Pinocchio, released in 1940, is one of Walt Disney’s most beloved classics and was the story that taught us to wish upon a star. Adapted from a novel by C. Collodi, Pinocchio chronicles the adventures of a wooden puppet whose lonely maker, Geppetto, wishes were a real boy.
In celebration of the upcoming live action retelling of Pinocchio on Disney+, here are 8 peculiar facts about the wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy.
Jiminy Cricket wasn’t always the narrator
According to film historian J.B. Kaufman, when the decision was made to make the lovable cricket the narrator, a ton of material had to be cut and changed in the film. “When that happened, they had so much more new material that they had to cut some things,” says Kaufman. “They could’ve made three or four films with all of that story material.”
Over 700 artists worked on the film
Production for Pinocchio started about 3-5 years prior to the film’s release. Since it was one of the early movies to experiment with animation, the film was creation for almost five years before its release with over 700 artists all working on the monstrous project at once.
Walt loved Figaro
Walt Disney had a soft spot for the kitten, Figaro, and pushed for the little cat to be in the movie as much as possible. Walt even decided to make him a companion to Minnie Mouse, replacing her cocker spaniel.
There were at least two songs cut from the film
One of these songs was called “Three Cheers for Anything”. When the children are traveling off to Pleasure Island, they originally sung “Three Cheers for Anything,” which ended up being cut from the final film.
Another song, this time called “Straight Ahead” was going to be sung by Pinocchio and the rest of the boys as they were heading ‘straight ahead’ to Pleasure Island after being picked on at school, and after taking the Blue Fairy’s words of wisdom a little too literally.
It only happened once
Pinocchio’s nose only grows once in the movie, even though it is easily the character’s most famous quality.
Ace of Spades
The card Pinocchio receives from Honest John as he is being coaxed to Pleasure Island is an ace of spades, which is often known as “The Death Card” in folklore.
Pinocchio won two academy awards
Pinocchio was the first Disney film to win an Oscar for both musical categories: Best Score, and Best Song (for “When You Wish Upon a Star”).
Animators were unsure on how to draw Pinocchio
Animators struggled for 18 months on how to draw Pinocchio due to them not knowing whether to draw him with human movements or wooden movements. This was until animation director Milt Kahl decided to blend the two ideas, giving Pinocchio human-like motions, but adding puppet-like joints and screws to the mix.