adaptaion of the story.


  • Adaptation Expansion: The story is larger. Many subplots like the Puppet theater or Pinocchio serving Melampo's master or his stay in Pleasure Island and his life as a donkey at the circus are tiny arcs that span a couple of episodes each, Pinocchio encounters new characters and there's a slice of life atmosphere.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Just like in the earlier Tatsunoko adaptation, Pinocchio is known as Piccolino in the Japanese version.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Downplayed with Pinocchio. He has the mischievous and bratty traits of his literary counterpart and even his misbehaviour is often a matter of discussion, but showed his nice side much earlier.
    • Melampo was a corrupt dog who let the weasels to steal hens from his master (the farmer) if they give him bones. Here, not only he is alive, but he is not a corrupt watchdog and he helped to stop the weasels.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: The Fox and the Cat, while causing more trouble to Pinocchio, are more of the bad but entertaining villains.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the book, the Dormouse who finds Pinocchio crying as he begins to turn into a donkey didn't sugarcoat the horrible experience he's about to go through, and how he had no one blame for it except himself and his bad decisions. However, she was still fairly gentle while doing it, and felt genuinely sorry for him. The male guinea pig that serves the same role here, however, is far more nasty towards Pinocchio, and gleefully mocks him about his fate before leaving the confused and terrified puppet to go through the agonizing transformation alone.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Geppetto wasn't a Mr. Badass in the book, but he wasn't the frail man with visual and auditive problems of this adaptation.
  • Adaptation Species Change: The Cricket's role is now given to a duckling called Gina. A woodpecker called Rocco also does some of the role of the conscience of Pinocchio.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Pinocchio keeps falling for the Fox and the Cat's schemes throughout the series.
  • Age Lift: Mastro Antonio is not the old man of the book.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Fox and the Cat. They appear more, having some resemblances to their Disney counterparts, because they persuaded Pinocchio to skip school and sold him to Mangiafuoco. The duo cause problems to Pinocchio constantly.
    • The Fairy with the Turquoise Hair. She meets Pinocchio earlier and becomes a mother to Pinocchio earlier.
  • Bad Boss: Mangiafuoco. He keeps threatening Pinocchio to burn him even if he became successful in his performances, but finally he still cries for his story and gives the coins.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Pinocchio wanted to go to the Land of Dunces (don't confund it with the Land Of Toys) because there you don't make a lot of effort. When he is sent there, he is frightened by the lifestyle.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Fox and the Cat.
  • Big Eater: The Fox and the Cat. They ate a lot in the Red Lobster Inn.
  • Bit-by-Bit Transformation: Pinocchio's transformation into a donkey starts with the ears, then his arms turn into front legs, rendering him a quadruped, then he sprouts a tail, his arms and legs become hooves, his face and head changes into a donkey's head, and finally he grows to the size of an actual young donkey, ripping all his clothes off.
  • Canon Foreigner: Rocco, Giulietta the cat and the members of Mangiafuoco's theater aren't in the book.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Pinocchio, like in the book. All his misdeeds drive him to trouble.
  • Composite Character: Gina also has the role of a bird that hatched from an egg that Pinochio attempted to eat and a hen who failed to warn Pinocchio about the Fox and the Cat.
  • Crocodile Tears: The Fox and the Cat fake sadness in the supposed death of the fairy.
  • Darker and Edgier: In-universe. The last performance of Pinocchio is not comedic, but about how worried Geppetto is.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mastro Antonio, who in the book was known as Mastro Cherry. He is not known as Mastro Cherry, he doesn't even has the red nose, he is not a carpenter and he never owned the log that would become Pinocchio. He just tells Geppetto about a work.
  • Funny Animals: The Fox and the Cat are humanlike.
  • Good is Not Nice: Pinocchio. He is a really mean and short-tempered Bratty Half-Pint, although less so as the story progresses.
  • The Great Serpent: The snake with the smoking tail that laughs to death in this anime is depicted as a gigantic behemoth Pinocchio is understandably terrified of.
  • Hanging Judge: The big monkey. He judges Pinocchio according to items which couldn't testify anything. Also, he made a deal of eating Pinocchio's food if he declared Pinocchio as guilty.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Pinocchio is homescholed by the Fairy.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Pinocchio trusts the Fox and the Cat, leading to lose the coins. It's later downplayed, because he no longer sees them as friends, but he believes their lies even after all the trouble they caused to him.
  • Informed Attribute: Zig-zagged with the fairy with the Turquoise Hair. Mostly, her hair is Brown, but in some scenes, her hair is turquoise.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pinocchio can be mean, but he has a good heart. Also Mangiafuoco, because he sympathized with Pinocchio even if he kept threatening him.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the earlier Tatsunoko adaptation.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Pinocchio screwed up badly in some situations:
    • Wanting to clean Geppetto's house, he almost creates a fire that could burn all Geppetto's house.
    • The Fox and the Cat tells Pinocchio that a poor group of weasels are being tormented by the wicked Melampo and an evil man. It turns it's actually the other way, and Pinocchio was helping to stealers, and Melampo and the farmer were good! He didn't realize the truth until the encounter with them.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Mangiafuoco's coachman is a friendly clown. He is nice to Pinocchio during the time the puppet works for Mangiafuoco.
  • Pinocchio Nose: The actual Pinocchio's nose. It grows when he tells many lies in an impudent way. It needs to be cut by woodpeckers.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Melampo is still alive in the subplot of the Farmer vs. the weasels.
  • Take a Third Option: The weasels blackmailed Pinocchio with eating gina if he warned the farmer. Then, if Pinocchio or Melampo barked, the weasels would attack Gina, and it's inmoral to let the weasels steal the hens. Then, Pinocchio decides to cut off his chain and attack the weasels, but Melampo's teeth are too weak to break the chain (he is a very old dog). Gina struggles to bring a cutting tool, and succeeds. Pinocchio fought the weasels, Melampo barked and the farmer learnt that Pinocchio wasn't an accomplice of the hens.
  • Talking Animal: There are too many.
  • Transformation Trauma: As in the book, Pinocchio's transformation into a donkey is portrayed as a horrifying and painful experience. He's shown loosing control of his own body as it slowly begins to transform, up to being forced into walking on all fours long before the transformation is over.
  • Truer to the Text: Even with its own differences and expansions from the book (due to its 52 episode format), this anime is one of the most faithful adaptations of the book, not shying away from its darker aspects and keeping Pinocchio a flawed protagonist who has to struggle before getting to the happy ending while learning from his mistakes.
  • Wretched Hive: The Land of Dunces. There, the people live in a way where they have to effort as less as possible. The Fairy told him that she will send him there if he becomes lazy. He wrongly believes that it's a good place to live, and the Fairy proves him wrong sending him there.