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The Adventures of Pinocchio character
Original art by Enrico Mazzanti
First appearanceThe Adventures of Pinocchio (1883)
Created byCarlo Collodi
In-universe information
Wooden marionette (formerly)
Donkey (briefly, through magical transformation)
FamilyGeppetto (father)

Pinocchio (/pɪˈnki/ pin-OH-kee-oh,[1] Italian: [piˈnɔkkjo]) is a fictional character and the protagonist of the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Italian writer Carlo Collodi of Florence, Tuscany.[2][3] Pinocchio was carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a Tuscan village. He is created as a wooden puppet, but he dreams of becoming a real boy. He is known for his long nose, which grows when he lies.[4]

Pinocchio is a cultural icon and one of the most reimagined characters in children's literature. His story has been adapted into many other media, notably the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio.[5] Collodi often used the Italian Tuscan dialect in his book. The name Pinocchio is possibly derived from the rare Tuscan form pinocchio (“pine nut”) or constructed from pino (“pine tree, pine wood”) and occhio ("eye").

Fictional character description[edit]

Pinocchio, by Carlo Chiostri (1901)

Pinocchio's characterization varies across interpretations, but several aspects are consistent across all adaptations: Pinocchio is an animated sentient puppet, Pinocchio's maker is Geppetto and Pinocchio's nose grows when he lies.[6]

Pinocchio is known for having a short nose that becomes longer when he is under stress (chapter 3), especially while lying. In the original tale, Collodi describes him as a "rascal," "imp," "scapegrace" (mischievous or wayward person), "disgrace," "ragamuffin," and "confirmed rogue," with even his father, carpenter Geppetto, referring to him as a "wretched boy." Upon being born, Pinocchio immediately laughs derisively in his creator's face, whereupon he steals the old man's wig.

Pinocchio's bad behavior, rather than being charming or endearing, is meant to serve as a warning. Collodi originally intended the story, which was first published in June 1881 in the children's magazine Il Corriere dei Piccoli,[7] to be a tragedy. It concluded with the puppet's execution. Pinocchio's enemies, the Fox and the Cat, bind his arms, pass a noose around his throat, and hang him from the branch of an oak tree.[8]

A tempestuous northerly wind began to blow and roar angrily, and it beat the poor puppet from side to side, making him swing violently, like the clatter of a bell ringing for a wedding. And the swinging gave him atrocious spasms...His breath failed him and he could say no more. He shut his eyes, opened his mouth, stretched his legs, gave a long shudder, and hung stiff and insensible.


Clothing and character[edit]

Pinocchio is a wooden marionette (a puppet that is manipulated with wires or strings) and not a hand puppet (directly controlled from inside by the puppeteer's hand). However, the piece of wood from which he is derived is animated, and so Pinocchio moves independently. He often gets carried away by bad company and is prone to lying. His nose becomes longer when lying to others.[3] Because of these characteristics, he often finds himself in trouble. Pinocchio transforms in the novel: he promises The Fairy with Turquoise Hair to become a real boy, flees with Candlewick to the Land of Toys, becomes a donkey, joins a circus, and becomes a puppet again. In the last chapter, out of the mouth of The Terrible Dogfish with Geppetto, Pinocchio finally stops being a puppet and becomes a real boy (thanks to the intervention of the Fairy in a dream).

In the novel, Pinocchio is often depicted with a pointy hat, a jacket, and a pair of colored, knee-length pants. In the Disney version, the appearance is different; the character is dressed in Tyrolean style, with Lederhosen and a hat with a feather.


Pinocchio's nose is his best-known characteristic. It grows in length when he tells a lie, but also does so in the book when it is first carved by Geppetto.

The nose is mentioned only a couple of times in the book, but it reveals the Blue Fairy's power over Pinocchio when he acts disobediently. After the boy's struggling and weeping over his deformed nose, the Blue Fairy summons woodpeckers to peck it back to normal.

Literary analysis[edit]

Some literary analysts have described Pinocchio as an epic hero. Like many Western literary heroes, such as Odysseus, Pinocchio descends into hell; he also experiences rebirth through metamorphosis, a common motif in fantasy literature.[9]

Before writing Pinocchio, Collodi wrote a number of didactic children's stories for the then-recently unified Italy, including a series about an unruly boy who undergoes humiliating experiences while traveling the country, titled Viaggio per l'Italia di Giannettino ('Little Johnny's voyage through Italy').[10] Throughout Pinocchio, Collodi chastises Pinocchio for his lack of moral fiber and his persistent rejection of responsibility and desire for fun.

