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Delorted's Movie Reviews (169)

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Pinocchio (1940) 
Review - Pinocchio (1940)
3/4 stars

On Disney's second venture into their newfound form of feature-length animation, they brought forth an even more vivid, and much more morally-driven story, creating a true masterpiece with some rather prominent faults.

Pinocchio tells the story of an elderly craftsman who's only wish in life is to have a son of his own. He wants this so much that one night he wishes upon a star that his newest creation, a marionette of a young boy, would come to life. Lo and behold, his wish comes true as the puppet starts walking a talking, but he is only allowed to become a real boy if he can prove himself an upstanding, moral citizen of society. For help along the way, he has his self-proclaimed conscience, a little cricket named Jiminy.

After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney went all out creating their second picture, with even more fluid animation and a much more in-depth story. The characters are much more fleshed out and there is a true emotion to them that is greatly appreciated. The colors are vibrant and yet moody, creating an atmosphere of childhood innocence mixed with the temptation surrounding it. The moral itself is a justified one to which more children should probably pay attention.

Normally it's very difficult to find child actors who are able to actually do their job, but the young boy voicing the titular character of this film was actually very well cast. He has a voice of innocence, and you sort of feel uncomfortable when that innocence is put to the test. He pulls off the character very well, portraying both the naivety of youth as well as the corruption of that youth, and back around to a more educated soul with the purity and exuberance of youth.

There are a few looming problems, however. The film does seem to slightly drag at the midway point, but only slightly. The entire third act, however, comes right out of nowhere, only seeming to exist for one more calamity that must be resolved in order to both keep the story flowing as well as stretch the film so it meets its own length requirements. This whole sequence is a bit enduring and the film probably could have been resolved in a much more simplistic way. There is some weight to it, but the sequence also brings some of the more fascinating visual moments of the film to life, so it can't be entirely dismissed.

Through it's very few faults, Pinocchio is a very touching and educational piece. While I wouldn't really advise parents to consistently force their children to watch stare at a screen all day rather than actually interact with their offspring themselves, if a parent had for some reason absolutely no choice, this is one film I would certainly recommend.

FINAL VERDICT: 4/5


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