BEWARE PURISTS--this Digitally Restored version TAMPERED WIT
Jon Olivan | Los Angeles, CA | 01/23/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I just saw a special engagement of this latest 70th Anniversary version of Pinnochio at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood in advance of the DVD re-release. Though I am happy to see the movie be given public exposure on a big theatrical screen, over the years I have seen many theatrical screenings of the movie on at least 12 different occasions including an original nitrate 3-strip Technicolor studio vault print in the early 1980's (before the studio dismantled its last nitrate screening room) and non-digital film restorations and was shocked to see that this latest restored version has digitally tampered with the film's original color palette for no justifiable reason.
Some of the chosen character hues are modern day, popular color hues, but look out of place in this early animated classic including certain pinks, reds and blues which are reused so often in identical shades that to classic animation buffs it becomes distractingly noticeable. For those animation buffs who know about Pinnochio, Walt intentionally muted colors in some of the scarier or sadder scenes. In the restored version, for example, when Pinnochio gets locked in Geppetto's "birdcage" the nighttime scene is bright and garish where it should intentionally be darker and muted.
The original movie had hand inked character outlines in colors that matched the interior ink colors, none of that is apparent in this restoration. The characters, though admittedly sharper and clearer, look color-wise like they were electronically tampered with, then reinserted in front of the original backgrounds.
At this point, the damage is done and obviously this restoration was "stylistic." But in any case, it might be compared with someone redoing the Mona Lisa with more modern color hues for the purpose of improving the artwork or making it more modern day acceptable. Either two things, perhaps no one at Disney was knowledgeable enough to notice what the outside restoration company was planning to do with the film in early test segments or maybe they figured that modern day DVD audiences would not know the difference or care, but this is the first "DIGITALLY RESTORED" classic Disney film that I have ever taken issue with. What a let down since it is my very favorite Disney film of all!!!
P.S. I was the founder of the former, long time Disney employees' Animated Film Club (later referred to as the Disney Film Club) which included Disneyland and Walt Disney Studio employees. It was founded in 1976 and continued on and off for many years afterward with visits from surviving original Disney animators, screenings of rare Disney footage and more."
A sad sick society and a GREAT MASTERPIECE
The Professor Dave | Cleveland, OH United States | 12/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am 70 yrs. old, and saw all of the great Disney movies on their original release as a child. Lest my qualifications are questioned, I have TWO PhD's, and am a retired professor who at the moment am building computers and reading at least 2 books a week. I've travelled all of the "lower" 48, and visited over 20 (again) in the last 3 years.
We have become a nation so frightened and split into groups that teach children fear and hatred. I'm afraid of what the children will become. I have a dozen grand children (at the moment) and have bought them all copies of the my fovorite Disney movies, with Snow White, Pinnocchio and (original) Fantasia at the top. Neither I, nor any of my friends my age, thought of those early movies as anything but what they were--wonderful stories. An example of the worst of our society is Eisner--a monster who takes movies off the market for years, and has stated he won't release the great folk tale "The Song of the South" because it MIGHT be "politically incorrect," an ugly concept that divides our country into "clans" walking on eggs in fear of "offending" some other group. I have watched most of the movies with each of my grand children, and SURPRISE, they loved them and are growing up to be intellegent and open minded, without fear or hate or whining. They learn their values from parents,grand parents and friends, not from movies and not from the twisted ideas of people they are pushed to associate with."
Timeless Musical Fantasy
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 07/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Disney has restored this all-time classic to its original brilliance. The universal themes of love, family, friendship and good vs. evil make this educational and enjoyable. Yes, there are some quite scary scenes and evil is shown for what it is. However, just as in most fairy tales, good triumphs over evil in the end.
The story is told by Jiminy Cricket and the start of the movie is peaceful. He arrives at Geppetto's home where there are music boxes, toys, amazing clocks and a puppet who is just "all strings and joints." Geppetto is just painting on the finishing touches before he heads off to bed. The "cutest" black and white cat named Figaro adds warmth and amusement to the story. The sassy fish Cleo is a visual delight.
As the woodcarver drifts off to sleep, he says: "Wouldn't it be nice if he was a real boy?" He then sends Figaro to open the window and sees a wishing star. He makes a wish and while he sleeps, the Blue Fairy brings the Marionette Pinocchio to life. He then must learn to have a conscience, so it is decided that Jiminy Cricket will be his guide so he will know what is good and what is evil.
