#2: Pinocchio

Dis­ney Classic Era

# 2: BCDB List of Disney Animated Films

1940′s Pinocchio is the second film on this list. The movie was based on the Original Serial by Carlo Lorenzini Collodi. This was the first animated film to win an Academy Award for best original song for best original score.

In 1994, Pinocchio was one of 25 films added by the Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board to the National Film Registry.

Songs and scenes from Pinocchio were recreated for a Christmas 1939 broadcast of CBS Radio and Cecil B. DeMille’s Lux Radio Theater Show. Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Eve Venabile, Walter Catlett and Cliff Edwards performed their characters on the radio adaptation of the movie.

The scenes of Pleasure Island were based upon the images of the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair. The intention was to satirize its hideous atmosphere in the film.

Despite this film’s success with American moviegoers, Pinocchio was not accepted by the surviving members of the Collodi family, who felt that the film misused the strong social satire of the original book. To this day, Disney’s Pinocchio is criticized by the Collodi family.

Walt Disney employed more than 750 staff members on Pinocchio, working them for several years.

Technicians developed an enhanced multiplane camera which could dolly in and out of an animated scene (similar to live-action photography), as opposed to the vertical method of shooting used in Snow White.

Animators pioneered using glass plates over the animation to create a realistic underwater look for the scene in the ocean, and established a technique called “the blend” to give the two-dimensional animation some depth.

Twelve artists labored for 18 months to design the character of Pinocchio alone. Disney, a perfectionist, is rumored to have thrown out over 2,300 feet of footage (representing at least five months of work) because it did not fit his vision.

Box-office returns for Pinocchio did not surpass those for Snow White, as Disney had hoped.

This film was rereleased theatrically in 1945, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1978, and 1984. The film went under a full restoration process in 1991 and was reissued in 1992 as a “special edition.”

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