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Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Pinocchio



*****

Pinocchio is Walt Disney's 2nd animated feature film, based on the story The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Carlo Collodi.

The story centres around Pinocchio (Dickie Jones), a small wooden puppet who was made by woodcarver Geppetto (Christian Rub) and brought to life by the Blue Fairy (Evelyn Venable), after Geppeto wished upon a Wishing Star. With cheerful cricket Jiminy (Cliff Edwards) acting as his conscience Pinocchio has to prove himself brave, truthful and unselfish in order to be turned into a real boy. Determined to prove himself worthy he heads off for school the next day, only to run into crafty fox Honest John (Walter Catlett) and the bumbling feline Gideon (Mel Blanc), who decieve him into believing that he should live the carefree life of an actor. This starts off a series of events that lead Pinocchio from being a marionette held hostage by gypsy Stromboli (Charles Judels), being taken to Pleasure Island with a load of other kids by The Coachman (also Judels), where all the other children are turned into donkeys, and Pinocchio gets the ears and tail, and to the bottom of the ocean searching for monstrous whale Monstro, who has swallowed Geppetto, his cat Figaro and goldfish Cleo.

Pinocchio is an all-time Disney classic and it isn't exactly hard to see why. The film's score is so memorable, particularly Oscar-winning song When You Wish Upon a Star, and I've Got No Strings. The characters are even more memorable, and also very comical. Pinocchio is so irresistably funny and charming, with his innocent, gullible nature and constant inquisitiveness, which is almost as funny as his reaction to cigars - a puppet's face slowly going green is so comical, especially if you've ever seen someone confident that they can smoke have a bad reaction to it. Pinocchio's most memorable moment is when he lies to the Blue Fairy and with every lie his nose grows a few inches. This will make you laugh your socks off, particularly if your parents or grandparents ever told you that would happen if you lied. The other most memorably funny character is Gideon. Although he is mute, apart from some beer related hiccups provided by Mel Blanc, his stupidity, speediness and over-the-top nature makes him a truly farcical character. Other comic moments come from Figaro and Cleo, as Figaro constantly acts like he hates Cleo, but is secretly flattered by the fact Cleo adores him and even flirts with him, making them a truly lovely comic duo, and the moment when Figaro kisses Cleo at the end will have you laughing so much.

The film also boasts lovely animation. The characters are all so beautifully drawn and brought to such vibrant life by the voice cast - most especially Pinocchio, Jiminy and the Blue Fairy. The sequences are also beautifully animated, most memorably of all the climactic scenes where Pinocchio and Jiminy search for Monstro on the sea floor, get inside and then, with Geppetto, Figaro and Cleo stage a massive escape, are truly well designed and edited, making them a triumph in cartooning/animation. The film also creates great poignancy in the final scenes where Pinocchio is killed in the escape from Monstro and Jiminy, Geppetto, Cleo and Figaro greatly mourn him, and will make you want to cry as Pinocchio is such a lovely, charming protagonist. It will therefore make you let out a huge sigh of relief when the Blue Fairy fulfills her promise and resurrects him, only as a real boy this time. This will guarantee to put a huge smile on your face as the love between him and his 'Papa' Geppetto is so heart-warming to watch.

All in all this is a beautifully created, heart-warming tale that will really put a huge smile on your face and you will cherish for a long time, and is also a true Disney classic and a triumph in animation/cartooning.


1940.
U.
Stars:
Dickie Jones, Cliff Edwards, Christian Rub, Evelyn Venable, Walter Catlett, Charles Judels, Mel Blanc, Frankie Darro.

Oscars: Best Original Score (Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith, Ned Washington), Best Original Song (When You Wish Upon a Star - Leigh Harline, Ned Washington).

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