I found myself glancing down at my hands, watched them unclench while Lampwick's melted into hooves, the braying jackass lit like a death-row nightmare, glare and shadow and trembling retreat. Pinocchio has a conscience, all right, and Jiminy! it's unyielding. Time and again, the little wooden-head feels the "reiterated strokes" of retribution, the Blue Fairy--cute as Carole Lombard and ever-so-sweet--reminding him what happens to bad little boys. Disney has stirred up the cartoon like Monstro churning the sea, while the Cricket wise-cracks and Pinnoke plugs along, the stone tied to his tail, both ballast and burden.
I think it frightened my children; but it has a dark-hued beauty, from the first moments in the clock-and-toy shop to the devastated Pleasure Island, that I haven't seen since Murnau's Faust. And I know the songs are in there, sweet and lively, and the curious fish scatter like neon confetti, and all ends well--but along the way night falls, and all instead seems lost, even with a wishing-star. I'm not sure this one is for the kiddies.
A little traveling music: Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards (Jiminy Cricket) working blue, singing "I Love Mountain Wimen."