Thanks to the popularity of this classic fairy tale, many youngsters have grown-up in fear of sprouting a sapling in the midst of their face, if ever they told a lie.
The story begins with a wood carver named Geppetto (voice of Christian Rub), who uses the tools of his trade to construct a beautiful puppet. The lonely old man christens his creation Pinocchio (voice of Dickie Jones), and wishes upon a star that the little figure could be the son he longs for. In answer to his heart's desire, the Blue Fairy (voice of Evelyn Venable) comes, and with a wave of her magical wand brings the doll to life. However, she cannot make Pinocchio into a real boy by herself. In order for that to happen, he must show himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish.
Perhaps because of the sawdust between his ears, this task proves to be more difficult than expected even with the help of Jiminy Cricket (voice of Cliff Edwards), who is assigned to be his conscience. With a little peer pressure from a sly fox and his copycat sidekick, the gullible marionette walks away from education and responsibility to follow the easy road to success and relaxation.
Learning the hard way that such freedom only comes with strings attached, the prodigal returns to the toy maker's workshop, where he discovers his faithful father is in grave danger. This new challenge will be his last chance to find out what he is really made of.
Choosing right from wrong is the theme of this timeless story. As a result, some young viewers may find a few scenes disturbing, especially those involving Pinocchio's excursion to Pleasure Island. Here he and other disobedient boys indulge in rebellious behaviors including drinking and smoking, with the ominous consequence of making a jackass out of themselves. Still for many, the moral messages about avoiding temptation will out weigh the slightly scary aspects of the movie.
Another reason for watching this particular adaptation of the story is because it represents the pinnacle of Disney's animation collection. Aptly subtitled a masterpiece, everything from the intricacies of the mechanical music boxes and clocks in Geppetto's home to the splashing waves and undersea realm of Monstro the whale, show the incredible skills of those hands that painstakingly brought this film to life. It is also a testament that technology does not necessarily improve on art. Thanks to a meticulous restoration effort, Pinocchio will continue to live in the hearts of new generations.