One of Disney’s most iconic animated features, this film provided the studio and its theme parks with the theme song, “When You Wish Upon a Star.” While Disney was finishing his first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938), animation director Norman Ferguson gave him a copy of Carlo Collodi’s children’s book, and with it the inspiration for his second feature. The tale of the puppet brought to life who tries to do the right thing so he can be turned into a real boy has appealed to generations of children and their parents, with carefully timed reissues bringing its box-office gross to more than $80 million. Pinocchio marked a series of firsts for Disney: it was his first film to use a name performer (vaudeville and radio star Cliff Edwards, who voiced Jiminy Cricket); the first animated feature to win a competitive Oscar (Best Song for “When You Wish Upon a Star”); and the first film ever to win both Best Song and Best Score. It also introduced more lifelike character animation than was seen in Snow White and used multiplane animation to create the illusion of depth. The result is a visual delight that has influenced animators for decades, and even helped inspire the design of the Disney theme parks.
(d. Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen, 88 m, Digital)