Following the blockbuster success of the first full-length animated feature ever, 1937’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney was loaded with confidence and money, two assets he funneled into Pinocchio, which would become the second Walt Disney Animated Classic in 1940. The film’s $2.2 million budget made it one of the most expensive films ever made at the time, and it shows in every luscious frame of the completed film, from the Blue Fairy’s sparkling wand to Monstro’s giant splashdown. Though it wasn’t nearly the hit Snow White was with audiences, Pinocchio was instantly a critical darling, and its reputation as one of the most stunning animated films ever made has only increased with time. Among its many, many other merits, it’s an ideal representative of classic Disney animation for Movie Of The Week’s Animation Month.
Starting next Tuesday, I’ll kick off the Pinocchio discussion with a Keynote essay on the myriad ways the film revolutionized and standardized big-screen feature animation, and Tasha Robinson and Nathan Rabin will continue to conversation in their Forum discussion. Then on Thursday, Noel Murray will look back at the “old, weird Disney” that led up to Pinocchio, highlighting the best of the company’s pre-1940 shorts. We hope you’ll join us; it will be a pleasure, and we promise no one will be turned into a donkey.
Upcoming Movies Of The Week
November 17: A Scanner Darkly
November 24: Spirited Away
December 3: Gremlins