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  1. #1

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    Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    The Pinocchio's Journey ride opened on May 23, 1983 as part of the "new" fantasyland.


    This ride's history actually begins in 1976, when it was decided to remove the old Fantasyland Theater and shoehorn the ride into it. It was all put in storage for a while before being revived for the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, after which, it then came to Disneyland a month and a half later as part of the complete overhaul of Fantasyland, and as the newest ride in Fantasyland, guests clamored to ride it, and Disney promoted it heavily.



    However, the story of Pinocchio itself, which is a cautionary tale against carnivals and theme parks, and entertainment in general, seems to be a strange fit for a place like Disneyland. Consider the lyrics that Pinocchio sings along when he agrees to join Stromboli's Circus:

    Hi diddle dee dee
    An actor's life for me
    A high silk hat and a silver cane
    A watch of gold and a diamond chain

    Hi diddle dee dee
    You sleep till after two
    You promenade a big cigar
    You tour the world in a private car
    You dine on chicken and caviar
    An actor's life for me!

    ... And then consider the ride's scenes showing Pinocchio being seduced by Pleasure Island, a place where young boys can roam free, eating as much candy as they want, fighting in the "rough house", and even playing pool, smoking cigarettes and tobacco of all types, and trying alcohol, before being turned in to a donkey and being sold off to the salt mines. The message is clear - the actor's life of fun, and the seductive fun of theme parks - only leads you to a lifestyle of leisure at your own detriment.

    And this is in line with the historical tale of Pinocchio also. Written serially by Carlo Collodi for a Children's weekly magazine in Italy, the story of Pinocchio was first told from 1881 to 1882. Pinocchio: The Story of a Puppet, was a cautionary tale, discouraging young readers from disobedience and dishonesty. The puppet's transformation from hedonistic self-preservation to sacrifice and humility have served to teach children and adults alike the principles that characterize humanity.

    But the occurrences and consequences in the Collodi version were often much more severe than the Americanized, bubble gum incarnation, first brought to the big screen by Disney in 1940. In Collodi's original, Pinocchio murders the Wise Cricket (who later became known as Jiminy) with a hurled shoe.
    The mischievous marionette was also rather cruel to his “father,” Gepetto, and often paid dire consequences for it. His feet burned clean off his ankles one night, and later, he was hung by townspeople he'd lied to.

    Even under the squeaky-clean and colorful animated representation put forth by Disney, the fact remains that Pinocchio has enjoyed prolonged popularity over the years. He was quite the product pitch-puppet circa 1939 and 1940; and the list of products he endorsed included foods, candy, gum, paint, salt, razors, mouthwash, clothing and watches. He was the star of his own short-lived comic in 1939. But he seems a strange fit for a theme park.

  2. #2

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Not any stranger than the Evil Queen wanting to kill Snow White. I'm just sayin'.

  3. #3

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympicnut View Post
    Not any stranger than the Evil Queen wanting to kill Snow White. I'm just sayin'.
    I'm just saying too! (or is it also?)

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    nice post. Great string of facts and anologys. I agree, but I've never really broke it down to read it that way. It is as it was when the story was written... entertaining. Thumbs up for the fantasyland makeover.
    ...

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Nice post indeed. I have often wondered how it 'fits' into the supposedly 'light' theme of Fantasyland.

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    It's just a slightly odd message - theme parks, bad. But hey, enjoy your time here! Actor's life, bad. But get a load of this parade, and then catch the Snow White show later on after you see Aladdin!

    If hanging around actors and in theme parks is bad for your moral character, what are those kids doing in there!

  7. #7

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympicnut View Post
    Not any stranger than the Evil Queen wanting to kill Snow White. I'm just sayin'.
    Or how you end up in hell in Mr. Toad's.
    -Jack
    Doc Brown had 2 Deloreans!

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    I don't think Pinocchio is portraying theme parks in a negative light, rather the detrimental activities Pinocchio engages in while there, such as smoking, rough-housing, stealing, etc. The story aims to convince children to stay on the "straight and narrow": to stay in school, not smoke, yadda yadda. You can't have fun all the time, and it's important to take things in moderation. But I don't see that the film ever flat-out implies that theme parks or actors are all bad, rather that there are better lifestyle choices out there for little innocent children like Pinocchio.

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by hollywood1939 View Post
    Or how you end up in hell in Mr. Toad's.
    Now THAT is a very strange fit for a theme park, even if it is true to the book. Agreed.

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    ^True. It's all true. And I've got the Jackass ears and tail to prove it.

    Yes, it's an odd fit but I like it anyway.
    Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


    Dream big. Do what you love.

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by scorsese View Post
    I don't think Pinocchio is portraying theme parks in a negative light, rather the detrimental activities Pinocchio engages in while there, such as smoking, rough-housing, stealing, etc. The story aims to convince children to stay on the "straight and narrow": to stay in school, not smoke, yadda yadda. You can't have fun all the time, and it's important to take things in moderation. But I don't see that the film ever flat-out implies that theme parks or actors are all bad, rather that there are better lifestyle choices out there for little innocent children like Pinocchio.
    I totally agree. I don't think Pinocchio is trying to say theme parks or actors are bad. Instead of going to school as he was supposed to, he chose to to ignore what his "conscience" told him and went on to perform on stage. I think it's telling children to beware of who you trust, talk to someone you care about first before making a hard decision. Don't do drugs, stay in school. I mean, how were the kids supposed to know they were going to be turned into donkeys and killed? They didn't, but they were led to believe, from a stranger, that it would be ok for them to go. There's several morals to this story, but I don't think "Theme Park are Bad" or "An Actor's Life is Bad." I think it's "Know who your friends are" and "Be careful in choosing your friends"

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    I'm gonna bring this story back up with my 15 yr old.
    We are planning on going to DLR in December but she will have to miss a couple of days of school to do it.
    She'll just have to stay in school, or risk the whole ears and tail thing.

    and none of those evil churros, frozen bananas, or mint julips

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    [quote=Mountain Fan;974311]I'm gonna bring this story back up with my 15 yr old.
    We are planning on going to DLR in December but she will have to miss a couple of days of school to do it.
    She'll just have to stay in school, or risk the whole ears and tail thing./quote]

    Mark

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Actually the park in Pinocchio was more of a carnival or maybe even a circus or sideshow. The nature of these carnival/sideshows and the carnies that gave them their reputation as dangerous and dirty places prompted Walt to develop Disneyland, as a clean and safe place for the whole family. I don't feel the ride is a bad fit. It's just not much of a experience as with all the older style dark rides. Indiana Jones is a dark ride on a grand scale and I hope to see more of these especially in Fantasyland. It would give me a reason to hang out in FL.
    Last edited by HeyBaloo; 09-27-2006 at 03:33 PM. Reason: editing

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    Re: Pinocchio's Journey - Strange Fit for a Theme Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyland Daddy View Post
    Nice post indeed. I have often wondered how it 'fits' into the supposedly 'light' theme of Fantasyland.
    I always thought Walt said Fantasyland was created primarly for guests to ride/experience their favorite Disney animated films.

    We all know that back then the movies were a bit less politically correct and it was ok to make a joke or show something that today would be "terrible for children."
    Kungaloosh!

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