Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic
One of Disney’s most overlooked classics, lauded by critics, gets the appraisal it deserves
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
Web www.pinocchiodisneyepic.com 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.