Pinocchio Becomes a Real Boy
Walt Disney’s second full-length animated feature, Pinocchio was released on this day in 1940, but it should have been the third. After Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937, Walt had planned to release Bambi as his next movie, but the studio was having difficulty with both the story and the illustration of the animals, so Bambi went on the back burner. Pinocchio has been called “groundbreaking” in that movie was able to create realistic movement to vehicles and the items found in Geppetto’s workshop. Other natural elements like rain, lightning, smoke, shadows and water also looked more realistic than in previous animated works. Although considered one of the best animated films ever created, Pinocchio did not do well of his first official outing in terms of box office sales. However, the film was the first animated movie to win two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “When You Wish Upon A Star.” It wasn’t until the movie’s reissue in 1945 that Disney made a profit on the film. In 1994, Pinocchio was added to the United States National Film Registry. In the mid-2000s, DisneyToon Studios began to work on a sequel, something that John Lasseter cancelled after being named Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006.
On this day in 1964, “Beatlemania” made its way from London to New York via Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101. The Beatles had just made their first #1 U.S. hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” six days prior. The “fab four” were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans and two days later, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison made their first appearance on the popular television variety show, the Ed Sullivan Show. It is estimated that about 73 million U.S. television sets (about 40% of the population) were tuned in to watch the spectacle. By April, all five best-selling U.S. singles were Beatles songs. By August, the film “A Hard Day’s Night” was released.
- 1812: Charles Dickens (author)
- 1867: Laura Ingalls Wilder (author)
- 1960: James Spader (actor)
- 1962: Garth Brooks (singer)
- 1962: Eddie Izzard (actor)
- 1965: Chris Rock (actor)
- 1978: Ashton Kutcher (actor)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.