Friday, May 20, 2016

Pinocchio at the Walt Disney Family Museum

On Tuesday the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco hosted a reception in connection with the opening of a  new exhibition which sheds light on the production of Walt Disney's crown jewel Pinocchio. Several hundred pieces of original art are on display. Here are some of the highlights:

- rough animation drawings in sequence by Bill Tytla, Frank Thomas, Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston and John Lounsbery. Monitors show these drawings as pencil tests.

-stunning production backgrounds as well as cel set ups.

-enlarges wall-sized storyboards

-vintage audio of Frank Thomas lecturing how (and how not) to animate the character of Pinocchio

This is a breathtaking, world class exhibit, curated by John Canemaker. It will run until January of next year. So, plan a trip to the Museum and prepare to be amazed, enlightened and inspired.
Here is the official link:

The two pieces above are not part of the exhibition, but the model of Monstro, the whale, is.

An unusual magazine article to promote the film's original release. It contains more than you ever wanted to know about Pinocchio's conscience Jiminy Cricket. And no...Jiminy is not gay.

Opening night: the Museum's executive director Kirsten Komoroske, Ron Miller (my first boss and Walt Disney's son in law), John Canemaker and myself.

For a Milt Kahl pencil test from a previous post, go here:


  1. 'Shades of Lon Chaney'! Oh my.

    And who would ever think Jiminy was gay? As I remember, he quite memorably ogles a few young Italian women (or perhaps it was just puppets?). Of course, 'gay' meant something different back then.

    Thanks for the notice about the exhibition. Hopefully, there will be an article written up about it, available for those of us not in California to read :)

  2. Andreas, I'm sure you're aware of the work of German Expressionist film actor Conrad Veidt (1893-1943). If he had lived longer, do you think Walt would have hired him to voice a character? Do you think he would have made a memorable Disney villain, or perhaps an unconventional hero?

  3. Who knows? At that time there were so many terrific character actors, including Veidt.

    1. Mr. Andreas Deja,
      I like the character of Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio's conscience. My name is Tyler Lee Jewell, I wrote you in July 29, 2015 in last year. Could you give me a favor? I would to know for Mickey Mouse's faithful dog, Pluto. And uh, Pluto was only the Bloodhound, he's a good dog. So, I saw Jiminy Cricket falls from the shelf and he's bouncing up and on the saw. It was totally amazing. You're the good animator. And I love it.

      Thanks for asking,
      Tyler Jewell

  4. Great picture of you with Ron Miller and John Canemaker. Wish I could be there and see the exhibition.

    I have a question about the making of Pinocchio. Someone claims on the internet that Moby Dick is an influence behind Monstro, but this kind of reference
    isn't included in Robin Allan's thesis book or JB Kaufman's history book of Pinocchio

    1. Two big whales from different stories, it's natural people want to create a connection. But I don't think there is any.