Pinocchio: The Mak­ing of the Dis­ney Epic

One of Dis­ney’s most over­looked clas­sics, lauded by crit­ics, gets the ap­praisal it de­serves

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

Au­thor JB Kauf­man B Kauf­man has al­ready doc­u­mented the cre­ation of Snow White, and this in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Un­cle Walt’s crit­i­cally lauded but less suc­cess­ful fol­low-up sug­gests that the Dis­ney pub­lish­ers are plan­ning on a book as weighty as this for ev­ery fea­ture length an­i­ma­tion they’ve made. In fair­ness, all Dis­ney movies have sto­ries worth telling, but Pinocchio more than most.

As we rec­om­mend the book thor­oughly, it would be counter-


Pub­lisher The Walt Dis­ney Fam­ily Foun­da­tion

Oc­to­ber 2015

Price £35

Web www.pinoc­chiodis­ pro­duc­tive to sum­marise the story of the film’s cre­ation – JB cov­ers the en­tire pro­duc­tion with just the right vol­ume of au­thor­i­ta­tive de­tail an­chor­ing a com­pelling nar­ra­tive.

How­ever, if there’s just one slightly lack­ing el­e­ment in the text, it’s that a few more pages could have been de­voted to Col­lodi’s orig­i­nal book, and the (surely rights-free) il­lus­tra­tions the Dis­ney team re­ferred to. For such a de­fin­i­tive guide, a slight hike in the num­ber of im­ages used would have been welcome.

Nonethe­less, lovers of Dis­ney’s Golden pe­riod of exquisitely painted back­drops and rev­o­lu­tion­ary char­ac­ter an­i­ma­tion will be more than sated by the art­work re­pro­duced here. The paint­ings from leg­endary Swedish il­lus­tra­tor Gustaf Teng­gren – key to Walt Dis­ney’s de­signs for his first few fea­tures – jus­tify a pur­chase on their own, and be­long in a faith­ful edi­tion of the orig­i­nal book.

Of­ten, where the nar­ra­tive seems to tease de­tails that aren’t il­lus­trated, such as the de­vel­op­ment of Jiminy Cricket from ugly bug to cute icon, your faith is re­plen­ished by the more the­matic ap­proach taken mid­pro­duc­tion, where ev­ery char­ac­ter is

Avail­able Now shown on their jour­ney from rough de­sign to fin­ished icon.

The Dis­ney com­pany has re­cy­cled, re­booted and reimagined its prop­er­ties so many times, a truly ex­haus­tive guide to ev­ery­thing Pinocchio-re­lated would be im­pos­si­ble to squeeze in, but a fair stab is made at show­ing the film’s mar­ket­ing and spin-offs up to 20 years af­ter re­lease, and fi­nally an ex­tra es­say by an­i­ma­tion pro­fes­sor Rus­sell Mer­ritt only con­firms what JB has ex­pressed in the pre­vi­ous 300 pages: that an­i­ma­tors all over the world re­main in­debted to Walt, his artists, and their naughty lit­tle Ital­ian pup­pet-boy.

Seventy five years af­ter the film’s re­lease, read­ers fi­nally get an in­sight into the ge­n­e­sis of Pinocchio.

The young pup­pet learns a valu­able les­son in hu­mil­ity from the wise Blue Fairy.

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