A Disney animated classic from 1940, this one’s a true weepie. Old man Geppetto makes a wooden puppet boy, but Pinocchio wants to be a real boy. The Blue Fairy grants his wish, and appoints Jiminy Cricket to be his conscience. But when Geppetto sends Pinocchio off to school, he is seduced away by two villains who sell him to a travelling circus.
Could things get any worse? Oh yes, as Pinocchio is kidnapped and taken to an island where bad little boys are turned into donkeys, while Geppetto puts his own life in danger searching for his beloved little boy.
Beautifully animated, this has some really scary bits (even the waves shrink back in horror as Monstro the Whale swims towards us, and Pinocchio’s adventures on Pleasure Island may upset some viewers) but lovely ones, too, like Jiminy Cricket’s high-wire balancing act and the song ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’. Wonderful.
Is Pinocchio (1940) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Monstro the whale is very scary.
Lampwick turning into a donkey.
As mentioned in the review, the entire time Pinocchio is on Pleasure Island is pretty frightening.