Wednesday, January 8, 2014


"When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you."

These iconic words are song by the beloved Jiminy Cricket at the beginning of Walt Disney's second full-length animated masterpiece: Pinocchio.  While these words originally represent a humble wood carver's dream for a son, they have come to embody the heart of all that is Disney.

Clocking in at an hour and a half and premiering in 1940, Pinocchio tells the well-known tale of a puppet who is given the chance to become a real boy if he can prove to be brave, truthful and unselfish.  Geppetto (the humble wood carver) owns a shop that he fills with all manners of wonderful clocks, dancing figurines, and puppets.  As he prepares for bed one evening, he sees the wishing star and wishes that his newly made puppet, Pinocchio, would become a real boy.  The Blue Fairy (I'm already dreaming of my Halloween costume...) grants Geppetto's wish and Pinocchio becomes a walking, talking wooden boy.  If he is a good boy- brave, truthful, & unselfish- the Blue Fairy will make him a real boy.  To help him on his journey, the Blue Fairy appoints Jiminy Cricket as his conscience.


I think my biggest takeaway from Pinocchio (as an adult) is that while dreams come true – they take hard work.  It’s not all magic.  Pinocchio must prove himself brave, truthful, and unselfish for his dream of becoming a real boy to come true- and he's put in some very difficult situations.  He is misled by "Honest John" and finds himself in the hands of the cruel puppeteer Stromboli.  He is lead astray to "Pleasure Island" (a decided misnomer).  And then he must ultimately face Monstro - a very angry, very large, very fast whale who happens to swallow Geppetto...  Pinocchio has to go through some very difficult situations and the repercussions of some bad decisions before proving himself and receiving the gift of being a real boy.  Also Geppetto’s dream of having a family doesn’t come true as a young man.  His dream is realized in his golden years.  Ultimately Pinocchio shows that dreams do come true - with patience and hard work. 

So while there are definitely some good life lessons in Pinocchio, it's also just enjoyable to watch.  My top 3 favorite things from the movie were:

  1. Jiminy Cricket singing "Give a Little Whistle."
  2. The antics of Figaro and Cleo (Gepetto's cat and goldfish)
  3. Gepetto and Pinocchio becoming a family

Pinocchio definitely showcases what makes Disney so great- a heartwarming story, a good dash of humor, and the music. 

In closing this week I will leave you with wisdom imparted by the kind and beautiful Blue Fairy:

A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face.

Thanks for joining me on my journey with Walt!

Coming Up Next Week: Fantasia

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