New Reviews
Django Unchained
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Les Misérables
Chernobyl Diaries
The Cabin in the Woods

Pinocchio (1940)

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 0 minutes

UK Certificate: u


For those who can't remember (or weren't born!) was Disney's second animation originally released in 1940, telling the story of the wooden puppet who wants to be a real live boy. Now I've never read the book (by C. Collodi apparently) but I've always known the story and so have you. Disney has repainted this scene by painstaking scene, and the music is the same Oscar winning score, so this sounded like a treat.

We weren't sure how the three year olds would take to it though. It's 84 minutes long, which is a long time for an attention span previously honed by the Tweenies (they come in at just under half an hour in case you've some how managed to miss them). We had three test subjects, two girls and a boy, and two mothers sitting nearby.

I have to say that I was impressed. I enjoyed the film myself – the attention to detail is startling, although perhaps a little overdone in the scene where Gepetto's nightgown turns transparent when backlit by candlelight. Our three volunteer audience members were transfixed whenever Pinocchio was on screen, although they did tend to wander off (literally) whenever the story flipped to different characters, returning when they heard his voice. It has to have been a hit though – my daughter has requested okydoke (sic) several times since that first viewing, and shows no sign of going off it yet.

For parents of sensitive children, you do need to be aware that Pinocchio dies at the end of the film. Not for long – there is a good fairy on hand to perform some resurrection – but nevertheless, there is a death scene. Our audience (containing one very sensitive offspring) took it in their stride – and the other side of it may well be that the resurrection is so simple that it gives a particularly rose tinted view of death. But then again, this film has dated badly in a number of different ways, note that Pleasure Island is only for boys and the naughtiness there involves smoking, drinking and playing pool rather than graffiti-ing, joyriding and glue sniffing. There is only one obviously female character in the entire film (I'm not sure about the cat or the goldfish), and she was filmed (drawn?) in soft focus. It may have great attention to detail, but it's Disney detail, and not meant to be about reality, so has to be taken on those grounds.


Enjoy. We did.