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Pinocchio (1940 movie) facts for kids

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Supervising Directors
Ben Sharpsteen
Hamilton Luske
Sequence Directors
Bill Roberts
Norman Ferguson
Jack Kinney
Wilfred Jackson
T. Hee
Produced by Walt Disney
Screenplay by Ted Sears
Otto Englander
Webb Smith
William Cottrell
Joseph Sabo
Erdman Penner
Aurelius Battaglia
Starring Cliff Edwards
Dickie Jones
Christian Rub
Mel Blanc
Walter Catlett
Charles Judels
Evelyn Venable
Frankie Darro
Music by Leigh Harline
Paul J. Smith
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) February 7, 1940 (1940-02-07) (Center Theatre)
February 23, 1940 (1940-02-23)
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2,289,247
Money made $84.2 million

Pinocchio is the second animated Disney movie, made by Walt Disney Productions and first released to movie theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 7, 1940. Based on the story Pinocchio: Tale of a Puppet by Carlo Collodi, it was made in response to the huge success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The movie tells the story of Pinocchio, a wooden puppet made by a man named Geppetto and brought to life by the Blue fairy, after Geppetto wishes he could have a son. She tells him he can become a real boy if he proves himself "brave, truthful, and unselfish." Pinocchio must try to be good so he can become a real boy, with the help of his friend, Jiminy Cricket. Thus begins the adventures of the puppet into a real boy, which involve many encounters with a series of unpleasant characters.

The movie was adapted by Aurelius Battaglia, William Cottrell, Otto Englander, Erdman Penner, Joseph Sabo, Ted Sears, and Webb Smith from Collodi's book. The production was supervised by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske, and the film's sequences were directed by Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, and Bill Roberts.

It features the song, "When You Wish Upon A Star", which has been used at the start of most Disney movies since 1985.

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten movies in ten "classic" American movie genres. After polling over 1,500 people from the creative community, Pinocchio was acknowledged as the second best movie in the animation genre, after Snow White.

The story

A man called Gepetto makes a wood puppet called Pinocchio. He wishes that Pinocchio was a real boy, and the Blue Fairy makes Gepetto's wish come true. But to become a real boy instead of a live puppet, Pinocchio has to prove that he's good. The Blue Fairy assigns a cricket named Jiminy Cricket to guide him and keep him out of trouble. This is a hard job, and Pinocchio does a lot of things wrong.

On his first day of school, two crooks, a fox named Honest John and his mute sidekick named Gideon, trick Pinocchio to join Stromboli's puppet show instead. Pinocchio is popular in the show, but Stromboli is cruel to him and locks him in a bird cage. The Blue Fairy asks Pinocchio how this happened, but Pinocchio lies, and his nose grows longer. With the help of the Blue Fairy and Jiminy, Pinocchio escapes from the cage.

The crooks trick Pinocchio again, and tell him to go to Pleasure Island. He meets Lampwick, a bad boy who convinces him to gamble, smoke, drink, vandalize and other bad things. The island is magical, and the boys who act like "jackasses" (donkeys) turn into donkeys. These donkeys are sold to work in the local salt mines.

Lampwick becomes a donkey, but Pinocchio only changes part way, with donkey ears and a donkey tail. He escapes from Pleasure Island and returns to Geppetto's house. But Geppetto is not there. He has gone to sea, to search for Pinocchio.

Pinocchio and Jiminy go looking for Geppetto, but they are eaten by the huge whale Monstro. Monstro has also swallowed Geppetto. Pinocchio builds a fire to make Monstro sneeze, and this frees them all. But they are lost in the ocean and Geppetto is drowning. He tells Pinocchio to swim to shore and save himself, but Pinocchio grabs Geppetto and carries him to shore. Geppetto survives, but Pinocchio appears to be dead.

Geppetto and Jiminy are sad and return home with Pinocchio's body. The Blue Fairy decides that Pinocchio has proved that he is good enough, and brings him back to life... and also turns him into a real boy. Everyone is happy and they celebrate. The movie ends with Jiminy Cricket getting a badge of soild gold and a chorus sings a reprise of the song "When You Wish Upon A Star".


The original plan for the movie was very different from what they made. Many characters and events from the original book were used in early versions. Producer Walt Disney was unhappy with this version and had them change a lot of the story and characters.

At first, Pinocchio was going to look like a real wooden puppet, with a long pointed nose, a pointed hat, and bare wood hands. He was going to act more grown-up and do bad things on purpose, instead of being tricked into doing bad things. But Walt Disney did not think that people would like this character, so they changed his appearance and the way he acted. They made him look more like a real boy, with a small nose, a child's hat, and regular hands with gloves. The only parts of him that still looked like a puppet were his arms and legs.

Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards) became a more important character. He was not included in the first version of the story. When they added him, he looked more like a real cricket, but Walt wanted more people to like him, so Ward Kimball changed him into "a little man with no ears. That was the only thing about him that was like an insect."


  • Jiminy Cricket, voiced by Cliff Edwards, is a cricket who acts as Pinocchio's "conscience" and tells parts of the story.He is the main protagonist.
  • Pinocchio, voiced by Dickie Jones, is a wooden puppet made by Geppetto and turned into a living puppet by the Blue Fairy.He is the deurtagonist.
  • Geppetto, voiced by Christian Rub, is a toymaker who creates Pinocchio and wishes for him to become a real boy.
  • Figaro and Cleo are Geppetto's black and white housecat and goldfish.
  • J. Worthington "Honest John" Foulfellow, voiced by Walter Catlett, is a sly anthropomorphic fox who tricks Pinocchio twice in the movie.Foulfellow is the major antagonist.
  • Gideon is Honest John's dumb, mute, anthropomorphic cat sidekick. He was originally to be voiced by Mel Blanc, but they deleted his dialogue in favour of a mute performance. However, Gideon's hiccups were provided by Blanc. Gideon is the minor antagonist.
  • Stromboli, voiced by Charles Judels, is a large, sinister, bearded puppet maker who forces Pinocchio to perform onstage in order to make money.He is the primary antagonist.
  • The Blue Fairy, voiced by Evelyn Venable, is the beautiful fairy who brings Pinocchio to life and turns him into a real boy at the end.
  • The Coachman, voiced by Charles Judels. A corrupt coachman who owns and operates Pleasure Island.He is the secondary antagonist.
  • Lampwick, voiced by Frankie Darro, is a naughty boy Pinocchio meets on his way to Pleasure Island. He turns into a donkey while the boys are hanging out.
  • Monstro is the whale that swallows Geppetto, Figaro, and Cleo during their search for Pinocchio.Monstro is the final antagonist.


The songs in Pinocchio were composed by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Frank Churchill. Paul J. Smith composed the incidental music score.

  • "When You Wish upon a Star" - Jiminy Cricket; Chorus
  • "Little Wooden Head" - Geppetto
  • "Give a Little Whistle" - Jiminy Cricket; Pinocchio
  • "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor's Life for Me)" - J. Worthington Foulfellow
  • "I've Got No Strings" - Pinocchio
  • "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (reprise)" - J. Worthington Foulfellow
  • "When You Wish upon a Star (reprise)" - Jiminy Cricket; Chorus

On Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic, this includes When You Wish upon a Star on the blue disc, Give a Little Whistle on the purple disc, and I've Got No Strings on the orange disc. And on Disney's Greatest Hits, this also includes When You Wish upon a Star on another blue disc, I've Got No Strings on the green disc, and Give a Little Whistle on the red disc.

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