Pinocchio (1940) - 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Animation / Family / Fantasy
Disney || G - 88 minutes - $35.99 || March 10, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-03-09


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen
Writer(s): Carlo Collodi (story)
Cast: Mel Blanc, Dickie Jones


Theatrical Release Date: February 9, 1940


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • DisneyView
  • CineExplore Picture-in-Picture Track
  • Feature Commentary
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Deleted Song
  • Trivia Track
  • Trivia Challenge
  • Java Games
  • Music Video
  • Disney Song Selection
  • BD-Live
  • DVD Version


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Full Frame (1.37)
  • English (DTS-MA 7.1), English (Dolby 1.0)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

I certainly won't be the first or last person to say that I don't care for some of Disney's "classic" animation films. While I am intrigued with how they are drawn and animated, the actual plot themselves can be incredibly boring and in my opinion not appealing to children, the apparent target audience, at all. As I sat down for the first time in probably twenty years to watch this film again I was met with moans from my girlfriend who also dislikes many of the classic Disney films. Her moans were correct - this is just not a great film.

Geppetto is an old, lonely woodcarver who lives in a tiny home with his cat, Figaro and goldfish, Cleo. One night he wishes upon a star for a family and the blue fairy comes down and grants it - to the tune of turning a wooden puppet into a life-like boy. Geppetto is pleased with finally having a real person to call his own and quickly rushed Pinocchio out to school with his conscience, Jiminy Cricket. Soon, Pinocchio is caught up with an evil puppeteer, Stromboli, who plans on exploiting the dream-like qualities of Pinocchio for his own good. Stromboli locks Pinocchio up in a bird cage and once again the blue fairy comes to his rescue. After finding out that lying makes his nose grow (the only point in the movie - even though it is often mentioned in our society), Pinocchio promises to be good and the blue fairy lets him out.

After arriving home, he promises to be good... but things change really fast for Pinocchio. He is ushered off to Pleasure Island where he is promised to have a great time when in reality it is just a place where little boys are turned into donkeys (huh?). Pinocchio barely escapes with whatís left of his boy-like body and when he returns home he finds out Gheppetto has left. He learns of an evil whale named Monstro that may have swallowed him and away he goes.

As I said in my opening paragraph, I really don't see the appeal for this film. There are only a few musical sequences (and probably some of the most memorable in Disney terms) but aside from that everything else is just boring. There is no real conflict because Pinocchio is captured and Gheppetto comes off just being incredibly stupid. Why would he look for Pinocchio out in the ocean? Why would he take Figaro and Cleo with him? How is it possible Honest John, who is a fox, can talk yet Figaro and Cleo cannot? I guess in terms of kids movie it makes sense...don't talk to bad people.

One of things that concerned many with this release is that Disney would edit out some of the smoking and drinking scenes. Since the film was made well over 70 years ago, stuff like smoking and drinking was not as taboo as it is today and those types of things seemed normal. Well, nowadays we tell kids to never smoke and never drink. Instead of editing them out, Disney has included a short PSA at the start of the film to encourage those that do smoke to quit. Itís kind of an odd-ball thing... but much better than editing out entire segments of the film.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in HD unless otherwise noted. This release includes a Slip Cover and thick-style Blu-ray case.

Disney View - Now this is an interesting new feature that viewers will either love or hate. Since Pinocchio is 1.33:1 (4:3), when you select this option you are able to get some artwork in the "black bars". All of this is brand new; hand painted, and supposed to match each scene. While this looks great...I found it a bit distracting. You'll see plenty more of this on other classic Disney releases that are not widescreen in the future. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

BD-Live (Profile 2.0/BD-Live only) ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
- Movie Mail
- Movie Chat
- Movie Challenge
- Rewards

- - This feature does not become active until release date so I can't check it out. If itís anything like Sleeping Beauty/Wall-E you can watch the movie with your friends anywhere (as long as they have a BD-Live player), play trivia, send mail, and use points to download images. Kids will enjoy it... but personally I would never use this.

Pinocchio's Matter of Facts Trivia Track

Pinocchio's Knows Trivia Challenge - A simple pop-up track that asks questions and you select the answer.

CineExplore PiP Track (Profile 1.1) with Leonard Maltin, J.B. Kaufman and Eric Goldberg ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Commentary Track with Leonard Maltin, J.B. Kaufman and Eric Goldberg - Same as above but audio only.

Rounding out the first Disc is "When You Wish Upon a Star" Music Video (3 Minutes) and Disney Song Selection (10 Minutes); a jukebox-like feature where you get to sing-along to some of the song.

Disc 2:
First up is two Blu-ray Java games (Profile 1.1); Pleasure Island Carnival Games & Pinocchio's Puzzles. Kids will enjoy these... but I found them to be difficult to play using the Blu-ray remote. Maybe a PS3 controller would help? ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

No Strings Attached (59 Minutes) - Now this is the best feature on the disc as it delves deep into the making of the film, interviews with various historians and a look at how to film came to be. This is the #1 feature most fans will want to watch.

Deleted Scenes/Alternate Ending (11 Minutes) - Now this is a real treat! For the first time ever we get to see a few deleted scenes and a slightly different ending (storyboard form).

Live Action Reference Footage (10 Minutes) - This is footage used by the animators to try and match human emotions with the animations. Not all that exciting to be honest.

Deleted Song (3 Minutes) - This is audio only. A nice song... but not sure where it would have fit in.

Disc 2 wraps up with extensive Photo/Art Galleries, 3 Trailers from Various time periods (7 Minutes; SD), a look at how Walt pushed creativity in The Sweatbox (6 Minutes) and Here and Now (10 Minutes).

Disc 3 is a DVD version of the film (with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound & restored theatrical track).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Pinocchio is presented in 1.33:1 (AVC) on a 50GB Disc. Since I have not seen the film since its brief appearance on DVD I was taken aback by the immense detail present on the Blu-ray. Colors are incredibly vibrant and detailed and the film (being 70 years old now) looks like it could have easily been done in the 80's. While not as sharp as their previous Platinum title, Sleeping Beauty, this is still a great restoration of a classic film.

Disney has gone all out and included an English 7.1 DTS MA track for this release as well as the Restored Original Theatrical Soundtrack (1.0). I might be the first to say this but 7.1 is a bit of overkill. While I'm sure it sounds nice (it was down mixed for me to 5.1) I don't see a real need for it on a film like this. With that said, audio is great. Dialog was a bit hard to hear at first so I turned my receiver up a bit more then I typically do for a DTS MA track, and once there I was happy with what Disney has presented.



.::OVERALL::.

Pinocchio is not one of my favorite Disney films but itís great to see how far back Disney will reach into its vaults to release a film on Blu-ray. With impressive Picture and Audio Quality and tons of Special Features aimed towards kids this makes a great purchase. The bonus DVD is an extra incentive for those that need a copy for a TV or DVD player in a different room.