on January 23, 2009
I just saw a special engagement of this latest 70th Anniversary version of Pinnochio at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood in advance of the DVD re-release. Though I am happy to see the movie be given public exposure on a big theatrical screen, over the years I have seen many theatrical screenings of the movie on at least 12 different occasions including an original nitrate 3-strip Technicolor studio vault print in the early 1980's (before the studio dismantled its last nitrate screening room) and non-digital film restorations and was shocked to see that this latest restored version has digitally tampered with the film's original color palette for no justifiable reason.
Some of the chosen character hues are modern day, popular color hues, but look out of place in this early animated classic including certain pinks, reds and blues which are reused so often in identical shades that to classic animation buffs it becomes distractingly noticeable. For those animation buffs who know about Pinnochio, Walt intentionally muted colors in some of the scarier or sadder scenes. In the restored version, for example, when Pinnochio gets locked in Geppetto's "birdcage" the nighttime scene is bright and garish where it should intentionally be darker and muted.
The original movie had hand inked character outlines in colors that matched the interior ink colors, none of that is apparent in this restoration. The characters, though admittedly sharper and clearer, look color-wise like they were electronically tampered with, then reinserted in front of the original backgrounds.
At this point, the damage is done and obviously this restoration was "stylistic." But in any case, it might be compared with someone redoing the Mona Lisa with more modern color hues for the purpose of improving the artwork or making it more modern day acceptable. Either two things, perhaps no one at Disney was knowledgeable enough to notice what the outside restoration company was planning to do with the film in early test segments or maybe they figured that modern day DVD audiences would not know the difference or care, but this is the first "DIGITALLY RESTORED" classic Disney film that I have ever taken issue with. What a let down since it is my very favorite Disney film of all!!!
P.S. I was the founder of the former, long time Disney employees' Animated Film Club (later referred to as the Disney Film Club) which included Disneyland and Walt Disney Studio employees. It was founded in 1976 and continued on and off for many years afterward with visits from surviving original Disney animators, screenings of rare Disney footage and more.
on September 14, 2005
The one-two whammy of audience and critical indifference to "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia" killed Walt Disney's desire to experiment with the limits of animation in the 1940s. From then on, play it safe was his motto. This may be one of the greatest tragedies to beset popular American culture in the 20th century; despite the depths of pretension and kitch in "Fantasia," it was at least evidence of a spirited mind in pursuit of the unattained -- but "Pinocchio" must have broken old Walt's heart. There are visual effects in this movie that remained unchallenged until the digital age, and it's worth recalling that every single one of them was drawn by hand. It has one of the most beautiful and exciting musical scores in the history of the movies (I can't hear Cliff Edwards' high, pure falsetto holding that final note of "When You Wish Upon a Star" without chills), a deeply plangent sense of emotion that never tips over into bathos, and a wealth of detail that is still staggering after 65 years. But it may be too dark a movie to attain the popularity of more cheerful Disney cartoons like "Snow White" -- although even that one can frighten the tots. Now: where is the double-disc Special Platinum Edition???
Disney has restored this all-time classic to its original brilliance. The universal themes of love, family, friendship and good vs. evil make this educational and enjoyable. Yes, there are some quite scary scenes and evil is shown for what it is. However, just as in most fairy tales, good triumphs over evil in the end.
The story is told by Jiminy Cricket and the start of the movie is peaceful. He arrives at Geppetto's home where there are music boxes, toys, amazing clocks and a puppet who is just "all strings and joints." Geppetto is just painting on the finishing touches before he heads off to bed. The "cutest" black and white cat named Figaro adds warmth and amusement to the story. The sassy fish Cleo is a visual delight.
As the woodcarver drifts off to sleep, he says: "Wouldn't it be nice if he was a real boy?" He then sends Figaro to open the window and sees a wishing star. He makes a wish and while he sleeps, the Blue Fairy brings the Marionette Pinocchio to life. He then must learn to have a conscience, so it is decided that Jiminy Cricket will be his guide so he will know what is good and what is evil.
