Happy Birthday/Anniversary Pinocchio!

pinocchio

On today’s date, back in 1940, Disney’s animated feature film, Pinocchio (based on the 19th century book by Carlo Collodi) premiered at the Central Theatre in New York City. A living puppet (voiced by Dickie Jones), with the help of a cricket named Jiminy (Cliff Edwards) as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. Pinocchio was the second full animated film from Walt Disney, the first was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Walt’s drive and ambition to create this film was based on the overwhelming success that Snow White received.

Walt Disney originally planned the release of the film “Bambi” first, because he felt the characters were easier for the animators to create. However, Pinocchio was released first, and received critical acclaim. People felt that Walt showed less enthusiasm for Pinocchio then he previously did for Snow White. This is mainly because of the idea he had to release feature films at a much quicker rate, and the project was taking a bit longer then he anticipated. Animators were creating both Bambi and Pinocchio roughly at the same time. Walt stopped production of Pinocchio mid-way because he didn’t like how seemingly dark the story was appearing. This is the point in time where Jiminy Cricket was added to the storyline. Walt felt the addition would lighten things up a bit for young viewers. He was right.

The song “When you Wish Upon a Star” (sung my Jiminy) has become so well known, and is used so often by Disney to this day. If Walt wouldn’t have added Jiminy Cricket, we may never have had this sort of connection that we all do. Jiminy Cricket is also known for telling Pinocchio to “always let your conscience be your guide.” This quote is also one of the most famous to come from a Disney film.

Pinocchio is such a classic film. It’s funny though, that today, the quotes and music from the film, seem to be more well known than the actual story line. In my own household, my children know the songs, they know Pinocchio’s nose grew when he lied, but that’s about the extent of it. They associate When You Wish Upon a Star with being at Disney World, and watching Wishes, more so than the actual movie it came from. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. All of what Walt Disney created was magical, and stands the test of time. No matter what context it’s in, as long as the “story” is repeated, or even parts of it, it still eludes the magic that Walt provided. So Happy Anniversary/Birthday Pinocchio, and Jiminy Cricket too!

Author: Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the book “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

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