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Pinocchio (Disney)

1940, Rated G

By Tim Owens · April 22nd, 2009 · Couch Potato
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Walt Disney ran into roadblocks with Bambi. Struggling with the script and overall structure, he delayed its release and began work on Pinocchio — a story from Italian author Carlo Collodi about the adventures of a wooden puppet who becomes a real boy. But Disney again strained over the script, revising and tweaking a story that was episodic in nature. He was also busy expanding his studio, revising Bambi and obsessing over a new project dubbed The Concert Feature (later renamed Fantasia), all of which consumed so much of his time and energy that it took three years since the 1937 release of Snow White to get Pinocchio out.

Seventy years after its debut, Pinocchio remains one of the ultimate examples of everything animation can be. Its artistic brilliance is magnified on Blue-ray, seeming as fresh as anything else the “House of Mouse” produces these days. The Blue-ray version is loaded with features that will make uber-geeks drool. The highlight is an enlightening picture-in-picture commentary lead by Disney guru Leonard Maltin. There’s also an in-depth making-of documentary, art galleries, deleted scenes and pop-up trivia. Then, of course, there is the Disney DVD/Blue-ray standard — a couple of interactive kid’s games and pointless mini-docs like Geppetto’s Then and Now, a less than stimulating look at the history of toy making. Despite its stunning picture quality, Blue-ray can’t fix Pinocchio’s story. It’s episodic structure and overly long but gorgeously animated scenes break the flow, shedding Disney more in the light of an exhibitionist than a great storyteller. Grade: A-

 
 
 
 

 

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