Saturday, May 16, 2015

Celebrating Pinocchio

I don't know why there isn't more hullabaloo around Pinocchio's 75th anniversary. The film remains a milestone in animation history. Artistically and in terms of dedication there is no other film like it.
Walt and his studio were running in overdrive, there were worlds to conquer in animation.
Milt Kahl got his big break during the production of the film, he designed the title character and became a supervising animator.
Over the years Milt got criticized by his colleagues for not being emotionally enough involved in his work, and that great draughtsmanship became his main tool to communicate.
Take a look at these rough drawings featuring Geppetto's and Pinocchio's reunion.


  1. There is a video going around suggesting that Disney "recycled" certain animation from their old films, particularly in Robin Hood.
    it shows some clips next to each other that show strikingly similar animation. Do you know anything about this?

  2. My favorite Disney film! I think your scans above were from the same sequence of drawings I remember from a display at the Disney Museum. They were displayed above an animation desk and looked like Milt's good work. Thank you for sharing them :-)

  3. those drawings are gorgeous! And what can I say about the film that hasn't been said 1000 times before? I think as we get further and further away from the time that these classics were made, it becomes more and more apparent how special these films are. We'll never see films that look and feel like that again(although we should be doing our own thing anyway).
    One of the really interesting things about the animation in Pinocchio is that you can see Milt, Frank, Ollie etc. overtaking the animators who were the top guys in the 30's.

  4. Fantastic pieces, Andreas, thanks !

    Pinocchio is a true Masterpiece ...

  5. Pinocchio is such a beautiful motion work of art. Such an amazing attention to detail! AND everything Marc Hendry said.

  6. I wondered the same thing. Where is all the 75th anniversary hoopla? No special video release, no special merchandise to speak of (especially when compared to the 65th anniversary merchandise bonanza). I kept hoping the Disney Family Museum would have a special exhibit to honor the film, but there is nothing on their calendar. At least J.B. Kaufman's book is coming out this month; that is something to look forward to. Andres, maybe it's up to YOU to lead the way by having daily Pinocchio postings for the rest of the year! Thanks for the lovely maquette photo (it appears to be reversed, by the way). I've seen photos of maquettes of every named character from the film except the Blue Fairy. I wonder if they ever did one, or perhaps didn't because she was the only realistic human character. Again, thank you for all the treasures you post on your site.

    1. I think because they re-released it so many times (mainly on home video), that sort of interest is now lost.

  7. above drawings milt belongs to?

  8. It's curious, isn't it, that Disney doesn't do more about the anniversary. I can think of a number of reasons (too dark, too naive for the current times, etc., and I personally don't agree with any of them) that all add up to the same sad conclusion: there are a lot of folks that have left hand-drawn animation in the dust.

    That being said, this is by far the best Disney film of all time. A monolith of animation AND music.