The structure of the story of Pinocchio follows that of the folktales of peasants who venture out into the world but are naïvely unprepared for what they find and get into ridiculous situations.[11] At the time of the writing of the book, this was a serious problem, arising partly from the industrialization of Italy, which led to a growing need for reliable labor in the cities; the problem was exacerbated by similar, more or less simultaneous, demands for labor in the industrialization of other countries. One major effect was the emigration of much of the Italian peasantry to cities and foreign countries such as the United States.

The main imperatives demanded of Pinocchio are to work, be good, and study. And in the end, Pinocchio's willingness to provide for his father and devote himself to these things transforms him into a real boy with modern comforts.[9]

Media portrayals[edit]


  • Il Segreto di Pinocchio (1894) by Gemma Mongiardini-Rembadi, published in the United States in 1913 as Pinocchio under the Sea.[12]
  • Pinocchio in Africa (1903) by Eugenio Cherubini.[13]
  • The Heart of Pinocchio (1917) by Paolo Lorenzini.[14]
  • Pinocchio in America (1928) by Angelo Patri.[15]
  • Puppet Parade (1932) by Carol Della Chiesa.[16]
  • The children's novel The Golden Key, or The Adventures of Buratino (1936) is a free retelling of the story of Pinocchio by Russian writer Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy.[17] Some of the adventures are derived from Collodi, but many are either omitted or added. Pinocchio (Buratino) does not reform himself nor becomes a real human. For Tolstoy, Pinocchio as a puppet is a positive model of creative and non-conformist behavior.
  • Hi! Ho! Pinocchio! (1940) by Josef Marino.[18]
  • Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム, Tetsuwan Atomu) (1952), a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka, recasts loosely the Pinocchio theme.[19]
  • Pinocchio in Venice (1991) by Robert Coover.[20]
  • Stone Ocean (ストーンオーシャン, Sutōn Ōshan) (2000), the sixth part in the long running manga series, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険, JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken) by Hirohiko Araki, features Pinocchio as one of the various fictional characters brought to life during the Bohemian Rhapsody Arc.
  • Pinocchio: The Boy, (2002) children's picture book by Lane Smith. Viking Books.
  • Fables (2002–2015), a comic book series by Bill Willingham, includes Pinocchio as a refugee, having fled his magical homeland and living in the mundane 21st century.
  • Marvel Fairy Tales (2006–2008), a comic book series by C. B. Cebulski, features a retelling of The Adventures of Pinocchio with the robotic superhero called The Vision in the role of Pinocchio.[21]
  • Wooden Bones (2012) by Scott William Carter describes a fictional untold story of Pinocchio, with a dark twist. Pino, as he's come to be known after he became a real boy, has discovered that he has the power to bring puppets to life himself.
  • Pinocchio by Pinocchio (2013) by Michael Morpurgo.[22]
  • Pinocchio was the subject of the 2015 satirical novel Splintered: A Political Fairy Tale by Thomas London.[23]
  • The Wooden Prince (2017)[24] and Lord of Monsters (2017)[25] by John Claude Bemis adapt the story to a science fiction setting.


Disney version[edit]

Pinocchio as seen in Walt Disney's Pinocchio
First appearancePinocchio (1940)
Portrayed by
Voiced by

When Walt Disney Productions was developing the story for their film version of Pinocchio (1940), they intended to keep the obnoxious aspects of the original character, but Walt Disney himself felt that this made the character too unlikable, so alterations were made to incorporate traits of mischief and innocence to make Pinocchio more likable. Pinocchio was voiced by Dickie Jones. Today, the film is considered one of the finest Disney features ever made and one of the greatest animated films of all time. In the video game adaptation of the film, Pinocchio lives out (mostly) the same role as the film, traveling through the world filled with temptations and experiencing various forces.

This Disney incarnation was later used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, voiced by Peter Westy; and House of Mouse, voiced by Michael Welch; as well as making cameo appearances in Aladdin, Teacher's Pet, Tangled, the Mickey Mouse television series, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.[35] Child actor Seth Adkins portrayed Pinocchio in the television musical film Geppetto (2000).

Pinocchio is a supporting character, voiced by Seth Adkins, in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. He plays a major role in the eponymous first game, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, while in Kingdom Hearts II he appears during a flashback at the early stages.

In Kinect Disneyland Adventures, he appears as a meet-and-greet character in Fantasyland and has several quests for the player. In Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion Pinocchio is featured as one of the many iconic Disney characters kidnapped by the evil witch Mizrabel in her plot to dominate their world; he is imprisoned alongside Genie in the Cave of Wonders until eventually being rescued by Mickey Mouse.

In the early 1990s, it is rumored that Elijah Wood portrayed the real-boy version of Pinocchio in the live-action segments for the updated Jiminy Cricket educational serials I'm No Fool and You, in addition to the new shorts of I'm No Fool.

