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Pinocchio (1940)

Pinocchio movie logo

Pinocchio Overview

Carpenter Gepetto creates a wooden marionette called Pinocchio. His wish for Pinocchio to be a real boy is unexpectedly granted by a fairy.

The fairy assigns Jiminy Cricket to act as Pinocchio’s “conscience” and keep him out of trouble. Jiminy is not too successful in this endeavor and most of the film is spent with Pinocchio deep in trouble

Pinocchio Trailer

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Movie Details

  • Release Date: February 7, 1940
  • Director: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen
  • Run Time: 1h 28min
  • Writers: Carlo Collodi, Ted Sears, Otto Englander, Webb Smith, William Cottrell, Joseph Sabo, Erdman Penner, Aurelius Battaglia

Pinocchio Cast and Characters

  • Mel Blanc – Gideon
  • Billy Bletcher – Donkeys
  • Don Brodie – Carnival Barker
  • Stuart Buchanan – Carnival Barker
  • Walter Catlett – J. Worthington Foulfellow
  • Marion Darlington – Birds
  • Frankie Darro – Lampwick
  • Virginia Davis – Children
  • Walt Disney – Wooden Russian Soldiers
  • Cliff Edwards – Jiminy Cricket
  • Dickie Jones – Pinocchio, Alexander
  • Charles Judels – Stromboli, The Coachman
  • Dal McKennon – Donkeys
  • John McLeish – Carnival Barker
  • Jack Mercer – Donkeys
  • Clarence Nash – Figaro, Rough House Statue, Donkeys
  • Patricia Page – Marionettes
  • Thurl Ravenscroft – Monstro
  • Christian Rub – Geppetto
  • Evelyn Venable – The Blue Fairy

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Pinocchio Quotes

“Now, remember, Pinocchio: be a good boy. And always let your conscience be your guide.”
The Blue Fairy
“And someday, I’m gonna be a real boy!”
Pinocchio
“Prove yourself brave, truthful and unselfish, and someday you will be a real boy.”
The Blue Fairy

Pinocchio Games & Apps

Disney coloring world app icon

Disney Coloring World App

In Disney Coloring World, kids get creative with their favorite Disney and Pixar characters – and there are hundreds to choose from!

Explore an ever-expanding universe of over 1000 stickers; from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to Frozen’s Anna and Elsa, from the cast of the Lion King and Toy Story to an array of heroines, heroes, princesses, side-kicks, villains and so many more. App Store for iPhone and iPad. Google Play Store.

Disney coloring world app screenshots for iphone and ipad

Pinocchio Plot Summary

Pinocchio opens by introducing Jiminy Cricket as the narrator, who informs the audience that he will be telling them a story about events that made him believe that wishes really do come true.

During his travels, he arrives in a small, sleepy village one night and comes across the home of a woodcarver named Geppetto. Out of a desire to spend some time by a warm fire, he enters and finds himself admiring the various clocks, music boxes, and toys displayed all around the shop.

His attention is then drawn to a puppet carved and painted to resemble a human boy.

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As he admires the puppet, Geppetto comes downstairs accompanied by his black and white kitten Figaro to put the finishing touches on the marionette, which he has named Pinocchio.

Pleased with his work, Geppetto shows off the puppet to Figaro and his goldfish Cleo while operating the puppet around the shop in joy. Before going to bed, Geppetto wishes a star that Pinocchio will come to life as a real boy.

During the night, the Blue Fairy descends from the star in response to Geppetto’s wish and says she will grant it because of all the joy he has brought to others. With her magic, she brings Pinocchio to life.

Geppetto putting the finishing touches on his puppet Pinocchio

Astounded by his newfound sentience, he asks if he has become a real boy. She informs him to become a genuine boy and grant Geppetto’s wish. He will have to prove himself brave, true, and unselfish and learn right from wrong.

Seeing Pinocchio’s confusion at these new concepts, Jiminy steps forward and volunteers to serve as Pinocchio’s conscience when the Blue Fairy asks.

The Blue Fairy leaves, and Jiminy attempts to explain the complexities of right and wrong to Pinocchio. Pinocchio fails to understand without any frame of reference or real-world experience but is enthusiastic about getting it right regardless.

Blue fairy talking to Pinocchio

Jiminy assures Pinocchio he will do everything he can to help and tells Pinocchio all he has to do is whistle if he needs Jiminy. Geppetto awakes at the noise and initially believes that his marionette has come to life but quickly becomes overjoyed that his wish to have an actual child has come true. However, the celebrations are interrupted by Pinocchio’s wooden finger catching on fire.

The following day, Geppetto sends Pinocchio off to school. He is observed by unsavory characters Honest John and his sidekick Gideon on the way there. Honest John is fascinated by the live puppet without strings and decides to try and sell him to traveling puppeteer Stromboli, whom Honest John has just learned is back in town.

Honest John prevents Gideon from simply attempting to knock out and kidnap Pinocchio and instead easily persuades Pinocchio that he will have a much easier road to success by becoming an actor rather than diligently going to school.

