Saban's Adventures of Pinocchio, known in Japan as , is a 52 episode anime series by Tatsunoko Productions first aired in 1972. The series has been aired in many other countries around the world, including the United States, where it was shown weekday mornings on HBO in 1992. Saban Entertainment provided the English dubbed version. The story is based on the novel 'Pinocchio' by Italian author Carlo Collodi.
The series has a distinctly sadistic theme and portrays the main character, Pinocchio (Mokku), as suffering from constant physical and psychological abuse and freak accidents.
For example during the fifth episode, 'What is a Heart', Pinocchio actually resorts to committing attempted murder to acquire a child's heart because he thinks it will help him become a real boy. In the tenth episode, 'When my nose gets longer', Pinocchio is forcefully adopted by a Nobleman and becomes a Prince, whereupon he becomes so corrupted with wealth and privileges that he becomes extremely rude and aggressive to his servants and charges about his adopted father's estates on horseback, randomly riding down any person who gets in his way, whilst laughing at the terror, indignity and danger inflicted upon others for his personal amusement. Pinocchio is of course severely punished by the blue fairy for these acts of utter selfishness who makes his nose turn into a small tree. Pinocchio is consequently disowned and cast out naked into the wilderness by his adopted father who can't stop laughing at him as he is dragged away crying out in vain for mercy. The episode ends with a folorn Pinocchio weeping bitterly as he fumbles through the castle's surrounding brambley undergrowth, naked and cold because his ex-adopted father has taken away his expensive attire. There are clearly illustrated scratches etched into the wood of his body from the surrounding vegetation. The sequel episode sees Pinocchio transgress into a small tree with a face and with roots fixed deep into the soil so that he can no longer move. He is eventually found by a wood cutter who chops him down and sells him as a novelty singing tree. In the last episode, he is even shot by a group of Russian cossacks.
Throughout the entire series Pinocchio (Mokku), partly due to his own delinquency and repetitive disobedience, must undergo other costly ordeals of hardship and pain in which he is continuously tormented, persecuted, bullied, humiliated, tricked, ridiculed, ostracised, beaten, downtrodden and subjected to degrading and inhumane treatment. Its plain depiction of the austere reality of what it would be like to be literally subhuman growing up in a world of danger and hardship, makes this another good example of traditional Japanese stories, which teach moral observance through tough endurance.
The cultural backdrop of these episodes seem to suggest an alpine region during the mid to late 19th century, only with an added mythical theme which includes creatures such as vampires, fairies, witches and mermaids as well as talking animals not to mention of course a living puppet. Such backdrops could include countries such as Switzerland, Austro-Hungary or even the Papal States.
|Kashi No Ki Mokku 「樫の木モック」||Japanese Opening||Kumiko Onoki|
|Boku wa kanashii ki-no ningyo||Japanese Ending||Moon Drops|
|He's Pinocchio||English Opening||Saban|
|Whoa, Oh, Pinocchio||English Movie Opening||Bullets|
|Le Nuove Avventure Di PINOCCHIO||Italian Opening|