In March 2021, it was announced that Benjamin Evan Ainsworth would play him in Disney's 2022 live-action/CGI remake of the animated film.[34]

Other film adaptations[edit]

20th century[edit]

Totò portrayed Pinocchio in Toto in Color
  • Italian comedian Totò portrayed Pinocchio in the 1952 film Toto in Color (Totò a colori).
  • Actor Mel Blanc voiced Pinocchio in a 1953 radio adaptation of the story. This is the second adaptation of Pinocchio with Mel Blanc involved, as Blanc voiced Gideon the Cat in the 1940 Disney film until all of his lines were deleted, save for three hiccups.
  • The Adventures of Buratino (Priklyucheniya Buratino) is a 1959 Soviet animated feature film directed by Dmitriy Babichenko and Ivan Ivanov-Vano. The story is based on the novel The Golden Key, or The Adventures of Buratino (1936) by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy. Pinocchio (Buratino) is voiced by actress Nina Gulyaeva and in the 1998 shortened English-dubbed version (Pinocchio and the Golden Key), by child actor Joseph Mazzello.
  • In Pinocchio (1965), the character is portrayed by actor John Joy.
  • In the Belgian-American animated film Pinocchio in Outer Space (1965), the character is voiced by actor Peter Lazer.
  • Pinocchio (Turlis Abenteuer) (1967) is an East German film, directed by Walter Beck. Pinocchio (Turli) is a puppet, voiced by actress Gina Prescott. In the final scene, as a boy, he is portrayed by Uwe Thielisch.
Pinocchio as portrayed in Giuliano Cenci's film The Adventures of Pinocchio (1972)

21st century[edit]


Pinocchio and Geppetto in Pinocchio: The Series

Stage productions[edit]

  • Pinocchio (1961–1999), by Carmelo Bene.
  • Pinocchio (1993) adapted by David Gilles. Produced by MTYP (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Starring Derek Aasland as Pinocchio and Harry Nelken as Geppetto. Review "Pinocchio's Fun Contagious" - Winnipeg Free Press[45] - Preview Play Probes Pinocchio - Winnipeg Free Press [46]
  • Pinocchio (2002), musical by Saverio Marconi and musics by Pooh.
  • Pinokkio (2000-2008), Flemish musical by Studio 100.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio is a 2007 opera in two acts by English composer Jonathan Dove with a libretto by Alasdair Middleton. The original production opened at the Grand Theatre, Leeds on 21 December 2007 with mezzo-soprano Victoria Simmonds as Pinocchio.
  • Actor John Tartaglia portrayed Pinocchio in the original Broadway cast of Shrek the Musical (2008) as well as in the 2013 filmed version.
  • L'altro Pinocchio (2011), musical by Vito Costantini based on L'altro Pinocchio (Editrice La Scuola, Brescia 1999).
  • Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino da Carlo Collodi by Massimiliano Finazzer Flory (2012)
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio is a 2009 opera by Israeli composer Jonathan Dove, "for 3 actors, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano".
  • The musical Pinocchio - Superstar was produced by Norberto Bertassi and performed by the young talents association Teatro. Premiered on 20 July 2016 in Mödling, Austria.
  • Pinocchio (2017), musical by Dennis Kelly, with songs from 1940 Disney movie, directed by John Tiffany, premiered on the National Theatre, London.
  • The Making of Pinocchio—"a true tale of love and transition told through the story of Pinocchio"—is a contemporary interpretation by Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill, which had its UK premiere at the Battersea Arts Centre as part of the London International Festival of Theatre in 2022.