Pinocchio begins his journey to become a "real boy," but first he has to learn to be brave, loyal and honest. He is kidnapped after he joins a traveling show so he can become a famous actor, but escapes with the help of the Blue Fairy. She is the most beautiful animated fairy I have ever seen. Pinocchio then must learn to survive on his own. He takes a trip to Pleasure Island. This is a place where children go and they are allowed to play and never work, but the sinister truth is that they are all changed into donkeys and end up being shipped off to the salt mines. While he seems to keep making the wrong choices, once he realizes he will be turned into a donkey (his ears and tail already have grown), he goes back home. (Not unlike the prodigal son in a way, yet he is so young.)
When he arrives home, he finds cobwebs and the house has been empty for some time. A note arrives that tells him where he can find his father, so he jumps into the ocean to find Monstro the whale, where his father, Geppetto is trapped. Once under the sea, things get a bit scary and the whale is quite evil, not unlike other creatures from the sea in Disney's movies. Will he find his father? I won't give the ending away.
This is about the magical power of believing in your dreams and also will teach children to be moral and choose the good in life. I have to wonder if some politicians forgot to watch this movie as children. It teaches that lying is wrong and that a lie keeps growing and growing once it is told.
There are messages that reading is good and education is something you should strive for. The illiterate Red Fox is hilarious as he tries to read the ABC book upside down! The fox tries to tell Pinocchio that education is not good for him. I also noticed that because Pinocchio could not read (because he didn't go to school!), he could not read the note about his father and therefore, Jiminy Cricket had to read it for him. See a similar scene in "Mulan" where the lucky cricket in that movie types out the letter like a typewritter, which is also a beautifully animated movie with snow scenes similar to the wave scenes in this classic. I could see many details in this animation which have carried over into other movies.
There are many messages for adults in this movie....I doubt children will pick up on (Note the song that talks about "There are no strings on me!." This seems to be talking about our responsibility to others.)
As an adult, you will find them amusing and thought provoking. I had to laugh when I heard the Cricket say: "What does an actor want with a conscience anyway." That hit the mark! I would like to see more actors develop a conscience.
One of my favorite quotes by Jiminy Cricket is: "A cricket can't be too careful you know." It is laugh out loud funny when he says it.
The first part of the movie is hilarious, the middle is a big adventure and the ending is a wonderful surprise for children. There are a few politically incorrect items, but they are almost tongue-in-cheek and you have to think about when this movie was made!
If you have ever wished upon a star, or a falling star, this is for you! I agree, this is a masterpiece of animation....unlike anything you will find today. It is so detailed and moves at a pace where it is comfortable to watch. This is a thoughtful movie, unlike some of the more fast paced extravaganzas you see today.
~The Rebecca Review"
A disappointing DVD can't bring down this great movie
Lawrence A. Zieminski | Fort Bragg, NC USA | 06/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First the movie: Wonderful musical that is something I'll always love. The story isn't very deep (do good things, and good things happen to you), but it comes off as fresh even 60 years after it was made. This is one of the better Disney movies, putting many of their movies from the 1990s to shame (such as Pocohantas and Hercules).The DVD: Image quality is the best I've seen it. At first viewing, it seems too washed out, but this is a movie from 1940, that is the way it originally looked. And yes, it is supposed to fill the screen. Just like the Wizard of Oz, it was not a widescreen movie. Audio wise, the soundtrack has been remixed to 4 channel audio. It sounds okay, but won't blow you away. Supplements on the DVD are very lacking. Specifically you get a trailer for the movie. The VHS edition got a documentary about the making of this film, but that wasn't included on the DVD. That is disappointing. Hopefully more extras could be discovered and a new edition released sometime in the next few years.Bottom Line: One of the best movies available on DVD, not one of the best DVDs available."
The finest animated feature ever made. Period.
Scott Ross | Raleigh, NC United States | 09/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The one-two whammy of audience and critical indifference to "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia" killed Walt Disney's desire to experiment with the limits of animation in the 1940s. From then on, play it safe was his motto. This may be one of the greatest tragedies to beset popular American culture in the 20th century; despite the depths of pretension and kitch in "Fantasia," it was at least evidence of a spirited mind in pursuit of the unattained -- but "Pinocchio" must have broken old Walt's heart. There are visual effects in this movie that remained unchallenged until the digital age, and it's worth recalling that every single one of them was drawn by hand. It has one of the most beautiful and exciting musical scores in the history of the movies (I can't hear Cliff Edwards' high, pure falsetto holding that final note of "When You Wish Upon a Star" without chills), a deeply plangent sense of emotion that never tips over into bathos, and a wealth of detail that is still staggering after 65 years. But it may be too dark a movie to attain the popularity of more cheerful Disney cartoons like "Snow White" -- although even that one can frighten the tots. Now: where is the double-disc Special Platinum Edition???"