July 28th, 2010, 1:47 pm

Culinary Context: Pinocchio


Pinocchio has a strange story behind it, even though the story itself is bizarre. If you read the original Italian tale, you get an unlikable puppet whose mistakes are disturbing and boundless: he smashes the original Talking Cricket to death, accidentally burns his feet off, and lands his father in prison. I didn't read past the first three chapters because I prefer my protagonists to be likable.

Disney's version not only added innocence to the puppet, making him a normal kid, but they kept the cricket alive as Pinocchio's mentor and conscience. Our hero still makes mistakes, but they're not as unforgivable; he misses school to be in a puppet show, but he doesn't treat everyone like dirt as he does in the book. And Jiminy Cricket also does his best, even when Pinocchio doesn't listen to him.

Ironically, though Disney put a lot of effort into this film, it flopped; probably because even with making the protagonists likable the story was scary; you still have Pleasure Island, where bad boys turn into donkeys, and a giant carnivorous whale that doesn't like to sneeze out its food.

That's why I made today's comic; you can't go darker than dark humor with this puppet.

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