PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE (1965)
Article 1945 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-12-2006
Posting Date: 12-9-2006
Directed by Ray Goossens
Featuring the voices of Peter Lazer, Arnold Stang, Jess Cain
Pinocchio, having been turned back into a puppet again when he became disobedient, resolves to prove himself worthy again by capturing Astro, the space whale. To that end, he spends his lunch money on a book on hypnotism and joins forces with Nurtle the Twertle (a secret agent from outer space) to defeat Astro using hypnotism.
Some animated movies become so magically engrossing that you get caught up in them completely; take the original PINOCCHIO, for example. And some never tap into the magic, and when watching them, you remain awkwardly aware at all times that you’re watching an uninspired foray into juvenile pandering. Such is the fate of this one. One major problem is that it bends over backwards to run over some of the same ground of the original story – why else return him to his puppet status and have him prove himself all over again, and then getting duped by the fox and the cat and finally, having to face Monstro wannabe Astro, the Space Whale? At least he doesn’t turn into a space donkey. The movie might fly with children who are eager to see a follow-up to the original movie, even one not from Disney; since I have no children handy to test this on, I can’t say. Still, they’d be better off watching Disney’s version again, or, barring that, they might be more satisfied with similarly themed movies like ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS or GULLIVER’S TRAVELS BEYOND THE MOON. Still, I must admit that the child in me liked the giant space crabs.