Pinocchio

  • Review Date: March 5, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1940
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Disney masterpiece is darker than you may remember.
  • Review Date: March 5, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1940
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Pinocchio learns in the roughest of circumstances what happens to little boys who are not brave, truthful, and unselfish. He is tricked, cheated, lied to, and kidnapped, sometimes with his own consent, as he ignores his conscience as embodied by Jiminy Cricket.

Positive role models

Pinocchio learns the importance of listening to his conscience and always trying to do the right thing. Jiminy Cricket tries his best to be Pinocchio's conscience, to teach Pinocchio right from wrong and to keep Pinocchio out of harm's way. Geppetto is a kind and selfless man, rewarded for making so many people happy with his cuckoo clocks by being given a real son in the form of Pinocchio.

Violence & scariness

A character shoots a gun when he thinks an intruder is in his house. Young boys are shown fighting each other and destroying a mansion. Cartoonish violence throughout: Characters fall, run into each other, hit each other in the face. Some scenes and themes may be intense for younger or sensitive viewers, such as when Pinocchio is kidnapped and caged, threatened with destruction, can't find his father, and nearly drowns.

Sexy stuff

Jiminy Cricket places his hand on the rear end of a female statue, realizes what he's doing, and says, "Pardon me...."

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Decades after the film was released, "Pleasure Island" became an adult-themed part of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Geppetto smokes a pipe in bed. Kids are shown smoking cigars. Pinocchio is shown smoking cigars but becomes sick after taking too long of a drag. He also is shown drinking beer with another boy and acting intoxicated. Other characters are shown smoking cigars and drinking beer while in a tavern, including a cat who hiccups and looks and acts intoxicated. Stromboli takes lengthy swigs from a bottle of wine. One of Geppetto's cuckoo clocks shows a drunk puppet holding a bottle of alcohol as he lurches during every sounding of the hour, and another cuckoo clock features two men clinking their beer-filled mugs together.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Disney classic handily passes the test of time for a beautiful and effective lesson on the perils of doing wrong when you know better. Some scenes and themes may be intense for younger or sensitive viewers, such as when Pinocchio is kidnapped and caged, threatened with destruction, can't find his father, and nearly drowns. They also should be aware that Pinocchio's friend Lampwick introduces him to cigar smoking but is punished for it. Kids may be disturbed by Pleasure Island, where "bad boys" are turned into donkeys and sent to work in salt mines. But overall this morality tale is a good reminder of the importance of listening to your conscience.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

First released in 1940, PINOCCHIO tells the story of a kindhearted but lonely wood-carver named Geppetto (voiced by Christian Rub) who wishes that the wooden puppet he carved would be a real boy. His wish is granted by a fairy (Evelyn Venable) but only in part; it is up to the suddenly mobile Pinocchio (Dickie Jones) to finish his transformation to boyhood by being brave, truthful, and unselfish. The fairy gives him help in the form of Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards), his designated "guide along the straight and narrow path." But when that path is strewn with temptations to skip school and visit Pleasure Island, Pinocchio's quest to be a real boy -- not to mention his father's life -- is imperiled.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Seven decades after it first came out, Pinocchio harks back to a time when the stars of animated films were the illustrators, not celebrity voice talent. The 2009 reissue includes digital restoration of the film's original colors, so that, for instance, scenes of various cuckoo clocks chiming simultaneously in Geppetto's workshop would be reason enough to recommend the film. The soundtrack includes classics such as "When You Wish Upon a Star" and "Give a Little Whistle" that will still be familiar to families today.

But the lessons in the film also are timeless: The same traits of bravery, honesty, and selflessness that make Pinocchio human are ones we would like our children to possess in adulthood. The downside of ignoring your conscience is rendered in a way that may be uniquely terrifying to children: how indulging in the temptations of Pleasure Island results in separation from family and utter loss of self. Though Jiminy's reassuring presence allows viewers to hope for the puppet boy's rescue, Pinocchio acts as the original Scared Straight experience for the younger set.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it means to "let your conscience be your guide." How do you tell the difference between right and wrong, and what do you do if you can't figure it out? 

  • How are smoking and drinking treated in this movie, and how would this be different if the movie came out today?

  • When Pinocchio is first kidnapped, Jiminy wants to tell Geppetto but worries about being "snitchy." What's the difference between being a tattletale and helping a friend in danger?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 23, 1940
DVD release date:March 10, 2009
Cast:Cliff Edwards, Dickie Jones, Mel Blanc
Director:Hamilton Luske
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Puppets
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Pinocchio was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old May 31, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

The greatest film of all time

This is the most influencial film in the disney canon. It has lots of tough situations to conquer. It is like knowing from right to wrong. This is a very great film. I highly recommeded it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written by96grlpowrCE June 12, 2010
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

I have to say, this is not one of Disney's best movies.

I understand this movie's considered to be a Disney classic, but I didn't like it as a child and I still don't see what's so great about it now. I found the songs to be unmemorable (and with Disney, the music can really make or break the movie), and it was not only boring but a bit dark, too. If you want to see a great movie about Pinocchio, I would reccomend the stopmotion special Pinocchio's Christmas (it's not Disney, it's Rankin-Bass).
Teen, 16 years old Written byErin.rae July 19, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

i love pinocchio, but there should be a pinocchio played by a girl to see if a girl can establish playing a wooden puppet

why put smoking and drinking in a childrens movie???? its pathetic
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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