A fond look back at how the two-time Oscar winning song and score from Disney’s Pinocchio took the form of soundtrack albums over the last 60 years.
All the Songs from Walt Disney’s PINOCCHIO
Disneyland Records DQ-1202 12” 33 1/3 RPM / Mono / 1959 / 18 minutes
Original Release: WDL-4002 (1956 / 26 minutes)
Reissues: DQ-1202 (1963); 1202 (1978 / 26 minutes)
CD Release: 1993
Executive Producer: Jimmy Johnson. Producer: Camarata.
Tutti Camarata watched Disney animated classics with his eyes closed. To the surprise of studio staffers who screened the films for him, the accomplished musician, arranger, conductor and composer did not want the visuals of the films to distract him from the musical structure of the soundtracks, which were not available to hear in their complete form any other way back in the 1950’s.
Voices: Cliff Edwards (Jiminy Cricket); Dickie Jones (Pinocchio); Walter Catlett (Honest John); Christian Rub (Gepetto); Patricia Page (Marionettes); Disney Studio Chorus.
Songs: “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “Give a Little Whistle”, “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor’s Life for Me”, “I’ve Got No Strings” by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington.
Pinocchio Instrumentals (Varying from Edition to Edition): “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “Little Wooden Head”, “Turn on the Old Music Box”, “The Coach to Pleasure Island” by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington; “Jiminy Cricket Theme”, “Village Awakening/Pinocchio Goes to School”, “Sad Reunion”, “Lesson in Lies”, “Desolation Theme”, “Out of the Sea/Sea Horses” by Leigh Harline; “The Blue Fairy Theme”, by Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith; “The Whale Chase” by Leigh Harline and Edward Plumb.
As the new Artists and Repertoire Director and Musical Director of Disneyland Records, Tutti developed a soundtrack album format that played as a suite, a listening experience, rather than a chronological rundown of the songs and music. That is one reason the songs and music were sometimes reorganized, even between sides one and two. Another reason vinyl soundtracks re-ordered the song sequence was because the outside grooves had more dynamic range than the inside grooves; tracks that required a lesser degree of bass lines and clarity were often placed on the inside.Disneyland Records President Jimmy Johnson first released the classic soundtracks to the adult record-buying market, like the albums for Ben-Hur and Singin’ in the Rain. The 1956 Disney soundtrack album covers were designed to be rich and sophisticated (they are treasured collectibles today) and they were offered at premium prices. But stores didn’t always know where to display them and the public still considered them for families and kids.
The record company went through several financial and organizational changes by 1959. Johnson had the albums re-designed and lowered the prices to $1.98. Some of the records themselves remained the same, but perhaps to appeal to the shorter attention span of children, both Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio were shortened.
The 1959 edition of Pinocchio, with the puppet boy dancing to Gepetto’s accordion (pictured above), was the most ubiquitous of all the Pinocchio soundtracks. Early in its release, it ran only 18 minutes. Later in the ‘60s, it was restored to 26 minutes but was still missing some selections from the initial release.
Short or long, big or tall, this is one of the all-time best scores in the history of motion pictures, animated, live action or whatever.
GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
“Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee” and “The Coach to Pleasure Island”
Sometimes the available tracks and sound mixes that were used in one decade were different than those in another. On the vinyl editions of Pinocchio, there was a vocal over the Pleasure Island reprise of “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee” and there were sound effects in “The Coach to Pleasure Island.” The music alone was heard on subsequent CD releases. This is how it sounded on vinyl.
Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection
Walt Disney Records D002065992 (Mono & Stereo / 2015 / Two CDs and 24-Page Book)
Producers: Michael Leon, Randy Thornton. Sound Restoration: Doug Schwartz, Jeff Sheridan. Research: Randy Thornton. Lost Chords Arrangements: Jerry Cleveland. Compilation: Randy Thornton. Mastering: Jeff Sheridan. Liner Notes: Jim Fanning, Russell Schroeder, Dave Bossert. Creative Direction: Dave Snow, Steve Gerdes. Package Design: Steve Gerdes. Original Painting and Illustrations: Lorelay Bové. Running Time: 76 minutes.
Voices: Cliff Edwards (Jiminy Cricket); Dickie Jones (Pinocchio); Walter Catlett (Honest John); Christian Rub (Gepetto); Patricia Page (Marionettes).
Pinocchio Songs: “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “Give a Little Whistle”, “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor’s Life for Me”, “I’ve Got No Strings” by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington.
Lost Chords: “No Strings”, “As I Was Sayin’ to the Duchess”, “Rolling Along to Pleasure Island” by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington; sung by Kate Higgins, Cindy Robinson, Randy Crenshaw and Jeff Gunn.
Bonus Tracks: “You (Are a Human Animal)”, “Mickey Mouse Club Book Song”, “I’m No Fool (In Water)”, “I’m No Fool (On a Bike)”, “I’m No Fool (As a Pedestrian)” by Jimmie Dodd; “Safety First” by Gil George and Wanda Sykes; “Stop, Look and Listen” by Gil George and George Bruns.
Instrumentals (varied from edition to edition): “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “Little Wooden Head”, “Turn on the Old Music Box”, “A Real Boy” by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington; “Kitten Theme”, “Old Gepetto”, “Off to School”, “So Sorry”, “Sinister Stromboli”, “Angry Cricket”, “Transformation”, “Monstro Awakens”, “Desolation Theme”, “Out of the Sea/Sea Horses” by Leigh Harline; “Clock Sequence” by Leigh Harline and Rees; “The Blue Fairy Theme”, by Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith; “The Whale Chase” by Leigh Harline and Edward Plumb.
This is the most comprehensive release of the Pinocchio soundtrack and score material ever assembled. While most of the score appeared on earlier CD’s, added in are three brand-new, fully orchestrated and newly sung “Lost Chords.” Until recently, albums and some DVD bonus features offered mono demo recordings of songs deleted from Disney films. Now, for posterity, the songs are lavishly mounted in the most authentic settings possible to give you an idea of what these fine songs would have been like in the “alternate universe in which they made it into the final films”. The creator of the Lost Chords project, Russell Schroeder, explains each track’s history.
Four bonus tracks are from the very first Mickey Mouse Club. Jiminy Cricket was frequently brought back to make appearances in Disney films and on the nighttime anthology show, but it was the Mickey Mouse Club in which Jiminy made the biggest impression on baby boomers, either seen on TV or in classrooms with his series of lightly instructional cartoons, all featuring the ‘50s modern look of TV commercials and UPA. The four tracks actually count up to five different songs, with three renditions of the most famous of the songs, “I’m No Fool.” The song “Mickey Mouse Club Book Song” never appeared on an LP or a CD, only on singles in the ‘50s, until this release.
The two discs are packaged in a hardcover book with illustrations by Disney animation artist Lorelay Bové, plus there is a gallery of animation concept art from the original production with notes by Dave Bossert of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Historian Jim Fanning provides an overall look at Pinocchio and its music.