After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney decided that he would continue making full length animated films. The Disney animation studio's intentions were to have Bambi as it's next film, but there were too many technical issues and Pinocchio was pushed into production.
Pinocchio is not an original story. I honestly did not know that until recently. Disney's version of Pinocchio is even farther off then Snow White. In fact, it probably barely counts as being a version of the original story. Disney's version begins with a few home invasions. First, Jiminy Cricket sneaks into the wood-carver Geppetto's house to get away from the cold. He finds a crazy old man who appears to be talking to the marrionnette that he's carving. Geppetto sees a falling star and decides that he is going to wish on it that his marionnette would come to life and be a real boy. I guess he never heard of adoption. I mean come on. This took place in Italy in the 1880's, so I'm sure that all he had to do was reach a hand out of his window and he would eventually grab onto a street urchin. Geppetto falls asleep muttering to himself about real wooden boys, when the falling star comes in through his open window. The falling star turns into a blue fairy. This is the other home invasion I was talking about. Gepetto really needs to start locking his doors and windows. Apparently the blue fairy only heard part of what Geppetto asked for and made his puppet come alive, though not into a real boy. The fairy tells Pinocchio (which is what Gepetto had named him) that he could become a real boy when he becomes brave, truthful, and unselfish. Couldn't she have made him those things in the first place? Oh well. She tacks on a part about following his conscience, which Pinocchio has no idea about since he is a block of wood that just came to life. Jiminy, the other home invader, decides to show off and tells Pinocchio what a conscience is. Pinocchio reasons that this tiny creature is his conscience and the blue fairy asks Jiminy to watch out for this kid, since he would probably walk into a fire at any moment without some guidance.
Gepetto wakes up to find Pinocchio alive and is so excited that he dances with his little puppet friend. You best believe Gepetto's got moves. Instead of doing about a million other things with his new son, he sends Pinocchio to school. LAME! Pinocchio never makes it to school though, for he was sidetracked by a fox and cat named Honest John and Gideon, respectively. They convince him that school is for fools and showbiz is the way to go. They convince him to join Stromboli's puppet show, which Pinocchio does out of sheer naivety and gullibility. He becomes the star of the show but after he tries to leave, Stromboli locks him up. It turns out that people will pay to see a puppet that can turn it's body 360 degrees without losing eye contact with audience. This may of been where they got the idea for The Exorcist. Jiminy tries to save Pinocchio but it's no use. The blue fairy shows up just in time to rub it in Pinocchio's face that he messed up. She asks him what he's been up to and Pinocchio makes up terrible lies about saving a bus full of orphans and such. Pinocchio's nose grows with every lie, eventually housing a bird's nest. Pinocchio then claims that he will tell no more lies and asks the fairy to save him. She does, but warns him that she cannot help him again. I didn't know fairies had a limit to how many times they can help people. Must be tough life. Meanwhile, Honest John and Gideon meet with the corrupt coachman. The coachman tells them that he needs kids to go to Pleasure Island. This sounds promising. Pinocchio decides to head back home but is again bothered by Honest John and Gideon. Pinnochio, learning his lesson, says that he should go home. The fox and cat, growing impatient, scoop Pinocchio up and take him to Pleasure Island. While he's there, Pinocchio meets Lampwick, the most annoying character in the whole movie. They all have fun gambling, drinking and playing pool until they realize that the island is cursed. How is the island cursed? It turns kids that act like jackasses into...well...jackasses....literally. The coachman apparently uses the donkeys to work in the diamond mines. Sounds....fair. Jiminy finds out and tries to save Pinocchio. Fortunately, is he able to find him and they both escape, though Pinocchio is technically half a jackass. Lampwick, on the other hand, is a total jackass. I mean this literally. He gets turned into a donkey, much to my amusement.
The two flee home to find that Gepetto has gone to rescue Pinocchio from Pleasure Island by taking a boat onto the sea. He gets a little ways out and Jonah...er I mean Gepetto is abruptly swallowed by a whale named Monstro. That's right. Italians name local whales. Pinocchio and Jiminy attempt to save Gepetto but are also swallowed up. They find Gepetto inside with the raft. How is it that Monstro was unable to fully swallow any of them? Also, I'm pretty sure that Pinocchio has the most villains in it. Seriously, there is Monstro, Honest John, Gideon, Stromboli, and the coachman. I didn't think a puppet could have so many enemies! Anyway, Pinocchio comes up with the idea of burning part of Gepetto's boat to get Monstro to sneeze. This succeeds and they are all somehow not spit into the stratosphere. Montstro is pretty peeved that his food is getting away, even though the food consisted of an old man, some wood, a cricket, a cat, and a goldfish. That's like a M&M for us. I don't know, maybe old men and puppets are considered a delicacy by whales. Pinocchio decides to do the stupid thing and sacrifice himself to save the others. Monstro, like a big dog, forgets how big he is, and decides that he is going to dive through a very small hole to catch Pinocchio. FAIL! They are washed up on shore and find that Pinocchio is scrap wood. They all mourn until the blue fairy comes and decides that Pinocchio finally acted with bravery and unselfishness. Pinocchio is turned into a real boy and everyone celebrates! Gepetto breaks out some new moves. Oh, and Jiminy get's a badge for dealing with Pinocchio.
The original version is just as weird, but that will have to wait for another day. Stay tuned for part II!