Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pinocchio Versions from 1883 to 2014

Roberto Innocenti, 1988
Pinocchio kills the talking cricket.
Yup, Pinocchio smashes the cricket with a mallet in the original tale by Carlo Collodi. I like Disney's version, but am pretty much enthralled by Collodi's book. Unlike Disney's interpretation of a naïve and gullible Pinocchio, Collodi's puppet is a saucy, selfish, woodenheaded brat throughout most of his horrific adventures, which include being stabbed and hung by the fox and cat.
Roberto Innocenti's illustrations remain favorites of mine. They are gorgeous, dramatic watercolors that don't shrink from the violence within the tale, and also celebrate the evolution and eventual redemption of Pinocchio. Check out the atmosphere in these:
Pinocchio meets the fox and the cat.

Pinocchio is hanged by the assassins
The magical piece of wood from whence came Pinocchio.
The book is tough to come by, but be sure to see more of  Roberto Innocenti's artwork at http://www.robertoinnocenti.com/
Many illustrators have tackled the irritating little puppet's story. Here are a few of my favorites, which range from early black and white engravings to lushly detailed paintings:

Enrico Mazzanti, 1883
Carlo Chiostri, 1901
Charles Copeland, 1904
Attilio Mussino, 1911
Luigi Cavalieri, 1924
Gianbattista Galizzi, 1942
And last, this inspiring, fresh illustration by Kayla Edgar, 2014.
It blew me away when I first saw it!
Please enjoy more of Ms. Edgar's amazing work at http://kaylaedgar.com/ 
Thanks, as always, for reading!
*Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, compiled by Cooper Edens,
was my source for most of the illustrations in this post. You can buy it used at


  1. It seems that the original versions of several classic children's stories are rather gruesome. These pictures are wonderful. The character in the top Cavalieri picture reminds me of the Green Man. Thanks for sharing these Tom. :)

    1. You are welcome, Jon. I love the originals; dark but somehow not sensationalistic. And I was fascinated by the "green man" character too. He is a fisherman, and his description in the book is unique--something very fresh and imaginative.

  2. nice overview, Tom!

    I was searching my old Pinocchio book, but unfortunately I could not fine it right now.... But I send you link of my friend Andrew....http://andrewfinnie.com/p/pinocchio.html

    1. Thank you Ludek! And thanks for the link--Andrew Finnie's version stunned me and continues to haunt me in a wonderful way!


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