Mister Geppetto

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Mister Geppetto
The Adventures of Pinocchio character
Geppetto carving Pinocchio.
First appearance The Adventures of Pinocchio
Created by Carlo Collodi
Gender Male
Occupation Carpenter
Family Pinocchio (son)
Nationality Italian

Mister Geppetto (/ɨˈpɛt/;[1] Italian: [dʒepˈpetto]),[2] also Mastro Geppetto, is a fictional character in the novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. Geppetto is an elderly, impoverished woodcarver and the creator (and thus father) of Pinocchio. He wears a yellow wig that looks like cornmeal mush (or polendina), and subsequently the children of the neighborhood (as well as some of the adults) call him "Polendina", which greatly annoys him. "Geppetto" is a diminutive form of Giuseppe (Joseph).


Geppetto is introduced when carpenter Mister Antonio finds a talking block of pinewood which he was about to carve into a leg for his table. When Geppetto drops by looking for a piece of wood to build a marionette, Antonio gives the block to Geppetto. Geppetto, being extremely poor and thinking on making a living as a puppeteer in hopes of earning "a crust of bread and a glass of wine", carves the block into a boy and names him "Pinocchio". Before he is even built Pinocchio already has a mischievous attitude; no sooner than Geppetto is finished carving Pinocchio's feet does the puppet proceed to kick him. Once the puppet has been finished and Geppetto teaches him to walk, Pinocchio runs out the door and away into the town. He is caught by a carabiniere (a police officer), but when people say that Geppetto dislikes children, the carabiniere assumes that Pinocchio has been treated poorly and imprisons Geppetto. The next morning, Geppetto is released from jail and finds that Pinocchio's feet have burnt off where upon he replaces them. Geppetto has with him three pears for a meal, and since Pinocchio says he is starving, Geppetto gives him the pears and teaches Pinocchio to waste nothing. In gratitude, Pinocchio promises to go to school. Since Geppetto has no money to buy school books, he sells his only coat.

Pinocchio disappears when, instead of attending school, he decides to sell his school book and attend a marionette show. Geppetto is next seen when Pinocchio believes that the Fairy with Turquoise Hair has died and a pigeon carries him to the seashore, where Geppetto is building a boat to search for Pinocchio. Pinocchio tries to swim to Geppetto, but is washed underwater as Geppetto is swallowed by The Terrible Dogfish, and not seen again until Pinocchio is himself swallowed thereby. Pinocchio and Geppetto escape the Dogfish, and are thence conveyed to shore by a tuna.

After several months of hard work supporting the ailing Geppetto, Pinocchio goes to town with what money he has saved to buy himself a new suit, and Geppetto and Pinocchio are not reunited until the puppet has become a boy and Geppetto is seen healthy and resuming woodcarving.


Actor Version
Christian Rub Pinocchio (Disney version)
Burl Ives Pinocchio (1968 film)
Roberto Bertea Pinocchio (1972 film)
Jim Cummings Pinocchio (1992 film)
Charles S. Dutton Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child
Junji Chiba Piccolino no Bōken
George S. Irving Pinocchio's Christmas
Tom Bosley Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night
Martin Landau The Adventures of Pinocchio
Martin Landau The New Adventures of Pinocchio
Drew Carey Geppetto (TV musical)
Chris Miller Shrek
Carlo Giuffrè
David Suchet (English voice)
Pinocchio (2002 film)
Howard Ryshpan Pinocchio 3000
Jonathan Summers The Adventures of Pinocchio (opera)
Tony Amendola Once Upon a Time

Disney version[edit]

First appearance Pinocchio (1940)
Created by Carlo Collodi
Voiced by Christian Rub (original dub)
Tony Pope (Kingdom Hearts)
Jeff Bennett (Kingdom Hearts 3D, Blu-Ray bonus features)

