Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Pulcinella

Go To

Pulcinella is an animated short film (10 minutes) from Italy, directed by Emanuele Luzzati.

The character is based on Pulcinella from Italian Commedia dell'Arte (the same character who in England evolved into Punch). In the short Punch is apparently trying to sleep late, but his shrewish wife screams at him and whacks him with a broom until he finally gets out of bed. He finally goes out, and ambles around for a little bit until he stops at a marble column, seemingly some sort of monument. He looks like he's about to take a whizz on it until a half-dozen cops appear out of nowhere and chase after him. He outruns the cops, makes it back home, evades his wife and climbs to the roof of their little house to take a nap—and he has a strange and fantastical dream.

All of that is set to the music of Il Turco in Italia by Gioachino Rossini. Compare The Thieving Magpie, another Luzzati short that had a similar style and was also accompanied by Rossini music.



  • Balloonacy: At one point his dream Pulcinella is lifted into the sky by about eight balloons—of course it is just a dream.
  • Clip-Art Animation: Luzzati's signature style, moving cutouts against a painted background.
  • Dream Sequence: Most of the second half of the cartoon is a wild and hallucinatory dream sequence that happens after Pulcinella dozes off on the roof. His wife and the police morph into strange fantastical animals. He appears in a stage show in a theater. He grows wings and flies up to the sun, which becomes a balloon that he uses to descend back to Earth.
  • Henpecked Husband: Pulcinella's wife screams at him to get up and whacks him with a broom when he's slow to get out the door.
  • Mickey Mousing: All of the action is set to Il Turco in Italia. The antics get really wild at moments when the music gets intense.
  • Advertisement:
  • Mythology Gag: At one point in his dream Pulcinella appears as a character in a puppet show along with his wife. It's a reference to the Punch and Judy traditional puppet show featuring Punch, the English version of Pulcinella.
  • Repeat Cut: In his dream Pulcinella sees a bizarre tree with a demon's face on it. The same shot of the demonic tree is repeated three times.
  • Scooby Stack: Three cops, stacked on top of each other, poke their heads out from one side of the marble column. Then three more cops stacked in the same way poke their heads out from the other side.
  • Speaking Simlish: Pulcinella's wife yells at him in vaguely Italian-sounding gibberish. He mostly just mutters and grunts.