Il Vero Pinocchio

Remember Pinocchio? Your childhood is probably reminding you of the tale of a mischievous puppet turned real boy.

Or maybe the hilarious Shrek version comes to mind.

There’s even a Geico Insurance Pinocchio that you might think of.

What’s funny about all these versions of Pinocchio is that none of them are like the original Pinocchio created by Italian writer Carlo Collodi. The original tale of Pinocchio was very dark and twisted compared to the American version we’re used to. For example, Jiminy Cricket, the conscience of Pinnochio who follows him everywhere he goes, doesn’t even have a name or a major role in the original. Why? Because Pinocchio beats him with a hammer, that’s why.

(I bet Triple H was Pinocchio’s favorite wrestler…)

Sledgehammer to the Back

The original tale had far more drastic situations for Pinocchio. He was burned, beaten, humiliated, robbed, and even hanged. You can read more about the darker tale of Pinocchio here or here, but what’s interesting about the story is that it was still a children’s story. This is an example of how us Americans can be much more protective and cautious with our children than other parts of the world. In Italy, children see the story of Pinocchio and learn that being disobedient will lead you into a life of harsh punishment and even death. It may be rough, but ultimately it is a lesson that needs to be learned as soon as possible before it becomes too late.

Disney decided that was too much for the eyes of young children, and created a version that made Pinocchio have a life like any regular child would. He would get into trouble, but nothing too serious. There would be consequences, but never anything too severe. In America, children watch Pinocchio and learn that you should be brave and do the right things and everything will be alright.

In a way, they’re kind of the same message, but the way they’re told really makes a bigger difference than you might think. Collodi’s version shows you firsthand what could happen if you make bad choices, while Disney shows you how will be rewarded for making the right choices. That’s fine, but sometimes you can be told the oven is hot, but you don’t really learn the lesson until it burns you. What I’m saying is, kids will be kids. You can show them the right way over and over, but for whatever reason, they will still want to know what happens if they do things the other way. Collodi shows them that, and maybe that makes it easier for kids to know they should be obedient.

It is pretty dark, so I’m not saying that is the only way a child should be introduced to Pinocchio, but maybe they should learn about both versions to get the best overall message they can. Well, that’s all for this week. I’m probably going to re-watch all of the Shrek movies now because that scene is cracking me up right now. Anyways, hope you enjoyed this week’s post, and as usual, don’t forget to share it and leave comments. Ciao! A Presto!

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