Pinocchio begins his journey to become a "real boy," but first he has to learn to be brave, loyal and honest. He is kidnapped after he joins a traveling show so he can become a famous actor, but escapes with the help of the Blue Fairy. She is the most beautiful animated fairy I have ever seen. Pinocchio then must learn to survive on his own. He takes a trip to Pleasure Island. This is a place where children go and they are allowed to play and never work, but the sinister truth is that they are all changed into donkeys and end up being shipped off to the salt mines. While he seems to keep making the wrong choices, once he realizes he will be turned into a donkey (his ears and tail already have grown), he goes back home. (Not unlike the prodigal son in a way, yet he is so young.)
When he arrives home, he finds cobwebs and the house has been empty for some time. A note arrives that tells him where he can find his father, so he jumps into the ocean to find Monstro the whale, where his father, Geppetto is trapped. Once under the sea, things get a bit scary and the whale is quite evil, not unlike other creatures from the sea in Disney's movies. Will he find his father? I won't give the ending away.
This is about the magical power of believing in your dreams and also will teach children to be moral and choose the good in life. I have to wonder if some politicians forgot to watch this movie as children. It teaches that lying is wrong and that a lie keeps growing and growing once it is told.
There are messages that reading is good and education is something you should strive for. The illiterate Red Fox is hilarious as he tries to read the ABC book upside down! The fox tries to tell Pinocchio that education is not good for him. I also noticed that because Pinocchio could not read (because he didn't go to school!), he could not read the note about his father and therefore, Jiminy Cricket had to read it for him. See a similar scene in "Mulan" where the lucky cricket in that movie types out the letter like a typewritter, which is also a beautifully animated movie with snow scenes similar to the wave scenes in this classic. I could see many details in this animation which have carried over into other movies.
There are many messages for adults in this movie....I doubt children will pick up on (Note the song that talks about "There are no strings on me!." This seems to be talking about our responsibility to others.)
As an adult, you will find them amusing and thought provoking. I had to laugh when I heard the Cricket say: "What does an actor want with a conscience anyway." That hit the mark! I would like to see more actors develop a conscience.
One of my favorite quotes by Jiminy Cricket is: "A cricket can't be too careful you know." It is laugh out loud funny when he says it.
The first part of the movie is hilarious, the middle is a big adventure and the ending is a wonderful surprise for children. There are a few politically incorrect items, but they are almost tongue-in-cheek and you have to think about when this movie was made!
If you have ever wished upon a star, or a falling star, this is for you! I agree, this is a masterpiece of animation....unlike anything you will find today. It is so detailed and moves at a pace where it is comfortable to watch. This is a thoughtful movie, unlike some of the more fast paced extravaganzas you see today.
~The Rebecca Review
A timeless classic that has been entertaining audiences for 70 years, Walt Disney's "Pinocchio" gets the High-Definition treatment and with Disney's classics on Blu-ray known as "reference" disc's among high-definition fans, "Pinocchio" is the second animated film from Walt Disney to hit theaters (back in 1940) and the oldest Walt Disney animated film to be released on Blu-ray. This Blu-ray disc comes with two Blu-ray discs plus a DVD disc of the film.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
So, far the Walt Disney Blu-ray disc animated (as well as theatrical) releases are among the best in picture and audio quality.
With the 2008 Blu-ray disc release of "Sleeping Beauty" (1958) which definitely benefited from the High-Definition remastering and many videophiles putting it among their top 10 of "reference" Blu-ray discs for picture quality, "Pinocchio" (1940) is a much older release, this film presented in multiplane Technicolor just looks absolutely fabulous on Blu-ray.
For nearly a year, an expert restoration team digitally scanned 380,334 frames of four and half miles of 71 year-old film negative, cleaning 126,778 frames, realigning each scene, removing dirt, scratches and dust and matching colors to the original cels and backgrounds. The clarity of "Pinocchio" is just amazing and I was just impressed how clean the animation was.
From the details of the backgrounds to the vibrant colors used, picture quality was just spectacular.
And the audio is no slouch either as the audio is featured in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 kHz, 24-bit) or a restored original theatrical soundtrack. Of course, the film is primarily a dialogue based film but also a classic known for its music.
So, for those who have been enchanted with songs such as "When You Wish Upon A Star" to "I've Got No Strings", fans of Disney composer Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J. Smith are going to enjoy how beautiful the music sounds on their home theater setup. The music from "Pinocchio" earned the film two Oscars in 1941 for "Best Music, Original Score" and "Best Music, Original Song" for "When You Wish Upon a Star" which would become Disney's anthem.