Figaro and Cleo

Running late that morning, Jiminy catches up with Pinocchio and is horrified to find Pinocchio walking off with a pair of con artists. Jiminy gets a moment to talk to Pinocchio alone after Gideon accidentally bashes Honest John with a mallet while attempting to hit Jiminy.

Jiminy tries to tell Pinocchio that Honest John’s promises are the kinds of temptations that Pinocchio needs to avoid, but Pinocchio still chooses to go with them.

Pinocchio is then given to Stromboli and performs as the closing act of Stromboli’s marionette show. Pinocchio proves to be a crowd favorite and a big moneymaker despite some stumbles.

Pinocchio sitting on the floor

However, Pinocchio’s joy is cut short when Stromboli refuses to let him leave, locks him in a cage, and threatens to turn him into firewood when he is no longer helpful.

Meanwhile, Geppetto is beside himself with worry at Pinocchio’s disappearance and leaves the house to look for him in the pouring rain.

Jiminy decides to wish Pinocchio luck as he sees Stromboli’s wagon begin to leave town and discovers Pinocchio has been captured. Jiminy attempts to free him but is unsuccessful.

Pinocchio sitting down looking at Jiminy Cricket standing on the tips of his shoes

As the two sit helplessly, the Blue Fairy comes to their aid. When she asks Pinocchio what happened, against Jiminy’s advice, he lies, wanting to save face. This causes his nose to grow longer with each lie, teaching him a lesson that lies grow until they are as plain as the nose on your face.

Warning that this is the last time she can help him, the Blue Fairy frees Pinocchio from the cage, and he and Jiminy escape Stromboli’s wagon.

The scene then changes to Honest John, and Gideon meeting with a coachman at an inn’s pub. Honest John tells him the story of how he manipulated and sold Pinocchio before asking what job the coachman wants them to do.

Pinocchio holding an apple

He wants them to bring him disobedient, stupid boys that he can take to a place he calls Pleasure Island and offers to pay them handsomely for it.

Determined to be better, Pinocchio is on his way home when Honest John finds him again. Pretending to sympathize with Pinocchio’s terrible experience, Honest John convinces Pinocchio to go to Pleasure Island for a vacation to feel better.

On the coach to the island, Pinocchio meets and befriends another boy named Lampwick, who is excited to go to the island where boys can do anything they want for free and without consequences.

Pinocchio performing his no strings on me routine

The coach takes them to a ferry where they are taken to the island and let loose in an amusement park to fight, smoke, drink, and otherwise engage in delinquent behavior. Pinocchio follows Lampwick’s example and participates in these activities as well.

Jiminy is searching for and finds Pinocchio playing pool alone with Lampwick after the commotion has died down, chastising him for yet again choosing to exhibit bad behavior.

Lampwick mocks the idea of listening to conscience, and Jiminy gets mad and decides to leave when Pinocchio defends Lampwick and calls him his best friend.

Pinocchio's nose growing from telling a lie

The insidious nature of the island becomes apparent when on his way out, Jiminy discovers the coachman is magically turning these misbehaving boys into donkeys to sell to places like the salt mines and the circus.

In a desire to save Pinocchio, Jiminy begins rushing back. Lampwick transforms into a donkey quickly, right before a horrified Pinocchio’s eyes. Jiminy leads Pinocchio off the island to safety, but he has grown donkey ears and a tail.

Pinocchio and Jiminy return home to find Geppetto, Figaro, and Cleo gone. A letter implied to be from the Blue Fairy informs them that the whale Monstro swallowed Geppetto while looking for him.

Lampwick turning with donkey ears leaning on a billiards table

Pinocchio, determined to rescue Geppetto, rushes to the ocean and, despite Jiminy warning him how dangerous this will be, weighs himself down by tying a rock to his tail and jumps in. Pinocchio manages to get swallowed by Monstro himself as the whale hunts a school of fish and is reunited with Geppetto.

Bravely taking charge of the situation, Pinocchio hatches a plan to escape by building a fire to get the whale to sneeze them out. The plan works, and Monstro sneezes out their raft, but the whale attacks them in a rage as they desperately try to paddle to shore.

Monstro destroys the raft, and Geppetto begs Pinocchio to swim to shore and save himself, but Pinocchio refuses and pulls an unconscious Geppetto safely to shore.

Pinocchio growing donkey ears

With Pinocchio seemingly giving his life to save his father, Geppetto, Jiminy, Figaro, and Cleo mourn him.

But the Blue Fairy arrives, telling them that Pinocchio has proven himself to have the qualities of a real boy through his actions. She then turns him into a human boy in truth, and they all celebrate.

Jiminy goes outside to look at the stars and thank the Blue Fairy for what she has done, and in return, she gives him a golden badge that reads “Official Conscience.”

Pinocchio Geppetto Figaro and Cloe on a raft in the ocean
Brandon Crombar

Brandon Crombar

Author

Brandon established Featured Animation in 2006 to celebrate animated movies. His favorite animated movies include Finding Nemo, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Find out more about me and my movie journey, About Featured Animation.