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The Adventures of Pinocchio character
Original art by Enrico Mazzanti
First appearance The Adventures of Pinocchio
Created by Carlo Collodi
Species Puppet/wood carved
Gender Male boy
Family Mister Geppetto (father)
Nationality Italian

Pinocchio (;[1] Italian: ), the name a variant of common "pinolo" (pine seed), is a fictional character and the protagonist of the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Italian writer Carlo Collodi.[2][3] Carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a small Italian village near Florence, he was created as a wooden puppet but dreamed of becoming a real boy. He has also been used as a character who is prone to telling lies and fabricating stories for various reasons.[4] The story has appeared in many adaptations in other media. Pinocchio has been called an icon of modern culture and one of the most re-imagined characters in the pantheon of children's literature.[5]


  • Fictional character biography 1
    • Clothing and character 1.1
    • The nose 1.2
  • Literary analysis 2
  • Popular culture 3
    • Disney's version 3.1
    • Other media 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Fictional character biography

Pinocchio, by Carlo Chiostri (1901)

Aspects of Pinocchio's character vary depending on the interpretation, although basic aspects such as his creation as a puppet by Geppetto and the size of his nose changing due to his lies or stress remain present across the various formats.[6]

Pinocchio is known for having a short nose that becomes longer when he is under stress (chapter 3), especially while lying. His clothes are made of flowered paper, his shoes are made of wood and his hat is made of bread (page 16 of Collodi's Le Avventure di Pinocchio). In this, the original tale, Collodi describes him as a “rascal,” “imp,” “scapegrace,” “disgrace,” “ragamuffin,” and “confirmed rogue,” with even his father, carpenter Geppetto, referring to him as a “wretched boy.” Upon being born, Pinocchio immediately laughs derisively in his creator’s face, whereupon he steals the old man’s wig.

Pinocchio’s bad behavior, rather than being charming or endearing, is meant to serve as a warning. Collodi originally intended the story, which was first published in 1881, to be a tragedy. It concluded with the puppet’s execution. Pinocchio’s enemies, the Fox and the Cat, bind his arms, pass a noose around his throat, and hang him from the branch of an oak tree.[7]

…a tempestuous northerly wind began to blow and roar angrily, and it beat the poor puppet from side to side, making him swing violently, like the clatter of a bell ringing for a wedding. And the swinging gave him atrocious spasms…. His breath failed him and he could say no more. He shut his eyes, opened his mouth, stretched his legs, gave a long shudder, and hung stiff and insensible.

Clothing and character

Pinocchio is a marionette (a wooden puppet that is maneuvered with wires) and not a puppet (controlled from inside by the puppeteer's hand). But the piece of wood from which he is derived is animated, and so Pinocchio moves independently. Basically good, he often gets carried away by bad company and is prone to lying. Because of these characteristics he often finds himself in trouble, from which, however, he always manages to get out. In the course of the novel there are some transformation: after promising The Fairy with Turquoise Hair to stop being a puppet and he wants to become a real boy, flees with Candlewick in Land of Toys, and ends up becoming, after five months of plenty, in a donkey, finishing in a company of clowns. In the last chapter Pinocchio, out of the mouth of The Terrible Dogfish with Geppetto, finally stops being a puppet and becomes a real boy (thanks to the intervention of the Fairy in a dream).

In the novel, Pinocchio is often depicted with a pointy hat, a jacket and a pair of colored, knee-length pants. In the Disney version, the appearance is very different, and the character is dressed in Tyrolean style, with Lederhosen and a hat with a feather.

The nose

The best-known of Pinocchio's characteristics is his nose, which grows in length when he tells a lie: this appears in chapter XVI. It should be noted how Collodi himself, in Note gaie claims how "to hide the truth of a speculum animae (mirror of the soul) face [ ... ] is added to the true nose another papier-mache nose". There is an inconsistency, however, because his nose grows when it is first carved by Gepetto, without Pinocchio ever lying.

The nose only appears a couple times in the story, but it reveals the Blue Fairy's power over Pinocchio when he acts disobediently. After struggling and weeping over his deformed nose, the Blue Fairy summons woodpeckers to peck it back to normal.

Literary analysis

Some literary analysts have described Pinocchio as an epic hero.[8] Like other Western literary heroes, such as Gilgamesh and Odysseus, Pinocchio descends into hell. Pinocchio also experiences rebirth through metamorphosis, a motif found in fantasy or speculative literatures.

Throughout the work, Pinocchio is chastized for his lack of moral fiber, and his repeated desire to have fun and reject responsibility. Since Collodi was frequently involved in writing for the sake of Italian Unification and the new state that came from it, the book can be seen as an element in nation-building.[9] Before writing Pinocchio, Collodi wrote several elementary school textbooks for the new nation's schoolchildren (in a series called "Littly Johnny"). Pinocchio follows the structure of peasant folk-tales of peasants[10] who venture out into the world but are naively unprepared for it and get into ridiculous situations. At the time, this was a serious problem where much of the Italian peasantry was immigrating to cities and places like the United States. In the industrialization of Italy, laborers were needed more and more in the cities who could be reliable. The main imperatives demanded of Pinocchio are to work, be good, and study. And in the end his willingness to provide for his father and devote himself to these things transforms him into a real boy with modern comforts.

