Thursday, March 16, 2023

Walt Disney's Pinocchio - Mega Post!!!

Walt Disney's animated classic, Pinocchio, was originally released in February of 1940.  According to Wikipedia, it was re-released theatrically in 1945, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1978, 1984, and 1992.

This was the poster for the film's 1971 re-release.

While going through some things at my mom's house, I found a section of the Los Angeles Times from 1971, which had been used as "packing material."

Here's a higher resolution scan of the photo showing the fountains at the Department of Water and Power building, in Downtown Los Angeles.

Inside the paper, was an advertisement for the 1971 re-release of Pinocchio:

Just for kicks, this is what was on the backside of the Pinocchio ad.  It's an ad for the "hagsploitation" film, "What's The Matter With Helen?"  While that does look like Shelley Winters in the artwork, I have to say that really doesn't look like Debbie Reynolds.  It looks a little bit more like a blond Leslie Ann Warren from Victor/Victoria!  I probably should have scanned more of the 1971 movie ads from this paper, but that's all I have......for now.

That 1971 Pinocchio ad inspired me to put together an "all-things-Pinocchio" post.  So here are some other Pinoke-related items from my personal collection.

My brother received this Pinocchio marionette for Christmas, in 1967.

My parents purchased it at Sears.  I know this, because my dad worked for Sears at the time.....all of our toys came from Sears!  Here's a page from the Sears Catalog/Wish Book.  The description mentions that the puppet was made in England.

I posted these marionette images, previously.  You might recognize my brother, seen here once again.  We looked alike when we were kids.  ;-)

In 1969, this Pinocchio-themed float appeared in the Tournament of Roses Parade.  My dad snapped this picture after the parade.

And two years later, Pinocchio was in the parade again, this time on a Disneyland-themed float.

Here's another item that belonged to my brother.  It's an issue of Walt Disney's Comics Digest, featuring Pinocchio and dated August 1971, the same summer that the film was being re-released.

Oddly enough, the story had Pinocchio teaming up with Donald Duck.

 Honest John and Gideon both appeared in the story..... well as Monstro!

The following summer, Pinocchio and Geppetto appeared on the June cover of Disneyland Magazine (the "Magazine For Young Readers").  I had a subscription to the magazine at this time, even though issues were available at our local Lucky's supermarket.

And one year later (July 1973), Pinocchio was once again, gracing the cover of the magazine.  While checking on eBay, I noticed that Pinocchio was frequently featured on the cover of Disneyland Magazine.

In the early 1970's, I received this "mini" card game in my Christmas stocking.  The cards are only about 1.5 by 2.5 inches in size.

The cards were made by the Russell Manufacturing Co. 

I also received a "mini" Donald Duck card game at the same time.  I'm not sure if they made a card game for each of these characters depicted on the back of the cards, but a "Mr. Toad" game would have been pretty cool!

 Here are the various characters featured on the cards.

And the instructions, just in case anyone is interested:

While growing up, we had a children's record player (as seen in that earlier photo of my brother).  We also had a large selection of children's records, and we listened to them quite often.  Our record collection included many of the smaller "45 rpm" records.



We also had quite a few of the larger "33 1/3" record albums.  This particular one was part of a series of "Magic Mirror" albums, which included a storybook.

The front cover had an oval cut-out in it (the "Magic Mirror"), which allowed you to see a portion of the image on the first page.

Somehow, my family missed seeing Pinocchio during it's 1971 re-release.  My very first viewing of the film, was during it's 1978 re-release.  The Fall 1978 issue of Disney News Magazine featured a "coming soon" ad for the film, on it's back cover.

Some years later, I was able to acquire one of the original posters from the 1978 re-release.

I also purchased this original 1978 "half sheet" poster.  Like many other Disney-related items in my collection, both of these posters came from the former "Comic Castle" shop, in Fullerton, CA.

I purchased this souvenir Pinocchio button from Disneyland's Main St. Emporium, shortly after the film's 1978 re-release:

During that same Disneyland visit, I purchased this Little Golden Book from the Story Book Shop (located in the back of the Main Street Emporium and sponsored by the Western Publishing Company, publishers of the "Little Golden Books" series).

Also available in the Emporium, and purchased around this same time period, were these ceramic figurines of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

A few years later, Disney released a series of six souvenir plates, sold exclusively at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  The "Disney Classic Plate Collection" included a plate for Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Alice In Wonderland, and Peter Pan.


The plates sold for $6.50 each, as shown on the original price tag, below.

In 1980, Disney started releasing a series of "picture disc" records.  These were sold in both the Emporium and the Character Shop at Disneyland, and could also be found in the toy section of some department stores and local grocery store chains.

The songs were all taken directly from the film's soundtrack.  There weren't any of those Marnie Nixon or Ginny Tyler "covers," which were sometimes used on Disney children's records.

My family realized that I was a Disney fan at a very young age, and to this day, they still pick up Disney items for me.  Not too long ago, my aunt gave me this vintage playing card, which she found in an antique mall.  There was just one single card, and it's from a regular deck (the other side is the two of hearts).

