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ClassicsOnline Home » COLLODI, C.: Pinocchio (Abridged)
Pinocchio is a wooden puppet who comes to life and has the most astonishing adventures. A naughty, mischievous creature, he is full of good intentions but is greedy, and lets nothing stand in his way. His maker, poor Gepetto, loves him like a son, but Pinocchio just can’t stay out of trouble.
Pinocchio was the creation of Carlo Collodi. This was his
pen name; his real name was Carlo Lorenzini. Collodi is the name of the little
village in Northern Tuscany where his mother was born and it is now forever
linked with the name of Pinocchio.
Carol Collodi was born in 1826 and died in 1890. He was a
soldier before he became a journalist and then he turned to writing for
children. His adventures of Pinocchio were first serialized in a newspaper and
then published with great success in 1883.
As everyone knows, Pinocchio is a wooden puppet that, to the
surprise of his maker, the wood-carver Gepetto, comes to life and proceeds to
have the most astonishing adventures. He is a naughty, mischievous puppet who
is full of good intentions but wants everything, and lets nothing stand in his
way. He knows that Gepetto loves him like a son, and is aware that he is
hurting him, but he just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. There are always so
many temptations, such as the invitation from the cat and the fox (with voices,
in this recording, inspired by Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson) to make his
five gold coins into five hundred times as much by burying them in the “field
of miracles”; or the temptation from his friend, Lampwick, to go to live in
Playland where nobody does any work at all and you can just play all day.
However, Pinocchio has a conscience and is always vowing
that he will turn over a new leaf. Anyway, he desperately wants to become a boy
and he knows that this will never happen until he can learn to be more
thoughtful and not keep running off or telling lies even to himself. Famously,
when he does tell a lie, Pinocchio’s nose grows longer and longer. So much so,
that a one point in the story the Blue Fairy has to get a thousand woodpeckers
to peck it down to its right size again.
Eventually Pinocchio comes through his gripping adventures;
adventures which lead him to all kinds of places — a cave where he nearly gets
fried alive; the circus; Busy Bee Island and even the inside of a shark, to
name but a few. On his way he meets many curious characters, some good and some
bad. But above all he discovers, in the Blue Fairy, a mother, and he learns to
value Gepetto as a father. He is rewarded by being made into the “real boy” he
always wanted to be.
Like all fairy tales the story is dark and scary as well as
being exuberantly positive and of course, everything comes right in the end and
everybody lives “happily ever after.”
Notes by Jan Fielden
John Sessions, the highly versatile actor and comedian, is
well known for his comic work in films such as My Night with Reg, In the Bleak
Midwinter and The Pope Must Die, and the television shows Whose Line is it
Anyway?, The New Statesman, and Spitting Image.
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COLLODI, C.: Pinocchio (Abridged)