Close up of Pinocchio by easyclickshop, 123RF.
Disney’s 1940 animation Pinocchio is a classic.
There have been countless remakes of Pinocchio. In fact, there are three different remakes of Pinocchio in 2022 alone by three different filmmakers – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, a live-action adaptation of Disney’s Pinocchio, and Russian made Pinocchio: A True Story.
These adaptations stemmed from an 1883 children’s novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio.
Penned in 1883 by Italian author Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio was first published as a newspaper serial and eventually unfolded into an entire book. More than 140 years later, the story still inspires adaptations in the film and television scene.
But do you know what really happened in the original story?
Some Facts About ‘Pinocchio’ We Bet You Didn’t Know
Pinocchio was not a pleasant person.
Naughty boy holding slingshot by chalabala, 123RF.
In the initial version of Disney’s Pinocchio, the wooden boy was described as a little bit of a brat and just unlikeable. Later in the film, they made Pinocchio’s character much more endearing and innocent to appeal to mass audiences. Imagine a story where the audience rooted for Pinocchio’s death instead of eventually learning the ropes of life. In the original 1883 story, Pinocchio was very much a misbehaved kid.
Pinocchio’s nose doesn’t just grow when he tells lies.
Colorful wooden Pinocchio doll by berkay08, 123RF.
It’s probably what most people remember about Pinocchio: the more lies he tells, the longer his nose grows. But Pinocchio’s nose only grows once in the movie and four times in the original book, and only two occasions were related to dishonesty.
Jiminy Cricket wasn’t that significant.
Cricket insect on tree by ivonnewierink, 123RF.
In Collodi’s original story, Jiminy Cricket was referred to as the Talking Cricket, which barely had any appearance in the story. The cricket, who lived in Gepetto’s house for a long time, only appears to warn Pinocchio about the dangers of obedience.
Pinocchio actually killed Jiminy Cricket.
Carpenter working on a woodbench by alessandroguerriero, 123RF.
Not long after cricket gives Pinocchio advice, the puppet scoffs and throws a mallet at the cricket. Of course, the sheer weight of the mallet killed the poor cricket and left the cricket dead on the floor. Pinocchio didn’t seem to feel guilty either, as he later tells Gepetto that the death was the cricket’s own fault as he did not intend to kill him. Yeah, not a very likable person, indeed.
Pinocchio accidentally burnt his feet to ashes.
Burning logs by zhenyane, 123RF.
The first thing Pinocchio did after he was brought to life and learned to walk was to run away from home. Starving, worn out, and wet as a rag, Pinocchio returned home to dry his feet on a stove. Eventually, his feet caught on fire and burned while he dozed off. His wooden legs turned into ashes.
Pinocchio was supposed to have died by hanging.
Woman prays under a noose by zhuravlevab, 123RF.
Collodi ended the story with Pinocchio being hanged by evil villagers. It is said that Collodi wanted to convey the message that disobedient children could face grave consequences. But, business was more important, and Collodi’s editors asked for a happier ending – and that’s where the blue fairy gave the puppet another chance at life.
Pinocchio was sent to jail for being foolish.
Man holding prison bars by rattanakun, 123RF.
After Pinocchio learned that he was scammed by a cat and a fox, the puppet reported his troubles to a courthouse in a town called Catchfools. Instead of punishing the scammers, Pinocchio was imprisoned for four months for the crime of foolishness.
The blue fairy dies.
Portrait of an attractive woman as a fairy by kharchenko, 123RF.
That’s a lot of deaths for a children’s fairytale. After Pinocchio was released from prison, he searched for the cottage that the fairy lived in but found nothing but a gravestone.
But the fairy and Pinocchio cross paths again.
Beautiful woman wearing turquoise dress in the forest by kharchenko, 123RF.
Eventually, Pinocchio bumps into a lady who he recognizes as the blue fairy. She began playing the role of Pinocchio’s mother and promised to turn him into a real boy if he was a good boy in school.
In the end, things turned out okay.
Grandfather spending time with grandson by tverdohlib, 123RF.
Pinocchio and Geppetto reunited. And, of course, Pinocchio was granted his wish of becoming a real human boy.
After everything, what can we learn from Pinocchio?
Like all children’s novels, there are always lessons to be learned.
Pinocchio’s bad attitude and playful nature sent him to jail, left him on a noose, made him some bad friends, and even turned him into a donkey. But in the end, he learned from his mistakes and took responsibility for his actions.
Whichever version of Pinocchio you’re most familiar with – the originals or the remakes – the core message behind the story is to be well-behaved. After all, Pinocchio’s willingness to work, be good, and study was what helped him turn into a real boy.