#2: Pinocchio

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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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