In the Disney animated classic, Geppetto is introduced as a woodworker finishing his work on a puppet he names Pinocchio. Before falling asleep, Geppetto makes a wish on a falling star that Pinocchio could be a real boy. During the night, the Blue Fairy visits the workshop to grant Geppetto's wish. Geppetto discovers that his wish has come true, and is filled with joy. The next day, he sends Pinocchio on his first day of school. Unfortunately, as in the novel, Pinocchio never manages to attend school and instead meets Honest John and Gideon, who convinces him to join Stromboli's puppet show instead. When Pinocchio returns home, he finds the workshop empty and soon learns (from a letter by the Blue Fairy) that Geppetto, while venturing out to sea to rescue Pinocchio from Pleasure Island, had been swallowed by a giant whale named Monstro. Determined to rescue his father, Pinocchio jumps into the bottom of the ocean. However, Pinocchio is soon found and eaten by Monstro, where he is reunited with Geppetto and his pets inside the whale. Pinocchio devises an escape plan by burning wood in order to make Monstro sneeze. The plan works, but the enraged whale gives chase. Eventually, Pinocchio succeeds in getting Geppetto to safety in a cave under a cliff before Monstro rams into it, but Pinocchio dies in the process. As Geppetto mourns the loss, the Blue Fairy decides that Pinocchio has proven himself brave, truthful and unselfish and thus fulfills her promise to turn him into a real boy, much to the delight of Geppetto.

Geppetto appeared the following year in the short All Together (1941), made for the Canadian government.[3]

Disney's version of Geppetto has also made appearances in Disney's House of Mouse as well as in the Kingdom Hearts series of video games in the "Monstro" world.

Television musical[edit]

Geppetto is title character in the 2000 made-for-television musical, portrayed by Drew Carey. He dearly wishes to become a father. One day his wish is granted by the Blue Fairy, and she brings to life a wooden puppet, made by Geppetto, named Pinocchio. In the beginning everything is rosy for the new family, yet slowly things begin to unravel, culminating with Pinocchio running away. Geppetto, thinking Pinocchio would rather live with the evil Stromboli, washes his hands of the whole matter and tries to go back to his lonely life. Stromboli, however, had kidnapped Pinocchio and was using him as the main attraction in his puppet show.

Geppetto finally comes to his senses and goes out to rescue Pinocchio, but Pinocchio has run away from Stromboli to the infamous "Pleasure Island". On his way there, Geppetto has several chance encounters, including a professor that creates children to precise specifications, and a struggling, traveling magician. Pleasure Island is not all that it seems and Pinocchio is turned into a donkey, with Geppetto arriving just in time to see Pinocchio and to try and rescue him. They set sail on a small boat, get hit by a storm in the middle of the sea and are swallowed by a whale.

They manage to escape and forgive each other for their wrongs, and Pinocchio is turned into a 'Real Boy' by the end of the movie and all live happily ever after.


Geppetto is a major villain in the Fables comic series written by Bill Willingham and published by DC Comics. His actions are responsible for the entire premise of the comic book, in that he is the being known as "The Adversary" who masterminded the conquest of the Fable homelands, forcing the Fables to flee into the mundane world. [4]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Geppetto is one of the many characters from fairy tales and classic stories that appear in Shrek. Geppetto is once again Pinocchio's father, and sells the puppet to Farquaad's army in the first film.
  • In the animated television series The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Geppetto (voiced by Barry Dennen) and Pinocchio appear in the episode "Billy Ocean" when Billy is lost at sea when he is swallowed by Blubbery Joe, who has already swallowed them too.
  • In GMA Network's gag show, Bubble Gang, the characters of Tio Petto and Panopio are parodies of Geppetto and Pinocchio, respectively.
  • In the Avengers Fairy Tales by Marvel Fairy Tales, the character of Hank Pym appears as Geppetto. Several television shows also portray the character as a possible pedophile to parody the character and his reasons for making the wooden boy. In Mad, Geppetto is seen controlling Pinocchio, and then he complains that Pinocchio has no "midi-chlorians" after Count Poo-Poo slashed Pinocchio's strings.
  • In the U.S. TV series Once Upon a Time, in addition to being depicted as the toymaker and Pinocchio's father, Geppetto (played by Tony Amendola) is also shown as a young boy whose parents die after Jiminy inadvertently uses magic from Rumpelstiltskin. His real world counterpart is Marco who is Storybrooke's handyman.


  1. ^ US dict: jɨ·pĕt′·ō
  2. ^ "Gepetto". Dizionario d'Ortografia e di Pronunzia. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  3. ^ Roe, Bella Honess (2011). A. Bowdoin Van Riper, ed. Learning from Mickey, Donald and Walt: Essays on Disney's Edutainment Films. McFarland. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7864-8475-1. 
  4. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008), "Fables", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 72–81, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 

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