|The Adventures of Pinocchio character|
|First appearance||The Adventures of Pinocchio|
|Created by||Carlo Collodi|
|Occupation||director of the Great Marionette Theatre|
Mangiafuoco (// US dict: mân′·jə·fwō′·kō; Italian pronunciation: [mandʒaˈfwɔːko], literally "Fire-Eater") is the fictional wealthy director of the Great Marionette Theatre (Gran Teatro dei Burattini) who appears in Carlo Collodi's book The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le avventure di Pinocchio). He is described as "...a large man so ugly, he evoked fear by simply being looked at. He had a beard as black as a smudge of ink and so long that it fell from his chin down to the ground: enough so that when he walked, he stepped on it. His mouth was as wide as an oven, his eyes were like two red tinted lanterns with the light turned on at the back, and with his hands, he sported a large whip made of snakes and fox tails knotted together." Though imposing, Mangiafuoco is portrayed as easily moved to compassion, which he expresses through sneezing.
Role in the book
Mangiafuoco is first encountered in chapter X, after Pinocchio ruins one of his puppet shows by distracting the other puppets with his presence. In his rage, he demands that Pinocchio be burned as firewood for his roasting mutton. Pinocchio pleads for his life, causing Mangiafuoco to sneeze. Moved by Pinocchio's lamentations, Mangiafuoco decides instead to burn one of his own puppets, Harlequin (Arlecchino) instead. Pinocchio throws himself on his knees and begs for Harlequin's life, appealing to Mangiafuoco by calling him "sir", "knight", "commander" and finally "excellence", to which Mangiafuoco listens. Pinocchio offers to sacrifice himself in Harlequins stead, but is refused by Mangiafuoco, who decides to eat his mutton half raw. He asks Pinocchio on his creator, Mister Geppetto's financial position, and upon hearing that he is poor, gives Pinocchio five gold coins.
Mangiafuoco's generosity though is not rewarded, as Pinocchio, rather than go home to his father, encounters The Fox and the Cat (Il Gatto e la Volpe), who lead him astray by making him pay for a banquet with one of the coins and bury the rest to make a money tree.
In other media
Stromboli as he appears in Disney's Pinocchio
|First appearance||Pinocchio (1940)|
|Created by||Bill Tytla|
|Voiced by||Charles Judels|
In the 1940 animated Disney film Pinocchio, Mangiafuoco is renamed Stromboli. The character is voiced by Charles Judels (who also voiced The Coachman in the same film), and animated by Bill Tytla. Unlike Mangiafuoco, who met Pinocchio by chance, Stromboli buys Pinocchio from Honest John and earns a great deal of money by showing Pinocchio on stage. Stromboli is at first portrayed as the gruff but kind hearted man from the original book but suddenly evolves into an exploitative and ruthless man who locks Pinocchio in a cage, stating that once he is too old to work, he will be used as firewood. Pinocchio escapes with the help of the Blue Fairy. Like all the villains in the film, the final fate of Stromboli is never revealed but presumably, he may go bankrupt when he discovers that Pinocchio is missing.
Despite his limited screen time, Stromboli is one of Disney's most infamous and acclaimed villains. The character has been praised by critics for possessing the ability to instill in audiences both laughter (when he shakes his rear-end at the words "Con-stan-tino-polee") and fear (threatening to turn Pinocchio into firewood). Art critic Pierre Lambert has stated that "Tytla's innate sense of force is revealed in all its magnitude in the creation of the character of Stromboli," and animation historian Charles Solomon refers to the puppet master as "the grandest of all Disney heavies", while John Canemaker describes Stromboli as "an overweight monster of mercurial moods, capable of wine-soaked, garlic-breathed Old World charm one second, and knife-wielding, chop-you-up-for-firewood threats the next." William Paul drew some parallelism between Stromboli and studio bosses stating "It is not too difficult to regard Stromboli as burlesque of a Hollywood studio boss, complete with foreign accent. Disney's own relationship to the Hollywood power structure was always a difficult one, and his distrust of the moguls was well justified by his earliest experiences in the industry.
