Plot: What’s it about?
You all know this one, Geppetto makes a wooden boy, and the damn thing comes to life on him. The puppet is granted his boyhood thanks to a wish made by the old woodcarver, and a blue fairy floats on in and by golly, she grants the wish! Despite the allure of staying inside Geppetto’s crib, I mean I clocks alone would drive me nuts, not to mention the way that guy snores, Pinocchio gets bitten by the curiosity bug, and decided he needs to explore the world outside. As Pinocchio wanders aimlessly throughout the countryside, he is greeted by many moral tests, checking his bravery, loyalty, and honesty. If he passes these tests, he will not just be a wooden boy that can walk and talk, but a living, breathing boy! Yippee! Pinocchio is not alone in all this, however. His conscience, a little creepy guy named Jiminy Cricket, is always hanging around, giving him pep-talks, lectures, and sermons. But does Pinocchio always listen? Hell no, and he ends up knee-deep in it.
This is a classic, and highly considered as one of the best, if not the best animated film of all time. The animation in Pinocchio is excellent, and stands it own, even against today’s computer/hand-drawn hybrids, like Prince Of Egypt and Tarzan. Granted, today’s animation techniques would make this film smoother, more fluid, and certainly more polished, but this version, over fifty years old, is a masterpiece, and still wows me, with it’s attention to even the most minute details. The moral values, the beautiful animation, and the timeless story make this movie one that will stand forever. I know the term is used loosely these days, but Disney’s Pinocchio is a genuine classic and this treatment does it justice. If you’re even a casual fan of movies in general, this is one that is a must own release.
Video: How’s it look?
Both the audio and the video are identical to the previously-released version. That said, Pinocchio is presented in full frame, as intended. As I watched this, I was amazed and the costs of all of my high definition upgrades were instantly justified. This is simply incredible, The digital restoration has cleaned up the visuals, but not softened them, so all of the animation’s detail remains intact. I never noticed how much subtle detail was present, but it all pops up here and it was a pleasure to pick up on all the little touches. The colors are gorgeous, with minimal fading to mention, while blacks are inky and deep, with no errors. I knew Disney would shine up this jewel, but I never expected it would, or could, looks this great. Kudos to Disney on a visual presentation that is a pure delight to watch.
Audio: How’s it sound?
A DTS HD 7.1 option is present, but it does seem like overkill at times. The material simply doesn’t demand much surround use and so this remains a rather thin soundtrack. This new remix sounds good, mind you, but it doesn’t do much to enhance the overall experience. The original mono soundtrack is here also and in truth, offers a more enjoyable, familiar experience. But either way, the audio is well handled on this release. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
While this isn’t the first edition of Pinocchio released on Blu-ray, this does have several new features included as well as what was in the previously-released version.
- Walt’s Story Meetings: Pleasure Island – The Pleasure Island scene in “Pinocchio” had much more development than what is seen in the film. Join Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman as they explore artwork recently discovered in Disney’s animation research library revealing some of the attractions, gags and games, which Disney animators created for this iconic location of the film, that never made it on screen.
- In Walt’s Words – Pinocchio – Hear Walt himself discuss the making of “Pinocchio” through archival recordings and interviews.
- The Pinocchio Project: “When You Wish Upon a Star” – Music influencers Alex G, Tanner Patrick and JR Aquino from Disney’s Maker Studios, a global leader in short-form videos, gather in a creative workspace to create their rendition of the film’s signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and produce a fresh new music video.
- Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in “Poor Papa” – This recently restored and scored 1927 short features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who gets multiple visits from the stork and is forced to attempt various methods to help stop the onslaught of baby deliveries.
- Classic Bonus Features – All of the supplements from the previous release can be found in our review for the previous edition – here.
The Bottom Line
While some might accuse Disney of double-dipping, it’s a good thing to see that they’re going back and giving some of their classic animated titles some new offerings. While the technical specs are identical to the 2009 Blu-ray, the addition of the new features make a worthwhile addition to those that don’t already own this classic.