Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Adventures of Pinocchio (1984)

The Wrong Wooden Boy
By Nicholas Stix

This Pinocchio, from 1984, is possibly the worst remake in movie history.

The original, 1940, Disney Pinocchio, was one of the greatest movies ever made, with Oscar-winning music and songs by Leigh Harline, Paul Smith and Ned Washington; an alternately scary and hilarious story; vivid characters; striking animation; and gifted voice performers. By contrast, this Japanese-American version has a limp screenplay; forgettable characters; lousy voice acting; and animation that wouldn't pass muster for the cheesiest, PBS TV cartoon show. That IMDB.com doesn't list the names of any of the voice performers, may be a blessing for their careers. Get the original Pinocchio, and avoid this one like a bad street.

Now to the problem: Disney has inexplicably discontinued the original Pinocchio. Thus, the only way to view it is via expensive used copies on sale through Amazon ($36-45), or through renting it from a video outlet. I hope that the geniuses at Disney aren't preparing to loose a politically correct replacement on the world. Hopefully, they have a deluxe DVD in the works. Prayers may be called for.

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