For those wondering if there are any audio tracks in any other languages, unfortunately there is not. Although the bonus features do include English, French and Spanish 2.0. The same can be said for subtitles featured in English SDH (for the film) and the bonus features in English SDH, French and Spanish.
"Pinocchio" is just loaded with special features. Here is what is included:
Blu-ray Disc 1:
* "When You Wish Upon a Star" - An all-new music video starring Meaghan Jette Martin (Camp Rock) performing an all-new version of "When You Wish Upon A Star!" Obviously a version to bring any the younger listeners but really, nothing can beat the original version sung by Cliff Edwards.
* Pinocchio's Matter of Facts - Learn fun facts about Pinocchio and other related subjects as you watch the movie.
* Optional Video/Audio Commentary - An all-new audio commentary with Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg and J.B. Kaufman. A very informative and also enthusiastic commentary in which the three discuss their feelings of the film, what scenes touched them and also some informative facts about the film. The optional video commentary allows people to have a picture-in-picture display in which you can watch the three discuss the film and then also some interviews with the original crew involved with the film.
* Disney Song Selection - This section allows the viewer to listen to the music portions from the film.
Blu-ray Disc 2:
* No Strings Attached: The Making of Pinocchio - Witness the behind-the scenes magic that transformed Carlo Collodi's popular book into a classic animated film. About an hour long and very informative featurette about how the film cost Disney over $2 million to make but the film didn't do well in the box office until later as the music became a big part of Disney and people started to discover it's technical, artistic and musical merit and having become a Disney masterpiece.
* Deleted Scenes - In the Disney vault, storyboards for deleted scenes and an alternate ending were found. Without spoiling any of these, the following scenes are:
- The story of the Grandfather Tree - Kindly Geppetto tells Pinocchio about the Great Pine Tree from which Pinocchio is descended.
- In The Belly Of The Whale - The most elaborate of Pinocchio's deleted scenes that remain in the Disney Archives, these recently discovered storyboards reveal a different version of Geppetto inside Monstro.
- Alternate Ending - A recently uncovered set of small storyboard panels reveal plans for a different version of Pinocchio becoming a real boy.
* The Sweat Box - The Sweatbox was a small projection room at the Disney studio where Walt critiqued story reels, rough animation, and dailies of films in progress with his anxious artists. This piece traces the history of the Sweatbox and brings to life this important part of Walt Disney's artistic process.
* Geppettos Then And Now - A look at the art of toymaking as it has evolved into the 21st Century. A fun featurette showcasing those who make toys, those who still carve wooden puppets to those who have created the Wall-E robot toy and I-Sobot.
* Live Action Reference Footage - Older footage of how live action was used in the film, especially with the movements of Jimini Cricket.
* Pinocchio Art Galleries - The hand-drawn conceptual art of "Pinocchio" is fantastic. Absolutely beautiful!
* Pinocchio's Puzzles - Hosted by Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio's Puzzles is a multi-tiered Puzzle game that contains six unique wooden puzzles for the viewer to assemble. Each puzzle forms an image from the film that comes to life once they are complete.
* Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Features -Includes all DVD Bonus Content (*BD-Live not available in Canada)
* Disney BD-Live Network - The Disney BD-Live Network is just one of the many ways movie lovers, families, and loved ones can continue to stay connected and engage in their favorite movies.
* Movie Chat - Communicate with your remote friends on-screen while in a synchronized viewing party using your remote control or any text enabled device such as a laptop,
desk top or any PDA device such as a Blackberry, iPhone or most other regular cell phones. Your chat session will appear over the movie and occur in real-time while watching the movie together.
* Movie Mail - Blu-ray owners will be able to record a personalized video message of themselves, superimpose that capture onto one of many pre-selected clips of the movie, and send it off to a friend, colleague, or relative. This specific feature enables Pinocchio Blu-ray Disc owner to personalize a very special greeting as never before.
* Disney Movie Rewards Live - Pinocchio Blu-ray owners will be able to accumulate Disney Movie Reward Points by participating in many Disney BD-Live Network activities. In return, viewers can redeem points for exclusive content such as Avatars, downloadable extras and many more exciting possibilities.
