Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Pinocchio Story Problem

I remember years ago when I had a conversation about Pinocchio with Frank Thomas.
As usual I was gushing over the film and its animation.
Frank recounted certain sequences he was involved with in terms of animating the title character.
When it came to the section where Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket returned home after escaping treasure island, Frank got suddenly agitated.
He really disliked the way the two characters were informed about Gepetto's absence and his whereabouts.
They re-introduced the Blue Fairy as a dove, dropping a written message right in front of them, Frank remembered. "I thought that was a terrible idea" he complained. 
It didn't work for him way back, and it didn't work for him still.

I had seen the film numerous times and never questioned this story issue, but I realized Frank had a point. 
How else this information might have gotten to Pinoke and Jimmy I won't even try to elaborate on.

Here are a couple of Frank's rough animation drawings from that sequence, followed by their corresponding film still.


  1. Ich mag den Film sehr. Was aber auch zu einem großen Teil an der deutschen Synchronstimme von Pinocchio liegt! :D Als ich klein war, habe ich vor allem nicht verstanden wie Gepetto in den Bauch des Wals gelangt ist...

    1. Ihr letzter Satz, das ist der springende Punkt!

      Ein Ereignis,das sehr wichtig für das Verständnis des Handlungsverlauf ist, muss gezeigt und darf nicht erklärt werden.
      Besonders und gerade dann, wenn das Ereignis eine Wendung in der Story einleitet!

      Gut erklärt wird das im Buch "Story" von Robert McKee bei Kapitel 15 "Exposition" unter der Überschrift "OFF-Kommentar".

      Und ja, das Vorlesen eines Briefes ist für mich ein Off-Kommentar!

  2. I know at least one Disney storybook (and an official one) actually changed it to having Pinocchio receive a message in a bottle. Maybe a bit clichéd but that could have worked.

  3. Well, the original novel by Carlo Collodi did have the Blue Fairy take on the form of a goat at one point, so I don't know what to say about that.

    What I will say is that I kinda wish they had worked Honest John and Gideon into the story one last time so Pinocchio could show that he could resist their temptations, like what happened in the original book, and the two scoundrels wind up getting into trouble because of that. I hear that was what they originally planned to happen, but that got cut out. Shame, really. I wanted some comeuppance for at least one or two of the bad guys.

  4. I always learn something new from this amazing blog. Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories, Mr. Deja!

    All my life I used to think that the dove was SENT by the Blue Fairy and not that it was the Blue Fairy herself. And while I can understand Frank's reservations about the scene, I personally don't have any problems with it. The reason I think the scene works is because it shows that the Blue Fairy is giving Pinocchio another chance to prove he is worthy of being turned into a true boy. He already screwed up twice before. So it shows that she is still looking out for him, but she's not going to do everything for him. :-)

  5. I don't know why they didn't just have Geppetto leave a sign on the door..."Gone Fishing"...that would have worked.

    1. I have a big problem to explain why this idea...

      My tip: Read the book "Story" by Robert McKee chapter 15 "Exposition" under the head line "Off-Comment"