Source Material of Pinocchio

23rd February, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on Source Material of Pinocchio

Pinocchio was adapted from Carlo Collodi’s book. Originally Collodi was writing an allegory of a more serious note. This creates one of the most drastic differences between the original and the Disney film, for Pinocchio was much more mischievous in Collodi’s story, whereas he is simply ignorant (and innocent) in the Disney version. For example, as soon as he has legs carved, Pinocchio kicks Geppetto (Pinocchio is alive before he is carved into a puppet, rather than brought to life by the fairy). The Fox and the Cat also play darker roles which ended up originally with Pinocchio’s hanging.

That was the first half. The second half was added later, upon the request of Collodi’s editor. The second half begins with Pinocchio’s rescue (the fact that he doesn’t die is explained by the fact that he is a puppet). He then continues to have more adventures. Slowly he becomes less and less mischievous and more caring. And, of course, at the end he becomes a real boy.

There are quite a few differences with the different characters between the original and the Disney film. For example, Pinocchio throws a hammer at the Talking Cricket (unnamed, originally) and kills it. This doesn’t stop the cricket from making several appearances later on, first as possibly a ghost and then later unmistakably alive again. The Fox and the Cat have faked impairments (lame and blind, respectively). And Stromboli was named Mangiafuoco in the original—and he wasn’t such a bad guy either (not that he was a good guy).

There are also some characters that don’t make an appearance at all in Disney’s version, such as other live puppets. The fact that Pinocchio wasn’t the only one of his kind throws the story in a bit of a different light. There is also a giant snake that scares Pinocchio out of his wits and subsequently dies from laughter about it. And there’s an ogre/fisherman. Yes, the original is much more bizarre that the Disney adaptation could ever be.

Pinocchio also turns completely into a donkey. He turns back into a puppet after he is thrown into the ocean to be drowned and a fish eats all of the donkey skin off of him. The other boy who gets turned into a donkey, Lampwick, ends up dying after working to his death for a farmer. And for some reason, Pinocchio still wants to be a real boy.

Another difference is that Monstro is a shark in the original, not a whale. It’s kind of ironic, considering the similarities with the story of Jonah (that’s right, go read your Bible—he was swallowed by a fish, not a whale).

In the end, I feel Disney did a good job with the adaptation. Despite the fact that the original book was a received as a children’s novel, Disney definitely made it a lot more appropriate for children.

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