The original Pinocchio was a dark, grim story

My son Adam has taken an interest in Pinocchio after receiving a little wooden toy that looks similar to the well known character. He watched a few videos on Youtube of the Disney classic and since I knew the original would be available as a Kindle download I offered to read him a few chapters before going to bed.

What an eye opener.

I never saw the original Walt Disney cartoon but I’m familiar with the characters and the story. I’ve only got to chapter 6 of the story but so far Geppetto is in gaol for child(puppet) abuse and Pinocchio has killed Jiminy Cricket (Talking Cricket in the story) with a mallet to the head. (Apparently he reappears alive at the end of the story but it’s not explained how)

.. but unfortunately it struck him exactly on the head, so that the poor Cricket had scarcely breath to cry “Cri-cri-cri!” and then he remained dried up and flattened against the wall.

pinocchio collodi hung

In an awful twist, later on in the novel Pinocchio is caught and hung by the cat and the fox. He dies and “Collodi actually intended that to be the end of his tale, but public outcry from fans got him to return to the story and bring the puppet boy back to life.” (src)

I may read the story for myself, but I’ll track down a book based on the Disney movie instead. It’s not just the much darker imagery and events in the book but also the odd, old fashioned English. It’s difficult going. Reading the story aloud is difficult.

Pinocchio to Talking Cricket: “Take care, you wicked, ill-omened croaker! Woe to you if I fly into a passion!”
The soldier without disturbing himself in the least caught him cleverly by the nose and gave him to Geppetto.

For further reading, you can find the original Pinocchio for free in many places including Amazon. Also take a look at this commentary and this one.


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3 thoughts on “The original Pinocchio was a dark, grim story


  1. Ouch, I started reading some of the original Grimm stories. The princess and the pea was ok and exactly how I remembered it but others.. Another story, I don’t remember the title, but a princess was kidnapped while she was riding her beautiful white horse. Adventurers went to rescue her in a distant city and found the horses head nailed to the doors of the city. Then the horse spoke!

    I was reading this to Adam one night but luckily scanned ahead and saw that bit and skipped it. Adam was 4 at the time, the wrong thing to be hearing while going to bed. I need to read those stories first..


  2. Check out this review. The poor kid wasn’t expecting what he found when he read the original!

    This book is very short and is written poorly in a summary. It does not tell important things that happen. It has no Jimminy Cricket, no going to school, and Pinocchio finds Geppetto by accident which is not so. He is supposed to get a note telling where Geppetto is and Pinocchio is supposed to go to him. This book is not written very well. Take my advice. It’s a third graders point of view. I don’t recommend this book and I don’t think any other third grader will.

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