Pinocchio is the second film produced by Disney after the success of their first full length feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Production began the same year as Snow White's release, and consisted of 750 artists, 80 musicians, and over one million drawings. The cost was $2,600,000 to make (over $50,000,000 today), and has grossed more than $117,000,000 to date. The film premiered 7 February 1940 at the Central Theatre in New York.
The story for Pinocchio was based off a famous nineteenth century children's book The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. Originally the story was published in serial form between 1880 and 1883 in the Italian Periodical Giornale dei Bambini. Soon it would be translated in over 200 languages and reach the US shores by 1892.
The greatest influence in the making of Pinocchio was obviously the original tale by Collodi. Through metaphor and allusion Collodi summed up the national character of Italy and made biting commentary on many of the prominent social concerns of the nineteenth century, among them the despair and hunger of poverty and the importance of an education. Disney used some the critical moments, morals and values from the story, but left out the issues that made the original tale an important and praised piece of children's literature.
It may have been thought that Disney would have be criticised for making such drastic changes to the story, but in fact, his adaptation was generally accepted. Reasons for this may have been that Pinocchio was originally a much nastier character, who expressed emotions and feelings to that of an adult. Another reason is that areas explored, such as poverty, may have aroused bad feelings towards those that had lived through the depression. Although Walt's version of Pinocchio has resulted in a brilliant film, it's a shame that Collodi's work has been overlooked and replaced in peoples minds as "that Disney movie.