The Film (5/5)
Pinocchio was the 2nd Blu-ray release from Disney after Sleeping Beauty when Disney started releasing their classic animation to the format. I bought it day 1 and was pleased with the results. It has been about 9 years since that release ,and we are now seeing what I assume is an on schedule re-release of what is one of Disney's finest animated classics.
Pinocchio tells the simple, yet elegant story of Pinocchio, a puppet brought to life due a wish upon a star by the wood carver Geppetto. Geppetto from the first moment we see him is obviously a very passionate, and caring man, and wants to share his love with a child of his own. He has never had the chance, and the blue fairy from that star gives him that by bringing his latest puppet creation to life.
However, the fairy ask Pinocchio to acts to certain moral standards to make sure Geppetto's wish remains permanent, if not he will remain a puppet forever. He cannot lie, cheat, or steal. To this end Geppetto sends him to school on the first morning they are together to become educated, unfortunately for Pinocchio, his innocence is a weakness, and he is taken advantage of multiple times which makes becoming a real boy very difficult for the wooden lad as temptation upon temptation is set upon him in the world he is thrust into.
Pinocchio was one of the first Disney animated films I remember seeing as a child, and it still holds great sway over me. The tale depicted in the film is quite simple, but gorgeously rendered by the Disney animation team of the time, and the animation still holds up to this day. Everything from the first images of the starry sky at night, from the ocean containing the whale Monstro is stunningly depicted and memorable.
Of course, my favorite scene both from an animation perspective, and in general is the Pleasure Island sequence where Pinocchio is lured with other delinquent children to a location to live out their desires. These desires including vandalizing, drinking, smoking, gambling, and staying up late into the night. Of course, everything has a consequence, and the Disney of the 1940's has a heavy-handed approach. The children who act like jackasses become donkeys. This whole sequence from the the lighting of the animation, down to the design of Pleasure Island itself has always stuck with me.
Pinocchio is 77 this year, and a new release is a great way to celebrate a film that is one of the most iconic, timeless, and beautiful animated films of the 20th century. The film is an endlessly entertaining piece that is sure to keep children coming back for decades to come.
Oddly, Disney has chosen to use the same transfer as the prior release of the film. That is fine, it was a gorgeous release when it came out, and still is today. The film is presented 1:33:1 with a 1080p AVC encode, colors are gorgeously rendered, blacks are deep, and detail is excellent throughout.
Audio is presented via a DTS-HD 7.1 track in English. Everything sounds quite good here. Dialogue and score come through nicely, and no detectable issues.
Disney has stacked this release with many new extra releases, and carried over most of the old ones including a commentary track with Leonard Maltin, J.B. Kaufman, and Eric Goldberg. Aside from that we get an in-depth treasure trove of featurettes, interviews, galleries, trailers, deleted scenes, and so much more sure to please fans of the film new and old.
Pinocchio is without a doubt one of the most significant animated films of the early half of the 20th century, and quite possibly one of the greatest of all time. It is simply done, but gorgeously rendered. The new Disney Blu-ray takes the older disc, and retains the Audio/Video elements, which still hold up years later. The new extras add a lot, and they retain the older extras as well. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.