  • Lies of P, a video game developed by Round8 Studio is loosely based on the original 1883 novel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "pinocchio noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes". Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. 16 October 2014. Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  2. ^ Joy Lo Dico (2 May 2009). "Classics corner: Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi". Culture. The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b Martin, Clancy (6 February 2015). "What the Original 'Pinocchio' Really Says About Lying". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  4. ^ Reardon, Sara (7 June 2013). "Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio: Why is the original Pinocchio subjected to such sadistic treatment?". Slate. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Pinocchio: Carlo Collodi - Children's Literature Review". Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  6. ^ Linda Falcone (2007). Italian, It's All Greek to Me: Everything You Don't Know About Italian ... ISBN 9781571431714. Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  7. ^ Caterina Sinibaldi (2011). "Pinocchio, a Political Puppet: the Fascist Adventures of Collodi's Novel". Italian Studies. 66 (3): 335. doi:10.1179/007516311X13134938224367. S2CID 144252780.
  8. ^ Rich, Nathaniel (24 October 2011). "Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio: Why is the original Pinocchio subjected to such sadistic treatment?". Slate. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b Morrissey, Thomas J., and Richard Wunderlich. "Death and Rebirth in Pinocchio." Children's Literature 11 (1983): 64–75.
  10. ^ Gaetana Marrone; Paolo Puppa (26 December 2006). Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies. Routledge. pp. 485–. ISBN 978-1-135-45530-9. Archived from the original on 17 May 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  11. ^ Collodi, Carlo (1996). "Introduction". In Zipes, Jack (ed.). Pinocchio. Penguin Books. pp. xiii–xv.
  12. ^ Mongiardini-Rembadi, Gemma (2018). Pinocchio Under the Sea. Franklin Classics. ISBN 9780343275921.
  13. ^ Cherubini, Eugenio (2017). Pinocchio in Africa. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 9781548612368.
  14. ^ Lorenzini, Paolo (2016). Heart of Pinocchio. Harper & Brothers. ISBN 9781535355087.
  15. ^ Patri, Angelo (1928). Pinocchio in America. DoubleDay.
  16. ^ Della Chiesa, Carol (1932). Puppet Parade. Longmans, Green and Co.
  17. ^ Tolstoy, Aleksey Nikolayevich (1990). The little gold key, or, The adventures of Burattino. Raduga. ISBN 5050028434.
  18. ^ Wunderlich, Richard (2002). Pinocchio Goes Postmodern. Taylor & Francis Group. p. 158. ISBN 0815338961.
  19. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. "Introduction." Astro Boy Volume 1 (Comic by Osamu Tezuka). Dark Horse Comics and Studio Proteus. Page 3 of 3 (The introduction section has 3 pages). ISBN 1-56971-676-5.
  20. ^ Coover, Robert (1997). Pinocchio in Venice. Grove Press. ISBN 0802134858.
  21. ^ Avengers fairy tales. New York: Marvel Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7851-2433-7. OCLC 436408643.
  22. ^ Carter, Scott William (2013). Wooden bones. New York. ISBN 978-1-4424-2753-2. OCLC 891947647.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  23. ^ London, Thomas J. (2015). Splintered. Matthew Foltz-Gray. ISBN 978-1-5151-2356-9. OCLC 9898856922.
  24. ^ Bemis, John Claude (2016). The wooden prince. Ralph Lister, Hoopla digital. [United States]: Disney Book Group. ISBN 978-1-4847-0737-1. OCLC 948111706.
  25. ^ Bemis, John Claude (2018). Lord of Monsters. DISNEY PR. ISBN 978-1-4847-0793-7. OCLC 1001274458.
  26. ^ "June Foray as Walt Disney's "Pinocchio & "Ferdinand the Bull"". Cartoon Research. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  27. ^ "Hudson Hornet". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 3 October 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  28. ^ "Pinocchio's Daring Journey". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  30. ^ "Kingdom Hearts". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Kinect: Disneyland Adventures". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  32. ^ "Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  33. ^ "Mickey Mouse (2013)". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 7 March 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  34. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (3 March 2021). "'Pinocchio': Robert Zemeckis Movie Adds Cynthia Erivo as Blue Fairy; Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  35. ^ "Video Interview with TANGLED Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard". Collider. 21 November 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  36. ^ "Canadian animation recommended—for Canadians". Baltimore Sun, 28 January 1983.
  37. ^ Watson, Ian (2000). "Plumbing Stanley Kubrick". Archived from the original on 3 July 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  38. ^ Ten of the Most Translated Books Across the Globe Archived 29 April 2020 at the Wayback Machine on Ten of the Most Translated Books Across the Globe: "A look at 10 of the most translated books of all time, including The Holy Bible and several fiction books." (29 April 2020)
  39. ^ "Pauly Shore's Voice in CG Animated 'Pinocchio: A True Story' Trailer |". 26 January 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  40. ^ Trumbore, Dave (6 November 2018). "Netflix Sets Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' and Henry Selick's 'Wendell & Wild' for 2021". Collider. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  41. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (19 August 2020). "Cate Blanchett, Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton & More Round Out Cast For Guillermo del Toro Netflix 'Pinocchio' Movie". Deadline. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  42. ^ "Netflix announces cast for 'Pinocchio' animated musical film". ABC News. Archived from the original on 20 August 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  43. ^ The list of nominations for 2023 Oscars, NPR,
  44. ^ "Andy Ivine: Bio, Chapter 1". 14 October 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  45. ^ Prokosh, Kevin (11 December 1993). "Pinocchio's Fun Contagious". The Winnipeg Free Press. pp. B4. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  46. ^ Prokosh, Kevin (9 December 1993). "Play Probes Pinocchio". The Winnipeg Free Press. pp. D7. Retrieved 24 November 2022.

External links[edit]