FairyTale Friday: Pinocchio

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It’s time for a new addition of FTF (or FairyTale Friday). This time around I’ll share how the story of Pinocchio has been changed, and in this case extended, from it’s original source to Disney to Once Upon A Time.

In many cases, Disney changes the orginal stories to make them much happier and kid-friendly. Pinocchio’s story is darker in both the original and the Disney film.

So, time to take a look at the differences between all of the stories.


Original Like many of the origins our favorite fairytale characters, Pinocchio’s is not very happy, shiny. The Adventures of Pinocchio was published in 1883 by an Italian author, Carlo Collodi. It follows the story of a puppet, Pinocchio, who comes to life after he was carved by a woodcarver, Geppetto, who calls him his son. Pinocchio has many adventures and one day hopes to be a real boy, but is misguided by others around him and defiant to his father. He meets many we know from a ‘Fairy with Turquoise Hair’ (i.e. the Blue Fairy), Lamp-wick, the puppet master, and the fox and cat con artists.

In the story, Pinocchio is almost considered by firewood by the puppet master and meets a friend, Lamp-wick, and spends a number of months in Playland (or Toyland, depending on the source). But after many months of doing nothing, he and Lamp-wick turn into donkeys, a consequence of their laziness. They are sold to a circus and Pinocchio is eventually trapped by the con-artists. Because of Pinocchio’s naivetés, they trick him and later is attacked by them and hung from a tree. The fairy saves him and at the end of the story, Pinocchio hears the fairy is sick and gives his savings to her to help. The fairy turns him into a real boy because of his generosity towards her.

There is a lot to this story. Jiminy Cricket does make an appearance, but as a no-name cricket who can talk and tells Pinocchio of the downside of disobedience. Unfortunately, Pinocchio accidentally kills him. Fun Fact: the original version of the story ends with Pinocchio being hung for his faults, but the author’s editor had him had the end half where the fairy saves him and turning him into a real boy.

Disney Pinocchio is the second full length film from Disney and was released in 1940. In the film, Jiminy Cricket takes the lead and tells the story of Geppetto who creates the puppet, Pinocchio. Geppetto makes a wish that Pinocchio could become a real boy. The Blue Fairy grants the wish and animates the puppet, with hopes of becoming a real boy if he remains brave, truthful, and unselfish.

The Blue Fairy has Jiminy become Pinocchio’s conscience. On Pinocchio’s way to school, a fox and cat tell him to join Stromboli’s puppet show, where Pinocchio becomes the leading attraction. Pinocchio is forced to stay. When the Blue Fairy appears asking why he didn’t go to school, he lies and his nose grows longer. The Blue Fairy restores his nose, but will no longer help him

Meanwhile, the fox and cat are promised a lot of money if they can convince boys to go to Pleasure Island, including Pinocchio. The boys become very delinquent and Jiminy discovers a curse turns the boys into donkeys and forced to work in circuses. Pinocchio escapes with only donkey ears.

When Pinocchio goes home, he finds Geppetto has left to look for him and was swallowed by a whale and is stuck. Pinocchio goes to save him and when he does, they are eventually washed up on the beach where Pinocchio is seemingly dead. As Jiminy and Geppetto mourn, the Blue Fairy arrives and is proven to have been selfless, brave, and true (episode pun) and Pinocchio is reborn as a human boy.

OUAT Now on Once Upon A Time, the story of Pinocchio is largely told what happens after Pinocchio is saved. The story of Pinocchio is how he became responsible in helping the Savior break the curse and how his deceitful-self got in the way. The adult Pinocchio, August W. Booth, caused a lot trouble from sending Neal away to stealing Emma’s money, and abandoning Emma in the foster home. He eventually made up for his mistakes by helping Henry help Emma break the curse.

Of course, August gained more trouble when Tamara arrived and killed him by a magic taser (??), unable to tell Emma the truth about Tamara’s evil, evil ways. The Blue Fairy helped save Pinocchio, again, and returned him to his young self because he was selfless, brave, and true.


Did you know the origin of Pinocchio? Do you like the how OUAT told adult Pinocchio’s story?

Check out the other additions to Fairytale Friday here and here.

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