Stephan's Reviews > Pinocchio

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
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Nov 21, 08

Recommended to Stephan by: Paul Auster
Recommended for: Brian, Kelsey
Read in November, 2008

"Centuries ago there lived- "A king!" my little readers will say immediately. No, children, you are wrong."

That's how Collodi's "The Adventures of Pinocchio" begins and differs from what I could have imagined (or what I imagined only knowing, or rather remembering, Disney's warped version of it). --SPOILERS TO FOLLOW-- "Jiminy Cricket" in Disney's version as the conscience or ghost is actually just called the "the talking cricket" and lives on Geppetto's wall. Pinocchio kills him with a hammer in the beginning.

There are other eerie and adult concepts in the original: Pinocchio burns his feet off. He is hung from a tree until he dies (and, as I learned later, this was actually how the story ended when it was a serial). He bites a cat's paw off. His leg is caught in a bear trap. Gets arrested. He does turn into a donkey, but is whipped and his legs go lame after missing a jump in the circus.

Apparently children's stories in this time - late quarter of the 18th century - were a new idea. And it reads simple, but has all these complex allegories and themes. The story follows Pinocchio in a series of mistakes, whereupon he is taught a lesson (and brought farther and farther from Geppeto - who he is separated from most the book). There is mention of him hoping to become a boy, and his nose grows long - but none of it as prominent in the Disney version. Mostly though, the story is one of a boy who is lazy and inconsiderate.

He meets characters like the Blue-haired fairy (who could stand for so many things including the virgin mary). Or monsters, or crabs or weasels and cats. Each with a sinister personality. Trying to trick Pinocchio or forgive him over and over. Collodi's original is just richer - spookier.
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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick It seems that Disney bleaches and bastardizes most of the stories on which their movies are based. I'll be curious to see what you think and the differences between the two.

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