Pinocchio, A Dark Lesson About Human Trafficking & Pedophilia
While many children’s movies today try to promote lessons that go with the woke, modern world, it’s time to get back to the classics that taught children some terrifying but necessary lessons.
Disney movies that are pretty old teach lessons that children can benefit from. Today’s adults are concerned about Prince Charming not asking for consent when kissing princesses in films such as Sleeping Beauty.
Still, there’s little discussion about movies such as Bambi, which teaches the reality of death; Dumbo, which teaches about dealing with adversity and believing in yourself; and the darkest tale of all, Pinocchio, which teaches about “stranger danger” and how truth, respect, and honesty are the most valuable of human traits.
You probably remember the part where if Pinocchio tells a lie, his nose will grow. You might remember Jiminy Cricket and his truthful words;
“that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today.”
Disney made a somewhat sanitized version of the original story to make Pinocchio a sympathetic character that children would like. The story is about the mischievous adventures of an animated puppet named Pinocchio and his father, a poor woodcarver named Geppetto.
The original story was a revenge fantasy showing bad things happen to bad kids. It was a serialized book from 1881 by an Italian author named Carlo Collodi called The Adventures of Pinocchio.
According to a slate.com article;
“Pinocchio’s bad behavior in this book is not intended to be charming or endearing. It is meant to serve as a warning. Pinocchio’s enemies, the Fox and the Cat, bind his arms, pass a noose around his throat, and hang him from the branch of an oak tree.”
Remember cute, little Jiminy cricket, Pinocchio’s voice of conscience? In the original story, Jiminy tries to warn Pinocchio about the dangers of dishonesty and disrespecting his parents. In return for this excellent but unsolicited advice, Pinocchio beats him to a bloody pulp with a hammer and kills him.
Is this the story you remember? I always imagined him as a cheerful little puppet who wants to be transformed into a real live boy. The moral of the Disney 1940s film is that if you are brave and truthful and listen to your conscience, you will find salvation. Collodi’s moral is that you if misbehave and do not obey adults, you will be bound, tortured, and killed.
The dark part of the 1940s Disney movie may be darker than the book. The fox and the cat in this story are thieves and sex traffickers who talk Pinocchio into skipping school by using candy, cigarettes, and the promise of no rules. Later, an evil, wealthy man uses his money to procure ‘stupid little boys’ to take to a dangerous and illegal land of human trafficking called Pleasure Island. The children are turned into donkeys that eventually can’t even speak. They “never come back as boys.” The not-so-subtle implication is that their innocence has been taken away, the children are scarred for life, and that money is power, sometimes used for evil.
Pinocchio does escape. He even dies at one point, but a fairy godmother, the Blue Fairy, brings him back to life, changing him into a “real boy,” which goes back to the beginning of the movie;
“Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday you will be a real boy.”
“And always let your conscience be your guide.”
In most Disney movies, the bad guy is punished but not in Pinocchio, making this the darkest of the classic films. The big question is, what happens to the children who didn’t escape the island? The bad guys in this one are never caught. The lesson is that not all children run, and bad people sometimes get away with terrible things.
The good news? Pinocchio does suffer trauma, and although he’s somewhat scarred, he survives and goes on with his life, becoming a truthful, honest, and loving person, the combination of which makes an actual human being.
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