The Making of Pinocchio

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Brew reader Chris Olson found an old issue of POPULAR MECHANICS with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of PINOCCHIO, and he was kind enough to make scans of the article for other Brew readers to see. The PM issue (volume 1, no. 73) was released in January 1940, a month before the film was released. The article emphasizes the technical aspects of the production, and includes some bizarre and incredible photos, such as the “mad scientist”-looking sound fx guys above. Other photos show people mixing cel paint dyes, toying around with electrical equipment, painting puppets and doing all types of things that one doesn’t typically associate with an animated production.

It’s also interesting to note that not a single artist is identified in the photo captions or article. The only person named is Walt Disney. I’ll try to right that wrong by identifying a few of the individuals. The story artists on the title page are (left to right) Ted Sears, Otto Englander and Webb Smith. The animator at top of page 6 is, of course, Bill Tytla, and the woman painting the model of Pinocchio on page 7 is Helen Nerbovig (who also happened to be the wife of background painter Bob McIntosh). If you can identify other people, let me know.

UPDATE: Michael Sporn writes that the animator looking at the fox on the second page is Norm Ferguson.

UPDATE #2: Jeff Peterson writes that the model maker with the clock at the bottom of page 7 is Bob Jones. There was an interview with him in Issue 37 of THE E TICKET.

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Pinocchio article

Pinocchio article Pinocchio article

Pinocchio article Pinocchio article

Pinocchio article Pinocchio article

Pinocchio article Pinocchio article