Monday, November 09, 2009

best films: #46: PINOCCHIO (1940)

Previously ranked and blogged at #71
Well, we're on to our 30th entry in the Best Films series, and for this one I'd like to advance the far-reaching opinion that Pinocchio contains one of the most disturbing scenes in all filmdom (move over Saw). That being, of course, the donkey transformation. Now aside from the utter effectiveness of that moment, the rest of the movie is both wildly entertaining and magically put together. From the soothing score that accompanies the twinkling star and the Blue Fairy that rides in on it, to the rousing "I've Got No Strings" and "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee," Pinocchio is impressive musically, and it's visuals are still exceptional in the age of computer animation. Pinocchio is both pure of heart and a bit of a dunderhead, and through his eyes we as viewers are blessed to see the world through the blank-slated protagonist. Don't strike deals with sly strangers? Check. Don't smoke cigars underage? Check. Avoid giant whales with formidable names? Double check. This accidentally adventuresome chap experiences a lifetime of lessons in the short run-time of this flick, and it taught a generation of children that lying jacks up your face. Score one for the Disney crew.

Standout Performance: Cliff Edwards has inspired a pantheon of sidekicks to be moral compasses for their otherwise ignorant pals. And Jiminy Cricket remains one of the iconic Disney characters.

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