Saban's Adventures of Pinocchio

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.


This version of Pinocchio tells a story of an extremely gullible, naive and morally confused wooden doll brought to life by a mystical blue fairy. Pinocchio (Mokku) is characterised as having many character faults which he must learn to overcome in order to be worthy of being granted humanity. Some of these character faults include selfishness, rudeness, insensitivity, indolence, obstinacy, over- trusting, self-pity, stupidity, disobedience, compulsive lying, arrogance, greed, cowardice, recklessness, cruelty, foolishness and an inability to learn from mistakes.

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.

Movie version

Saban also released a movie version of the series. The movie was about 90 minutes long, and was released on multi play countries. It was not a movie based on the series or a sequel to it, but a collection of various episodes. Saban cut out many scenes, and also cut out a scene of the last episode where Pinocchio is shot multiple times by a group of soldiers.

English Episodes Titles

  1. The Puppet is Alive!
  2. I Don't Want to be a Puppet
  3. Mind Your Father!
  4. Who Can I Trust?
  5. What is a Heart?
  6. Devil living in my mind (1/2)
  7. Devil living in my mind (2/2)
  8. A bad fairy is calling
  9. I'm a pitiful devil man
  10. When my nose gets longer
  11. I want to know motherly love
  12. I won't be tricked any more
  13. I've got dreams too
  14. My oak tree is still there
  15. Tree limbs are alive too
  16. Please teach me, monkey
  17. My hopes are flying away
  18. Dolls are special too
  19. Don't lose! The magic violin (1/2)
  20. Don't lose! The magic violin (2/2)
  21. The treasure I found
  22. Goodbye, professor Sadness
  23. Let's grow a money tree
  24. The dream that disappeared with the mermaids (1/2)
  25. The dream that disappeared with the mermaids (2/2)
  26. Don't die, grandpa
  27. Thank you for giving my heart wings
  28. My legs are growing roots!
  29. Stand in front of the mountain bandits!
  30. I'm not a pierrot!
  31. Escape towards freedom
  32. Farewell ship bound for the dark continent
  33. Toys get mad too!
  34. I'm Mokku, God's child!
  35. Monster forever protecting the grave
  36. My magic is bravery and wisdom
  37. Throw your bad dreams away in the desert!
  38. I'm sick of the circus
  39. Fly away, bubble! To my old home
  40. Trounce the fire-eating circus master
  41. Stand up, genie of the great tree
  42. Goodbye, bad fairy
  43. Break out of the fortress of death
  44. Burn me!
  45. Snow woman, rest in peace
  46. Chase off the bounty hunters
  47. All trees are my friends
  48. Confront the anger of the sea devil
  49. The island of hell is dead
  50. Come back to life, island of hell
  51. Eve's bell of sadness rings
  52. Dream upon a shining star

Japanese Episode Titles

  1. ぼくは悲しい木の人形
  2. 人形なんてもういやだ
  3. お願い、ぼくを信じて
  4. 人形だって勇気があるんだ
  5. 人間はなんてすばらしい!
  6. ぼくの心にすむ悪魔(前)
  7. ぼくの心にすむ悪魔(後)
  8. 悪い妖精はよんでいる
  9. ぼくは哀れな悪魔人間
  10. ぼくの鼻がのびる時
  11. 母の愛がしりたいの
  12. ぼくはもうだまされない
  13. ぼくにだって夢がある
  14. ぼくの樫の木はのこった
  15. 木の脚だっていきている
  16. 教えてよ、サル先生
  17. ぼくの希望がとんでゆく
  18. 人形だってえらいんだ
  19. 負けるな!魔法のバイオリン(前)
  20. 負けるな!魔法のバイオリン(後)
  21. ぼくがさがした宝物
  22. カナシミ博士さようなら
  23. おかねのなる木を探せ
  24. 人魚とともに消えた夢(前)
  25. 人魚とともに消えた夢(後)
  26. おじいちゃん死なないで
  27. 心の翼をありがとう
  28. ぼくの脚に根がはえた
  29. 山賊どもの前にたて
  30. ぼくはピエロじゃない!
  31. 自由にむかって逃げるんだ
  32. 別れの船は暗黒大陸へ
  33. オモチャだっておこるさ
  34. ぼくは神の子モックだ!
  35. 墓守怪獣いつまでも
  36. ぼくの魔法は勇気と知恵だ
  37. 悪い夢は砂漠にすてろ!
  38. サーカス一座はもういやだ
  39. 飛べ!気球 ふるさとへ
  40. 立ち上がれ大木魔神
  41. 悪い夢の精よさようなら
  42. 死の砦を打ち破れ
  43. ぼくを燃やして!
  44. 雪女よ 静かに眠れ
  45. 賞金稼ぎをおっぱらえ
  46. 木はみんなぼくの仲間
  47. 海魔王の怒りにいどめ
  48. 地獄島は死んでいる
  49. よみがえれ地獄島
  50. 悲しいイブに鐘がなる
  51. ぼくの夢は輝く星に


Song Title Position Singer
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

DVD Availability

A selection of Pinocchio episodes are available in the UK at


External links

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