In 1940, Walt Disney released his second feature film: Pinocchio, based on Carlo Collodi’s 1883 Italian children’s novel. The film was groundbreaking: it pioneered the latest animation and sound technology of the era, and established a blueprint for Disney filmmaking that remains intact today. It became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award® (in fact, it won two), and earned a place on the roster of the National Film Registry. Pinocchio’s crucial role has endured decades, given its rare 100% rating on the film website Rotten Tomatoes and the lively discourse that continues to surround the film today.
To celebrate the film’s 75th anniversary, author J.B. Kaufman presents a complete history of the making of Pinocchio, from source material to rerelease. Pinocchio, published in partnership with the Walt Disney Family Foundation and the Walt Disney Family Museum, is an in-depth exploration of the making of the film.
Academy Award-winning animator and film historian John Canemaker says of Pinocchio: “In great detail, J. B. Kaufman reveals the struggles, triumphs and disappointments encountered by Disney and his staff during the creation of this sacred monster of a film. Woven here is a once-upon-a-time story sure to fascinate and inform readers, an exciting adventure into the inner workings of a one-of-a kind studio and team at its creative peak.”
Go behind to the scenes with stories of the inner workings of the Golden Age of Animation, the animators’ personalities and story changes like why Jiminy Cricket’s character almost got left on the cutting room floor. Over 300 photographs, illustrations and concept sketches – many of which are available for the very first time – accompany the story behind the story.
Become a part of the wild, legendary ride that was the making of Pinocchio.
J.B. Kaufman is an author and film historian who has published and lectured extensively on Disney animation, American silent film history, and related topics. His books include The Fairest One of All, South of the Border with Disney, and Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic. He is also coauthor, with Russell Merritt, of Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series and the award-winning Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney, and collaborated with David Gerstein on Taschen’s Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History. Kaufman has also presented programs at festivals including the TCM Classic Film Festival; the San Francisco Silent Film Festival; and Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy, where he was a 2020 recipient of the Jean Mitry Award.
“Two words best describe this volume: essential and definitive.”
– Leonard Maltin
“J.B. Kaufman’s latest book on the making of Pinocchio (1939) is masterful – and a must-have… Have a copy of the movie handy to re-watch as you read – his writing will have you appreciating Pinocchio as you have never before.”
– Jerry Beck
“This visually stunning and impeccably researched history of Disney's Pinocchio is both a revelation and a fascinating look at the development and production of what has become one of the greatest animated features of all time.”
– Forces of Geek
“Anytime J.B. Kaufman puts out a new book, you know it’s going to be out-of-this-world incredible. His newest release, Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic, is no exception. It perfectly details and encapsulates the making of one of Walt Disney’s greatest masterpieces, Pinocchio.”