Pinocchio (1940), the Disney studios second feature-ength cartoon, presented story problems that were in stark contrast to those of the studios first feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). In that film, the source material was a short fairy tale documented by the Brothers Grimm. The primary story challenge lay in fleshing out the tale to sustain a feature film. This article is based on a paper given at the first conference of the Society for Animation Studies, held in Los Angeles, California last year. The next conference is scheduled to be held October 3-5, 1990, in Ottawa, Canada. More information can be obtained from the Society at 4729 Lankershim Blud., North Hollywood, CA 91602. This article is copyright © 1990 Mark Mayerson. Illustrations copyright © The Walt Disney Company.
With Pinocchio the situation was reversed: the novel by Collodi was lengthy and chockfull of incident. The challenge was to choose which incidents to preserve or adapt, and to find a way to structure them. The studio used Pinocchios ongoing moral education as its approach to each segment of the film.