AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Summary View of Movie
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Pinocchio
Director: Ben Sharpsteen (Supv dir)
Release Date:   23 Feb 1940
Duration (in mins):  87
Print this page
Display Movie Detail


Cast: Dickie Jones  (Voice of Pinocchio)
  Cliff Edwards  (Voice of Jiminy Cricket)
  Christian Rub  (Voice of Geppetto)
 

Summary: Geppetto, a kindly old woodcarver, creates a little puppet boy of pine and names him Pinocchio. Because the old man, who has been generous and good all of his life, loves children and has none of his own, the Blue Fairy brings the marionette to life to be a son to him. She tells Pinocchio, however, that he must earn his right to become a real boy by exhibiting the virtues of truth, courage and selflessness. To aid him in his task, she makes Jiminy, a vagabond cricket who has snuck into Geppetto's workshop to spend the night, Pinocchio's conscience, dubbing him the "Lord High Keeper of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong." Pinocchio's first test comes the next morning, when, on his way to school, he is accosted by J. Worthington Foulfellow, a wily fox also known as "Honest John." Along with his daffy companion Gideon, Foulfellow convinces Pinocchio that he should become an actor in the puppet show belonging to Stromboli, a tyrannical puppeteer. Jiminy's protests that Pinocchio must go to school fall on deaf ears, and the little puppet is soon a big hit with Stromboli's audience. Seeing that Pinocchio is doing well, Jiminy decides that a successful actor does not need a conscience and leaves. All is not well, however, for the cruel Stromboli locks Pinocchio in a bird cage when he tries to leave after the show. After deciding to say goodbye to "Pinoc," Jiminy returns to Stromboli's wagon, where he is horrified to discover the puppet's predicament. Jiminy's efforts to pick the lock do not succeed, and as the companions despair, they are astonished to see the Blue Fairy, who questions Pinocchio about why he did not go to school. The flustered Pinocchio tells lie after lie, and his nose grows with each falsehood. The Blue Fairy rebukes Pinocchio, explaining that "a lie grows and grows until it's as plain as the nose on your face." After Pinocchio promises to reform, the beautiful fairy sets him free, and Pinocchio hastens with Jiminy toward home. Pinocchio is stopped again by Foulfellow, who tempts him to go to Pleasure Island, a magical place where boys can do anything they want. Pinocchio joins the other boys on the coach driven by a mysterious coachman, and soon is indulging in the cigars, beer and billiards offered at Pleasure Island. As Pinocchio plays with his new friend Lampwick, Jiminy discovers that the boys on the island transform into donkeys, which are then sold by the coachman. He then returns to the terrified Pinocchio, who has just seen Lampwick turn into a donkey. Pinocchio sprouts ears and a tail, but escapes with Jiminy before his transformation is complete. Upon their return home, they discover that Geppetto, Figaro, the kitten, and Cleo, the goldfish, have been swallowed by Monstro, a gigantic whale. With no thought for his own safety, Pinocchio voyages to the bottom of the sea, where he finds Geppetto, Cleo and Figaro alive in the whale's belly. After a joyful reunion with his father, Pinocchio hits upon the idea of making Monstro sneeze. After setting Geppetto's boat on fire, the little group escape on a raft when the smoke causes Monstro to sneeze. The irritated whale chases his former captives, and Pinocchio bravely rescues Geppetto at the cost of his own life. Geppetto, Figaro, Cleo and Jiminy sorrowfully return home, and as they are mourning, the Blue Fairy appears and turns Pinocchio into a real boy as a reward for his actions. She also gives Jiminy a gold badge for his services as Pinocchio's conscience, and as Geppetto and his son celebrate, Jiminy sings that "when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true." 

Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Director: Ben Sharpsteen (Supv dir)
  Hamilton Luske (Supv dir)
  David Hand (Supv dir)
  Bill Roberts (Seq dir)
  Jack Kinney (Seq dir)
  Norman Ferguson (Seq dir)
  Wilfred Jackson (Seq dir)
  T. Hee (Seq dir)
  Jim Handley (Asst dir)
  Graham Heid (Asst dir)
  Ford Beebe (Asst dir)
  Larry Lansburgh (Asst dir)
  Lou Debney (Asst dir)
  Mike Holoboff (Asst dir)
Producer: Walt Disney (Pres)
Writer: Ted Sears (Story adpt)
  Webb Smith (Story adpt)
  Joseph Sabo (Story adpt)
  Otto Englander (Story adpt)
  William Cottrell (Story adpt)
  Erdman Penner (Story adpt)
  Aurelius Battaglia (Story adpt)

Subject Major: Conscience
  Fathers and sons
  Innocents
  Puppets
  Rescues
  Transmutation
  Wishes
 
Subject Minor: Billiards and billiard parlors
  Cats
  Cigars
  Courage
  Deception
  Donkeys
  Drowning
  Fairies
  Fires
  Fish
  Insects
  Islands
  Puppeteers
  Slavery
  Stagecoach drivers
  Whales and whaling

Display Movie Detail
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.