Prepare for your childhood to be ruined. In the original Adventures of Pinocchio, Pinocchio kills Jiminy Cricket and was even killed himself by hanging.
We can seen how different the original versions of popular children tales are to the versions we are told today. Notable examples include The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Sleeping Beauty and even Peter Pan. Perhaps one of the biggest deviations from the original version of a tale belongs to Pinocchio.
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The story that we are all familiar with, thanks mainly to Disney, is a tale of a marionette puppet. It starts with a woodworker who makes a wooden marionette puppet he calls Pinocchio. On going to bed one night he made a wish for him to be a real boy. The Blue Fairy grants the wish and makes Pinocchio come alive, but as a wooden puppet. To be a boy in flesh and blood he must prove himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish and able to tell right from wrong by listening to his conscience. He is guided by Jiminy Cricket, a wise and comical character who was appointed by the Blue Fairy to be Pinocchio’s official conscience. During production of the Disney movie, Walt Disney felt that the story, as told by Carlo Collodi, was too dark and unsuitable as a children’s movie. He even halted production early on in production due to frustration with Collodi’s version. Disney concluded that Pinocchio was too much of a wise guy, far too cocky, and too puppet like to be sympathetic. He made a compromise and made him into real, gentle boy and would have his wish come true in the end. Disney also made what was a minor scene into the central focus of the film. When Pinocchio told a lie his nose grew. The moral of Disney’s story is that if you are truthful and brave, and listen to your conscience, you will find salvation. All of this was so far from the original version it may as well have been a different tale all together.
The original version was called The Adventures of Pinocchio, and was a originally a serial for a weekly newspaper. It begins with a man who finds a talking piece of wood who gives it to his neighbour, Geppetto, who carves the block into a marionette puppet, and names him his son, Pinocchio. As soon as he can walk, Pinocchio runs away. Pinocchio is soon caught by a Carabiniere who thinks he has been abused, and then locks up Geppetto. Pinocchio returns to Geppetto’s house where he meets a talking cricket. This is where Pinocchio meets Jiminy Cricket for the first time, and as the story is told, the last time in the flesh.
Pinocchio kills Jiminy Cricket
On meeting Jiminy Cricket for the first time, Jiminy Cricket warns Pinocchio of the perils of disobedience and hedonism. In return for Jiminy Cricket warning him, Pinocchio kills Jiminy Cricket by bashing his brains in with a hammer. That night Pinocchio’s feet burn off after he falls asleep with them on a stove. Geppetto is released from prison and makes him new feet.
Pinocchio gets killed by hanging
Now we find ourselves at the untimely death of Pinocchio. The story goes like this.
Pinocchio attends the Great Marionette Theatre. The puppet master is initially angry that Pinocchio is there and intends to burn him. He then changes his mind and sends him to Geppetto with 6 gold coins to give to his master. On his journey back he meets a fox and cat who tell him that if he plants the coins in a magical forest they will grow into a tree with one or two thousand gold coins. They go with him to a tavern and gorge on food at Pinocchio’s expense before taking off ahead of Pinocchio to ambush him while he heads for the field to plant the coins. This is despite the warning from Jminy Cricket who he had killed earlier. They ambush him but he escapes to a white house and he knocks on the door. He is greeted by a fairy with turquoise hair who says she is dead and waiting for a hearse. While they are talking he is caught by the fox and cat. They take him to a tree and hang him from a branch. They wait there a while, but get tired of waiting for him to suffocate and leave.
That is where Carlo Collodi intended for the tale to end. In a gruesome death that was a result of all of his flaws at the end of chapter 15. At the request of the newspaper editor, Collodi added chapters 16 to 36, where the fairy with turquoise hair, later to become the Blue Fairy in Disney’s version, rescues him from death and eventually turns him into a real boy. The moral of Collodi’s story, as he intended it to end, is that if you behave badly and do not obey adults, you will be bound, tortured and killed.
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