* Disney View - A new viewing experience for future generations of home audiences, Disney View brings classic Disney films to the modern era of widescreen high definition viewing by allowing the user to expand their viewing experience beyond the original aspect ratio of the film. Utilizing Disney Blu-ray(tm) technology, artists are able to `draw' beyond the borders of classic full frame cinema and fill the otherwise dark edges of the screen with beautiful original imagery, giving audiences a new view on their animated classic favorites. Legendary artist Toby Bluth is the first artist's work to be featured on Disney View. I hope "Disney View" is a continuous feature because instead of watching the black bars on the sides of your widescreen TV, by having these borders and have it match with the scene was well-done!
* Pinocchio Knows Trivia Challenge - 1 to 4-player trivia game that can be played locally or online with your friends. Try to be the first to shrink Pinocchio's nose by answering challenging questions while watching the film.
* Pleasure Island Carnival Games - Best the Evil Coachmen at four challenging Carnival games to earn your freedom and escape Pleasure Island.
Also, included is a song that was not used in the final cut for the film and more!
Again, another Disney masterpiece that has its definitive release via High-Definition on Blu-ray. This release is absolutely wonderful!
I was awestruck by how brilliant the film looked and how clean and pristine this 70-year-old film was on Blu-ray. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment really showed us how brilliant their restored films would look on Blu-ray starting with "Sleeping Beauty" but since "Pinocchio" was a much older film, it wasn't known if it could benefit from the restoration but sure enough, this release is yet another "Grand Slam".
To have a such an important classic animated film released on Blu-ray to look this spectacular is impressive but to go back into the sealed archives of Disney and to find any video or any type of existing artwork or storyboards was just amazing. This release is just jam packed with special feature and you learn so much about the behind-the-scenes making of the film from the artistic and musical direction, to casting and even Walt Disney and his involvement as well.
Learning how Walt Disney wanted to immediately change his version of "Pinocchio" from Carlo Collodi's original 1911 story "avventure de Pinocchio" (which featured an unlikeable, wiseguy Pinocchio and dark stories about abductions and murders) to learning also how strict Walt Disney was in making sure his staff knew what he wanted and did all he can to bring the best out of them.
Now, as a parent, I did watch this film with my child. For those who are not familiar with the classic Disney films, although Disney films are rated G, Disney films from the past versus a Disney film like "Wall-E" or a modern Disney animated film that is generally fine for children will need to know that back then, Walt Disney's animated films were created for people of all ages and not just children (which was discussed on the commentary).
So, therefore Walt Disney's first film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" had dark content. Disney's second film "Pinocchio" has its share of scenes that may make some parents uncomfortable. For example, in one scene, Pinocchio follows a wiseguy who likes to smoke and thus Pinocchio starts smoking a cigar (and of course getting sick by it), scenes with beer drinking and then of course, a scene where the word "jackass" is used a few times. Some may feel the content is inappropriate for their children, so I will leave that up to your discretion.
But overall, there's really nothing negative that can be said about this Blu-ray release. It's everything that a fan of the film can ever want with a High-Definition release. Digital restoration of video and audio, informative commentary, special features and much more!
Absolutely wonderful! Highly recommended!
on December 12, 2003
I am 70 yrs. old, and saw all of the great Disney movies on their original release as a child. Lest my qualifications are questioned, I have TWO PhD's, and am a retired professor who at the moment am building computers and reading at least 2 books a week. I've travelled all of the "lower" 48, and visited over 20 (again) in the last 3 years.
We have become a nation so frightened and split into groups that teach children fear and hatred. I'm afraid of what the children will become. I have a dozen grand children (at the moment) and have bought them all copies of the my fovorite Disney movies, with Snow White, Pinnocchio and (original) Fantasia at the top. Neither I, nor any of my friends my age, thought of those early movies as anything but what they were--wonderful stories. An example of the worst of our society is Eisner--a monster who takes movies off the market for years, and has stated he won't release the great folk tale "The Song of the South" because it MIGHT be "politically incorrect," an ugly concept that divides our country into "clans" walking on eggs in fear of "offending" some other group. I have watched most of the movies with each of my grand children, and SURPRISE, they loved them and are growing up to be intellegent and open minded, without fear or hate or whining. They learn their values from parents,grand parents and friends, not from movies and not from the twisted ideas of people they are pushed to associate with.
on May 7, 2005
Pinocchio is planned to be re-released on a platinum/special edition (the time has not been announced yet).
