Pinocchio (1940)

Pinocchio poster

Walt Disney Productions
Starring:
 Cliff Edwards, Christian Rub, Walter Catlett
Directed by: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Disney’s animated version of Carlo Collodi’s story about a marionette named Pinocchio (voiced by Dickie Jones) who comes to life and has a chance to become a real boy by being good.

Cartoon Cats: One of the highlights of this film is the scenes in which the toymaker Geppetto (voiced by Christian Rub) interacts with his two pets, Cleo the goldfish and Figaro the black and white kitten.

Pinocchio - Figaro kitten and Geppetto

Figaro is a well developed character, displaying the emotions of a sometimes exasperated but loving child.  This is especially evident in the scenes in which he has to interact with Cleo.

Pinocchio - Figaro kitten and Cleo the goldfish

In the earliest scenes of the movie Figaro plays a notable role, especially while Geppetto is finishing the final touches on Pinocchio.  When the toymaker retires for the night Figaro also turns in, climbing into his own little bed made by the wood carver.  When Geppetto points out that he forgot to open the window, Figaro grumpily climbs out of bed to open it.  This is important because it is then that Geppetto sees the wishing star and wishes for Pinocchio to become a real boy.

Pinocchio - Figaro kitten getting out of bed to open window

Figaro is also prominent in the scene in which Pinocchio comes to life.

Pinocchio - Figaro kitten being petted by Pinocchio

Figaro and Cleo were also featured in the penultimate scenes which took place inside the belly of Monstro the whale.

Pinocchio - Figaro kitten and Cleo the goldfish looking scared

Figaro was so popular in this film that he earned several short films of his own, sometimes co-starring with Disney superstars Pluto and Minnie Mouse.  It has been stated that Figaro was one of Walt Disney’s favorite characters.

Pinocchio - Figaro kitten scowling

The other cat in this film is Gideon, the mute and somewhat dim sidekick of Honest John (voiced by Walter Catlett).  Gideon is to Figaro as Goofy is to Pluto in the sense that he is a cat which looks, acts and dresses human and stars alongside a cat who is a cat.

Pinocchio - Gideon the vagabond cat

Gideon is instrumental in helping Honest John lead Pinocchio astray, not just once but twice!

Pinocchio - Gideon the vagabond cat with Honest John the fox

Final Mewsings: Cats are more trustworthy as cats and not as humans.


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