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Pinocchio (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition + Standard DVD) - Blu-ray DVD / animation DVD / family and children's DVD / Disney DVD review
PINOCCHIO (TWO-DISC 70TH ANNIVERSARY PLATINUM EDITION) Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Mel Blanc, Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Frankie Darro, Charles Judels, Evelyn Venable
Directors: Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD release: 10 March 2009 Runtime: 88 min.
(2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Full Screen, Restored, Special Edition, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 1.37:1, Audio tracks (English - DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish), Bonus standard DVD of feature film, Pinocchio's Matter of Facts, Audio Commentary (w/ Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg, J.B. Kaufman, Disney Song Selection, No Strings Attached: The Making of Pinocchio, Deleted Scenes (The Story of the Grandfather Tree; In The Belly Of The Whale), Alternate Ending, The Sweat Box, Live Action Reference Footage, Pinocchio Art Galleries, Deleted Songs, Pinocchio Puzzles, BD-Live

Pinocchio is an age-old story of a wooden boy brought to life by a toy maker's wish. It originally came out in 1940 as a follow-up to Disney's Snow White. Snow White was such a runaway success that Pinocchio should have followed suit, but it was not quite as wildly successful.

If you don't know, the story goes that Geppetto (voiced by Christian Rub) carved a wooden puppet and made a wish on the wishing star for his creation to become a real boy. In the middle of the night he comes to life, though he's still wooden - the Blue Fairy has given him life, but he must prove that he deserves to become flesh and bone.

A wee cricket named Jiminy has been assigned as his conscience. When Geppetto sends Pinocchio (Dickie Jones) off to school so he can learn about the world, he is distracted from this course by Honest John (Walter Catlett), who is anything but. Pinocchio makes poor decisions almost as a rule from here out. He's got a lot to learn, and Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards) is too small to do anything but offer unheeded advice.

I'm not a real fan of Pinocchio. I read Carlo Collodi's book when I was a lad and found it to be dark and disquieting. The film is not much different, though Pinocchio is more of an ignorant bumbler then mischievous boy as he was portrayed in the book. Though the film comes out with a happy ending, there is a dark piece that leaves him dead in a tide pool near the end (I think the statute of limitations has expired on any spoiler alerts on a film that's nearly seventy years old). I offer this plot point to those who are lulled by the G rating into thinking that it's okay for all children. As with many early Disney features, it gets as dark as Grimm's fairy tales did, and this may not be handled well by all children. Caveat emptor.

Still, how can I give this film a favorable rating? The extra features make this release. Disney has opened up the animation archives to bring us sketches, secrets, interviews and so much more. The feature's Cine-Explore commentary takes the film as foundation and brings us commentary from Disney animation mavens Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg, and J.B. Kaufman. Accompanying this commentary are pop-up windows showing bits of animation being discussed, pictures of actors, sketches from the development phases, and video of the commentary crew in the recording studio. We've seen this on the Wall-E Blu-ray as well, and it really amps up the usefulness of commentary content - making it more compelling than the feature itself in this case.

Add to that the games included on the second disc and the making-of features, and you've got an experience! They've really enhanced the beauty of the film as well. The colors are vivid, the sound is BIG, and it looks almost new! If you're a fan of animation, you'll love Disney's Pinocchio. Go Blu if you have the means.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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