No Strings Attached – Review of Pinocchio

16th February, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on No Strings Attached – Review of Pinocchio

I’ll be honest. After being pleasantly surprised by how delightful I found Snow White, I thought that Pinocchio would be the same. Not so. I found it a little dull and boring. This is in opposition to most critics, both historic and contemporary.

Nevertheless, I was impressed by the improvement in the animation between the two movies. Pinocchio had several scenes that I’m sure amazed audiences of the day. In fact, some of the animation ideas that I thought worked out great still rarely make their way into traditionally animated films now. Then again, maybe it’s because they’re too time-consuming and expensive, hence one of Pinocchio’s original problems.

I enjoyed several aspects of the film, however. The character of Jiminy Cricket was definitely an improvement over Snow White. Having him introduce the story as well as be a part of it was a good idea. Ward Kimball was given the assignment of creating the character. It was a good thing too, because after his animated sequences were cut from Snow White, he was considering leaving Disney. He went on to be an influential animator at Disney for decades.

I also enjoyed the large cast of characters. Snow White was very limited, whereas Pinocchio features new characters around every bend. This stays true to the original story (though there are actually a lot more chapters in the original), but on film it almost acts as a detriment, for the only characters who get any development at all are Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket. Many other characters get very limited screen time, such as all of the villains. Even Geppetto doesn’t get much beyond the opening (which felt way too long to me, ironically) and the end.

Several plot points didn’t work well with me. For example, how can Pinocchio die? After all, he’s made out of wood. You’d think that if a puppet could die, he’d have drowned when sinking to the bottom of the ocean. And there was a little too much jumping around without explanation of anything. For example, there is nothing to bridge Honest John and Gideon from taking Pinocchio to Stromboli’s to the actual performance (presumably) that night. There’s also no resolution to any of the boys that get turned into donkeys.

Overall, I enjoyed many aspects of Pinocchio, but it didn’t strike me as delightful as Snow White. There were definite improvements with the storytelling and animation, however, and that cannot be overlooked in the history of Disney.

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