I didn’t watch many of the Disney classics when I was growing up. The only ones I clearly remember watching during my childhood are The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules. But I also have some vague recollections about watching others, like Pinnochio. Those memories are that it used to scare the hell out of me, particularly the scenes where the kids are turned into donkeys. I guess that is what kept me away from it for so long. Now as an adult, I’m not scared any more, but as I was watching it, I could not help but think that this is the stuff that nightmare are made of
That’s nothing against the film, which is quite excellent. But how can a kid not be scared when after a cute introduction, you meet a giant fox that takes our beloved main character and sells him to an evil puppeteer? Or when that same fox kidnaps him and sells him to a man who would take him to Pleasure Island, only to be later nearly sold in a child trafficking ring? (And to think that he was the only that made out of there!) Or how about finally going back home to find out that your dad is not only missing, but he has been swallowed by a whale? I’d hate to be a kid again and watching it for the first time.
Besides that, like I said, it is a fantastic movie. During the three years that it took to release this after Snow White, the animation got better. The designs are more complex that those in the previous movie, and it features some of the most beautiful are direction that I have ever seen. The characters are written perfectly and properly performed. And aside a few logic flaws, it is almost perfect. However, I must say that the first 20 minutes are hard to get through, and this is mostly due to Jiminy Cricket. He redeems himself the moment Pinocchio goes to school, but during this time I hated that he was breaking the fourth wall, his painful one-liners, and some of the moments that were focused on him were totally unnecessary, like the one that involves him trying to sleep and the clocks. But once the story gets going, it all gets better.
Overall, it is a better movie than Snow White, but it’s still has some big flaws that just cannot be ignored.