The first limited issue release of this DVD was weak. Disney then re-released Pinocchio on "Gold Collection", but many of the disk inside were still limited issue disk. The limited edition DVD contains no bonus features and has a modest transfer (The sound is excellent, but the picture is sometimes grainy and color is in need of restoration).
Basically, Disney gave this film and viewers the shaft (on the first DVD release). It's now rumored that Pinnochio platinum won't appear till 2008, but I doubt we will see it till at least 2009. It's obvious that they are trying to avoid releasing it at all. I wish they would just put Pinnochio and Songs of the South on Disney treasures, and Leonard Maltin could apologize for them before we watch it. That would be better then possibly censoring it, as they have with other titles such as melody time.
(NOTE: the little mermaid is scheduled for platinum in 2006). Dont miss Cinderella platinum in fall 2005
It's now rumored that Pinnochio platinum won't appear till 2008, but I doubt we will see it till at least 2009
on November 14, 1999
First off, let me say that Pinocchio is my favorite of all the Disney animated films. Which makes it all the more frustrating that it was treated so shabbily in this DVD release. While the video and audio quality are decent, they are not nearly as good as they should have been, given the state of the technology. And, frankly, the "supplements" are a joke. A picture on the disc is a feature? Get with it, Disney.
on February 2, 2013
I bought this disk for my daughter's birthday and she was heartbroken when we sat down to watch only to discover that this is actually a DVD imported from England and therefore will not play on a standard American DVD player. No where in the description does the seller mentioned that this disk is imported and will not work in the US. I love the movie but save yourself the disappointment and find another seller.
A timeless classic which can be apreciated over and over again by people of all ages. "Pinocchio", Disney's second full-length animated feature, is one of the best ever. "Pinocchio" is the tale of a wooden puppet who comes to life only to be tempted by good and evil. The moral dilemnas which tempt young Pinocchio seem relevant even by today's standards. The characters -- Jiminy Cricket, Geppetto, the evil Honest John and of course, Pinocchio -- are amongst Disney's most memorable. The title song "When You Wish Upon a Star" is one of the all-time classics. Although "Pinocchio" is geared toward a younger audience, some children may be frightened by Monstro the Whale and/or the the terrifying Pleasure Island Sequence. The only downside to "Pinocchio" is the DVD presentation itself. While the film transfer is great -- crisp, clear, vibrant colors -- my main gripe is the lack of extras. Apparently, Disney will be loading up the extras for its upcoming "Snow White" release. I just wish they'd do the same for not only "Pinocchio", but all of their animated classics. For the high price that Disney asks, you'd think we'd get a little more. However, this is just a minor gripe and overall, I'm pleased to own this animated classic. Highly recommended to anyone and everyone!
on August 10, 2000
First of all, before any of you fine Amazon.com readers get the wrong idea about my mediocre 3 star rating, Pinocchio is and probably will always be the greatest animated film of all time. Calling Pinocchio a masterpiece is an understatement. I am writing this review on the basis of how fed up I am with the stupidity and greed that Disney has shown of late. Like so many of the 40+ reviewers have said, why was this classic thrown together with such little respect? The transfer to DVD does not improve upon the VHS version, in fact it actually looks downright fuzzy at times. And boy was I ticked off when the "making of Pinocchio" was not included on the DVD, but WAS on the VHS! What am I spending the extra dollars for? Like another reviewer said, Disney just wants the consumer to buy the next version with the extras included. They're no fools, they probably figure if they include the extras on the DVD now, no one will buy it again because DVDs don't wear out! It all comes down to the almighty dollar, right Disney? When Disney does include extras, like on A Bug's Life, they make you buy 2 DVDs! Has anyone at Disney noticed how many hours can be stored on a single DVD? Take Dreamworks for example, they produced a great film in the Prince of Egypt and loaded the DVD with a ton of extras. You don't mind paying a little extra for DVDs like the Prince of Egypt or The Iron Giant (another superb film). Wise up Disney, you won't be able to live on reputation for much longer if you continue trying to rip off the public. The competition is stiff, and darn good! I bet Walt must be turning over in his grave. I would love the folks at Disney to read this review.