Popular culture

Pinocchio as seen in Walt Disney's Pinocchio.

Disney's version

When Walt Disney Productions was developing the story for the film version of Pinocchio (1940) they intended to keep out the more obnoxious aspects from the original character, but Walt Disney himself felt that this made the character too unlikable, so alterations were made to incorporate traits of mischief and innocence to make Pinocchio more likable. Pinocchio was voiced by Dickie Jones. Today the film is considered the finest Disney feature ever made, and one of the greatest animated films of all time, with a rare 100% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. In the video game adaptation of the film, Pinocchio lives out (mostly) the same role as the film, traveling through the world filled with temptations and battling various forces. This incarnation later appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit voiced by Peter Westy, Disney's House of Mouse voiced by Michael Welch, and Kingdom Hearts voiced by Seth Adkins. Elijah Wood portrayed the real-boy version of Pinocchio in the live-action segments for the updated Jiminy Cricket educational serials "I'm No Fool" and "You" in addition to the new shorts of "I'm No Fool" in the early 1990s. Pinocchio makes also cameo appearances in Teacher's Pet and Tangled.[11] In the video game Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion Pinocchio is featured as one of the many iconic Disney characters kidnapped by the evil witch Mizrabel in her plot to dominate their world; he is imprisoned alongside Genie in the Cave of Wonders until eventually being rescued by Mickey Mouse.

Other media

A giant statue of Pinocchio in the park Parco di Pinocchio, Pescia.
"Una probabile morte di Pinocchio", Walther Jervolino, oil on canvas
  • In the paintings series "La morte di Pinocchio", Walther Jervolino, an Italian painter and engraver, shows Pinocchio being executed with arrows or decapitated, thus presenting an alternative story ending.
  • 12927 Pinocchio, a main-belt asteroid discovered on September 30, 1999 by M. Tombelli and L. Tesi at San Marcello Pistoiese, was named after Pinocchio.
  • Pinocchio was featured in Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child voiced by Will Smith.
  • He was portrayed by Seth Adkins in the television musical film Geppetto.
  • He appeared as a supporting character in Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After, voiced by Cody Cameron. He was also featured in Shrek the Musical, originally played on Broadway by John Tartaglia.
  • Pinocchio appeared in the 2002 Pinocchio film, played by Roberto Benigni, while the English dub voice was provided by Breckin Meyer.
  • He appeared in Pinocchio 3000 voiced by Sonja Ball. This version is a robot that was built by Geppetto.
  • In the manga series MÄR, there is a knight of the chess pieces named Pinocchio who was created by Diana.
  • In the web series RWBY, the character Penny is inspired by Pinocchio.
  • Pinocchio also is featured by the K-pop girl group f(x) in their first album's lead single "Pinocchio (Danger)".
  • He appeared in Once Upon a Time, played by Eion Bailey. He appears in Storybrooke in the form of a mysterious man named August Wayne Booth. In the Enchanted Forest, his younger self is played by Jakob Davies, but he was released into our world before the curse by Geppetto; Geppetto had been charged with making a magic cabinet to allow Snow White and series protagonist Emma Swan to escape the curse, but Geppetto arranged for Pinocchio to enter the cabinet instead as he feared that his son would cease to exist if the curse was cast as there would have been no way for him to be born without magic. August begins to return to his wooden state towards the end of the first season due to his selfishness, but following his near death by Tamara, the Mother Superior restored Pinocchio to his child self for his compassion and courage and he resumes living with Geppetto.
  • Pinocchio appeared in the 2012 adaptation.
  • He was used as the mascot for the 2013 UCI Road World Championships.
  • In 2013, Robert Downey Jr. signed on to play both Pinocchio and Geppetto in an updated version directed by Ben Stiller.[15]
  • Pinocchio appeared in GEICO's 2014 bad motivational speaker commercial.
  • Russia has its own version of Pinocchio, called Buratino (Буратино).
  • Germany has its own version of Pinocchio, called Zäpfel Kern. Unlike the Russian adaptation the 1905 story of Zäpfel Kern is just a copy of Collodi's original with Germanized names of all main characters. It is almost unknown in contemporary Germany and became overshadowed by the original Pinocchio and in the former Socialist Part of Germany by the Russian Burattino.
  • The leadoff track "Peter Piper" on Run DMC's Raising Hell album contains the lyric "...and if I lie my nose will grow/ like the little wooden boy named Pinocchio..."
  • In the shōnen series One Piece, Usopp of the Strawhat Pirates is modeled after Pinocchio, with his long nose and frequent exaggerations.
  • Part 6 of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure features an evil version of Pinocchio, brought to life by Bohemian Rhapsody.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the story of Pinocchio is referenced to symbolize the cybernetic villain Ultron becoming free of his masters (the Avengers) orders'. A dark version of the Disney Pinocchio song "I've Got No Strings" is also quoted by him, and used in promotional material for the film.
  • In A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the story of Pinocchio is woven throughout the story as a robot, an artificial boy, struggles to become real through a search for the Blue Fairy.

See also


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  8. ^ Morrissey, Thomas J., and Richard Wunderlich. "Death and Rebirth in Pinocchio." Children's Literature 11 (1983): 64-75.
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External links

  • Full text of Le Avventure di Pinocchio in the original Italian
  • Full text in English
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