Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Italian Wednesdays: Pinocchio

Since Once Upon a Time is back with fresh episodes, I thought I'd do a little research on the most famous of Italian fairy tales, Pinocchio. So I went back to the book, The Adventures of Pinocchio by C. Collidi (a pseudonym for Carlo Lorenzini).

Like many of the original fairytales, this story of wooden woe is not what you remember in the Disney movie. 

First of all, Pinocchio is a murderous sociopath. 

That's right, the cricket dies by Pinocchio's hand pretty early in the book. Pinocchio just whacks him on the head after this intelligent little cricket tells him he's lived for 100 years. Bam.
"If the Cricket's death scared Pinocchio at all, it was only for a very few moments. For, as night came on, a queer, empty feeling at the pit of his stomach reminded the Marionette that he had eaten nothing as yet."
For some reason this talking animal, who promises to be every bit the conscience Pinocchio clearly needed, is entirely expendable because the puppet is hungry. And he doesn't even get a name besides Talking Cricket. Surely after 100 years even a busy-body cricket deserves a name, especially if he can talk. I found this part super annoying because I happen to like Disney's Jiminy Cricket and he's got a nice singing voice, too. 

Next Pinocchio decides to run away and only returns to Geppetto after he burns his own feet off. Not the brightest of wooden boys. 

Similar to the movie, in the book a series of events happen that prove Pinocchio unworthy and show Geppetto to be an angel. Speaking of angels, A Fairy with Blue hair shows up, and then dies, then resurrects and then gets turned into a goat. 

By the way, Monstro the Whale is really a shark in the book. 

"The Fairy with Blue Hair" isn't the only one who can come back from the dead. It seems Talking Cricket also returns, but in ghost form, to issue further warnings to the flighty puppet. Of course Pinocchio continues to ignore him.

The story does end with Pinocchio saving both himself and Gepetto so he does get turned into a real boy. I have to say that I prefer the Disney version. If you would like to read the original, you can find it here courtesy of Project Gutenberg. 


  1. Wow, the original story is creepy and dark.

  2. What a creepy kid. Many of the fairy tales are pretty gruesome if you read the originals. I agree with youDisney's version better.