In the Original Pinocchio Book, Pinocchio Was a Hammer-Wielding Killer

In the Original Pinocchio Book, Pinocchio Was a Hammer-Wielding Killer

If your experience with Pinocchio starts and stops with the Disney film, you probably have a pretty positive idea of his friendship with Jiminy Cricket. Not to mention how delightful the little bug is. Youre telling me if you met a dandy little cricket in spats and a top hat, you wouldnt immediately form a deep and meaningful friendship? Get real. Obviously, hes here to dispense wisdom and fancy little cane spins in equal amounts, and you should spend every day thanking your chosen god for introducing this blessing into your life.

Of course, in reality, not everyone takes advice well. I could also see how tips on how to live your life, dispensed by a cricket whose only jobs are occasionally rubbing his legs together and scaring people in dark sheds, could come off as pretty condescending. The original Pinocchio, from The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, isnt exactly the image of eager self-improvement, either. Being that the stories were based on Collodis personal childhood trauma, its no surprise Disney decided to give it a bit of brighter Technicolor coating. That involved a pretty dramatic change in the arc of Jiminy Cricket, most notably that hes never violently murdered by the puppet in question.

Public Domain

“The fuck are you looking at? Ill do you like I did the cricket, old man.”

Thats right, not only did Jiminy Cricket never make it to the end of the book, he wasnt even afforded any sort of poignant, slow death scene. Instead, he was brought to an early end when Pinocchio got fed up with his nagging and hucked a workshop hammer at him, turning him into an unsightly wall smear in the blink of a wooden eye. This is probably good for the psyche of the children enjoying the film, but its a bit of a bummer in that we never got to see a well-dressed cricket explode in a cloud of hand-animated, brightly-colored viscera. The passage in question describes his demise thusly: Pinocchio jumped up in a fury, took a hammer from the bench, and threw it with all his strength at the Talking Cricket… The poor Cricket fell from the wall, dead!

Not how anyone would prefer to go out, though it might earn you entry to Viking Cricket Valhalla as dying an honorable death in battle against crickets biggest enemies: things that smush. The unfortunate early end of the cricket, which was simply known as the Talking Cricket originally, is referenced in some of the other film retellings. In particular, Guillermo del Toros version puts its cricket through a series of physical torments that lands somewhere in between a Three Stooges movie and an ancient Greek curse, though even del Toro didnt permanently snip his yarn.

That was all Collodi working through all that childhood trauma.

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