During the premiere of Pinocchio, Frank Thomas sat in front of W. C. Fields, who, upon Stromboli's entrance, muttered to whoever was with him that the puppet master "moves too much". Thomas felt the reason for this was that Stromboli was too big and powerful. Michael Barrier agrees with Fields' criticism, considering Stromboli a "poorly conceived character" whose "passion has no roots... there is nothing in Stromboli of what could have made him truly terrifying." Leonard Maltin disagrees, considering Pinocchio's encounter with the showman to be the wooden boy's "first taste of the seamy side of life... (Stromboli) tosses his hatchet into the remnants of another ragged marionette, now a pile of splinters and sawdust, a meekly smiling face the only reminder of its former 'life'." Though the character is Italian, characteristics such as Stromboli's facial expressions, obsession with wealth, and long black 'goat's beard' have led some to make comparisons with Jewish stereotypes (particularly Hollywood moguls).
- In Giuliano Cencis 1972 adaptation Un burattino di nome Pinocchio, Mangiafuoco's portrayal is completely true to the book in both design and personality. He is voiced by Michele Gammino.
- In the 1987 animated film Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night, a similar character named Puppetino is a henchman to the Emperor, who is given the power to turn children into puppets, which he does to Pinocchio and a girl named Twinkle. He is later betrayed by the Emperor and is turned into a puppet himself and ends up getting burned.
- In the 1993 direct to video adaptation entitled Pinocchio from GoodTimes Entertainment, Mangiafuoco, though left unnamed, is portrayed fairly accurately from the book, and generously gives Pinocchio gold coins.
- In Steve Barron's 1996 live action film The Adventures of Pinocchio, Mangiafuoco (who is played by Udo Kier) is renamed Lorenzini and is portrayed as the main antagonist of the film also the same character is used for portraying the role of 3 Different Villains: the Puppet Master, The Coachman and the Sea Whale. He initially adopts Pinocchio into his puppet troupe when he enlists Volpe and Felinet to bring Pinocchio to him. Lorenzini is addicted to chilli peppers, which is the cause of his "fiery" breath. After Pinocchio accidentally sets Lorenzini's theatre on fire, Lorenzini changes career and begins luring bad naughty boys to Terra Magica, taking on the role originally filled by The Coachman. There, the children inevitably drink cursed water which turns them into donkeys. Lorenzini, during a struggle with Pinocchio, falls into the water and turns into a leviathan known as The Monstrous Whale which swims out to sea.
- In Geppetto (2000), a television film broadcast on The Wonderful World of Disney, Mangiafuoco (again named Stromboli) is played by Brent Spiner. He is portrayed as a comic relief character and is not as evil as in the previous 1940s film, though he is, nonetheless, portrayed very differently to the original book character. He is shown to be a terrible puppeteer, who constantly argues with one of his hand puppets. Throughout the film, he attempts to capture Pinocchio in order to use him as a last resort to save his failing puppet show, thus warning him it will violate a contract he had him sign to perform in every puppet show he holds.
- In the 2007 film Shrek the Third, a character similar to Mangiafuoco appears who refers to Pinocchio as his "star puppet" and is, like Disney's Stromboli, a villainous character. As Prince Charming rouses the band of villains at the tavern to join him, he says to him, "Your star puppet abandons the show to go and find his father". He only says one line- "I hate that little wooden puppet". Though he is not seen, his name is used in the title of the Shrek the Third (video game) level "Stromboli's Workshop". A picture of himself could be seen in the video game.
Collodi, Le Avventure di Pinocchio 1883, Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli
- Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, "The Disney Villain" (Hyperion, United States, 1993) ISBN 1-56282-792-8
- Pierre Lambert, Pinocchio (Hyperion, Spain, 1995) ISBN 0-7868-6247-5
- Charles Solomon, "The History of Animation Enchanted Drawings" (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1989) ISBN 0-394-54684-9
- Robin Allan, "Walt Disney and Europe" (Indiana University Press, Indiana, 1999) ISBN 0-253-21353-3
- Michael Barrier, Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age (Oxford University Press, New York, 1999) ISBN 978-0-19-516729-0
- Leonard Maltin, The Disney Films (Disney Editions, New York, 2000) ISBN 0-7868-8527-0
- Stromboli in the Disney Archives - Villains