What’s in a Name? – Pinocchio

21st February, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on What’s in a Name? – Pinocchio

Pinocchio, having an Italian setting, includes lots of characters with Italian-related names. For example, Pinocchio means “pine wood.” It doesn’t sound as appealing, but you must admit it is quite practical. Monstro is also like this—just a foreign word for monster.

Most of the characters, such as the fox, didn’t have a name in the original version, whereas they do in the Disney film: John Worthington Foulfellow, or Honest John. Interestingly, his full name reveals his true nature while his nickname suggests the opposite. Jiminy Cricket is another character without a name from the original story. The name was a euphemistic curse word of sorts (you can hear the name mentioned in Snow White, for example). I guess Disney just thought it was a clever way to nickname a character who was a cricket. The usage has now been practically lost as a way to cuss, and a lot of it probably has to do with the Disney film.

There is at least one character that had a name change. Mangiafuoco’s name was changed to Stromboli. Perhaps it was because while the two characters fill the same purpose in the plot, they are vastly different. Or perhaps it was because Mangiafuoco was a mouthful for a children’s film. In either case, it is interesting to note that Mangiafuoco means something along the lines of “fire-eater.” When you think of “Stromboli,” you may be thinking of Italian food (I know I was). But actually, is the name of an Italian island containing an active volcano, so there is a connection with Mangiafuoco.

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