My aunt also gave me this vintage plastic charm, a few years back.  It was in a bag of similar charms, which included Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Dumbo, Grumpy, and Practical Pig.

When I was about 12, my grandmother gave me this 1940s bisque figurine of Pinocchio.  She had found it at her church's thrift store ("The Galore Shop," in Redondo Beach, CA).  Even at that young of an age,  I was able to appreciate a much older item like this.

In 1983, Jiminy Cricket made an appearance in the animated short, Mickey's Christmas Carol.  This lobby card is from a set, which I also purchased from the Comic Castle in Fullerton.

That same year, both Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland opened their own Pinocchio-themed dark rides.

These attractions will have to be the subject of another post at another time, but for now, here are some photos of the attraction facades.

Tokyo (opened April 15, 1983):

Anaheim (opened May 25, 1983):

I took the shot above, three days after the opening of the attraction in Anaheim.  The figure of Pinocchio above the entrance was not added until many years later.

And here's the attraction at Disneyland Paris, which opened along with that park, in 1992:


Also in 1992, Pinocchio had it's last theatrical re-release.  These posters were hanging in the foyer of the El Capitan Theater, in Hollywood.

Pinocchio was released on VHS (and Betamax) for the very first time in 1985, at a cost of $79.95.  It was released again the following year, at a reduced price of $29.95.


The film was released on DVD for the first time in 1999, for it's upcoming 60th anniversary (in 2000).

In 2002, McDonald's Happy Meals included figures from a wide selection of Disney characters.  There were 100 different characters available altogether, including Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Geppetto, and the Blue Fairy.

The 2002 McDonald's promotion was a tie-in with Walt Disney World's "100 Years of Magic" celebration, which was a celebration of what would have been Walt Disney's 100th birthday.  (His 100th birthday would have actually been in 2001.)

Meanwhile, back over at Disneyland.......for many years, Pinocchio had his own "section" within the old Disneyland parking lot.  However, when the lot closed in 1998 (for the construction of Disney's second park in Anaheim), Pinocchio received his very own parking lot.  This lot was located just west of Disneyland.  The Pinocchio lot remained in that same location (in some form), until the recently-built "Pixar Pals" parking structure replaced it.

Here's one of the signs from the former Pinocchio parking lot.

And here is a card that was given out to guests who parked in the Pinocchio lot, back when it was new.  There were also cards for the newly-opened Timon and Simba parking lots.

The cards were created to eliminate confusion for guests, as to which lot they had parked in, and which tram they should catch when leaving the park at the end of their day.

In 2005, some of the original animated scenes from past Main St. Emporium window displays, made a return for Disneyland's 50th anniversary. This particular window contained scenes from Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.

And just for fun, we will end with this image of Grumpy Cat as the Blue Fairy.  The artwork was created by digital artist, Eric Proctor (a.k.a. TsaoShin at

****UPDATE****  (3-24-23) 

While growing up, my family had a set of plastic placemats with various Disney characters on them.  I remember eating many childhood breakfasts on these placemats.  One of the mats featured Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

The mats all had the RCA logo on them.  I don't remember where we got these, but I found a set online, in their original plastic bag/packaging.  Printed on the bag was, "Compliments of Your RCA Victor Dealer," and "RCA The Most Trusted Name In Electronics."

This Pinocchio PEZ candy dispenser is another item that I received one year, in my Christmas stocking.

Back in the 1990s, I purchased this small plastic Blue Fairy figure at Disneyland's Star Trader shop.  I previously posted a photo of the plastic Disney villains figures, which were sold in the Villains Shop in Fantasyland, around the same time.

About 10 years ago, Disneyland was selling a set of magnets, designed to look like business advertisements for Jiminy Cricket, and a few other Disney characters.  (There was also a magnet for "Snow White's Forest Friends Cleaning Co.," "Poppins' Penguins Catering Co.," and "Cinderella's Crafty Critter Sewing Service.")

 ****UPDATE****  (4-24-23)

While working on some future blog posts, I came across this photo of another Pinocchio item, at Disneyland.  This was (is?) located in the Penny Arcade/Candy Palace, on Main Street.  The photo was taken in the summer of 2011, so I'm not sure if it is still there or not.  It's an arcade machine that you put a quarter into, and then you can make Pinocchio "dance" by pushing buttons that move his arms and legs.  Note the little Jiminy Cricket figure, inside the glass case.  I believe that he moved up and down automatically, since he is also hanging by a string.  Many years ago, there was a similar machine in Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade, located in Bear Country.  That one featured "Henry," the host of the former Country Bear Jamboree attraction.

*****POST UPDATE***** (April 2024)

I just came across this Los Angeles Times advertisement, for the December 1984 re-release of the film:

*****POST UPDATE***** (May 2024)

Here is yet another "Pinocchio" related item from my childhood.  This is another children's record, but it's not from Disneyland Records, like the previous three records that I posted.  This one is from "Cricket Records."  Notice that the cricket mascot/logo for the record label is not only in the upper left corner of the sleeve, but he was also incorporated into the artwork, as "Jiminy Cricket."

****BONUS****  I've scanned the entire Pinocchio Little Golden Book, which I purchased at Disneyland, in 1978.  Enjoy!