Hot on the heels of their success with their first full-length animated film, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937), along came Disney's second: Pinocchio (1940).
It tells the tale of a wood-carver who longs for a little marionette he created and named Pinocchio to be a real boy. One night, a Blue Fairy comes down from the heavens and grants him his wish -- sort of. She gives life to Pinocchio, but she refuses to make him a completely real boy until he does the following thing: prove himself brave, truthful and unselfish. Fortunately for him, there is a delightful little character determined to keep him on the straight and narrow and act as his conscience: Jiminy Cricket.
This feat Pinocchio is entrusted to fulfil seems easy, but as anyone knows, the world is full of temptations, meaning that there are many ways that, if Jiminy fails to influence him otherwise, will cause him to veer off course and scupper his chances of becoming a real boy...
This film is just magical. I don't just mean that it contains magic within the story. I mean that the whole thing just comes together beautifully, resulting in a technically impressive film (check out the rooftop panning shot that took out a sizeable portion of the budget!) that remains a classic. Delightful artwork, animation, story-telling and music combine to make a lovely film that kids and adults should enjoy very much, and should even find very moving in places.