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Pinocchio Scene by Scene


There is an important Disney history triple-play going on at three of our favorite blogs.

Michael Sporn got the ball rolling last year by posting the first 23 pages of the animator drafts for Pinocchio (1940). These are the sequence by sequence breakdowns of who animated each shot, scene by scene. Start here to read the earliest scenes.

Hans Perk at A Film L.A. picked up the ball and continued this project by posting the rest of the draft, (backtrack from here), posting several new pages each day.

Mark Mayerson is taking this information and visualizing it into “mosaics”: illustrating each shot with a frame grab, identifying the animators, and offering insightful commentary for each sequence. (Mayerson has previously done this, based on Perk’s collection of drafts, for several shorts including Mother Goose Goes Hollywood, Symphony Hour and Plutopia).

Now, Michael Sporn has now begun posting the original storyboards for the film.

This is a treasure trove of information for one of the undeniable classics of animation. It’s also a great example of what the Internet can do—bringing together information from three sources, in different parts of the world, that now allow us to study the individual work of the artists who brought this masterpiece to life.

  • Even now as an adult, Monstro the Whale scares me.

  • Wow, what a treat! Thanks to everyone for making this available. Wouldn’t it be great to have a DVD release of the film with an audio commentary explaining all of this as well?

    I’d be curious to know if any pencil tests still exist from the original version of Pinocchio before Walt halted production and made all of those changes to the design and story.

  • GhaleonQ

    Thank you for posting this, as I’ve been enjoying all 3 for quite a bit, now. What a fantastic film.

  • I’ve been enjoying the analyses, too. This film shows next week on the big screen around these parts! I can’t wait!

  • amid

    Thanks to the Internet, the culture of animation history is changing from something shrouded in secrecy to something more collective and participatory. It used to be that animation historians would carefully guard their documents, believing that the documents they owned had some sort of intrinsic value. As people like Mayerson, Perk, Sporn and Canemaker (who’s providing the Pinocchio boards) are showing though, historical documents have no value until they become available to the public and are shared with one another.

    Each of us can build on these documents, and collectively, create a richer and more accurate portrait of this art form. There are others online too who are sharing their materials, folks like Mike Barrier, Didier Ghez and Steve Worth, and new discoveries are being made every day. It’s an exciting time to be involved with animation history, thanks to the enlightened atttitudes of historians who are increasingly sharing materials and building upon one another’s knowledge.

  • This…is amazing.

  • Bugsmer

    I noticed that a man named Palmer was listed as an animator on Pinocchio. Is this Tom Palmer, the same man who directed Buddy cartoons?

  • Bugsmer: this is Art Palmer. See more on Alberto Becattini’s pages. (Use the alphabetic links in the bottom.) It is a great reference site.

  • Francis Louis Pipolo

    Tom Palmer is my great Uncle. I know that he was the director of animation for the cartoon classic, “Gulliver’s Travels”. It has also been reported that he helped with the creation of Goofy. I remember him drawing cartoon characters for me as a child.., good memories.

  • Francis Louis Pipolo

    It is also reported that Tom Palmer (my uncle) worked for Warner Brothers and was replaced by Tex Avery.

  • Francis Louis Pipolo

    What in the world is going on with cartoon makers now-a-days? It would appear that these supposed artist’s draw with their left foot. I’ll take the old “Warner Brothers” any time. Come on guys, let’s get it together.