The Adventures of Pinocchio (lost unfinished Italian animated film based on novel; 1930s)

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The Adventures of Pinocchio 1936 still 1.jpg

A single frame from the film, based on the segment where Pinocchio gets hanged by the fox and the cat dressed in hoods.

Status: Lost

The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le Avventure di Pinocchio) was an Italian animated film directed by Raoul Verdini and Umberto Spano. The film was produced and created by Cartoni Animati Italiani Roma (or CAIR). It was both Italy's first animated movie and the first animated film adaptation of the Pinocchio novel. Were it finished, it would have become the first cel-animated feature film ever, beating out Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by one year.[1]


The film was to be made by "CAIR", and was commissioned by politician Alfredo Rocco in 1935. It was to be the first Italian animated movie and a faithful adaptation of the novel. It had an estimated budget of ₤1 million and plans for 110,000 drawings a year. Unfortunately, CAIR employed people who were comic book artists or illustrators, so they didn't have nor the skills or experience to animate an entire movie. Also, there was no such thing as a "cel-drawing culture" in Italy yet, so they had to figure out how to animate by themselves. All of these technical problems put a damper on production, and the company ran out of money in a couple of years. In the end, they left all the work unused.

Urban legends

It is said that co-director Raoul Verdini took the original negative of the movie by himself, to later try to complete it and convert it to color. It is also said that the attempts were unsuccessful, and it remained unfinished. However, another urban legend, says that Raoul Verdini would put together all the work he could to make The Adventures Of Pinocchio into a short film. Said short film would have been screened in some Latium theatres in the late '40s. Some people believe that the movie was sabotaged by Walt Disney, who would later buy the original negative. So according to this urban legend, the movie could still exist in the Walt Disney Production archives.

Otherwise, the film has been assumed to be lost since 1940. What remains are a few stills, some articles and the script.


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