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Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic

Walt Disney’s second feature-length animated film was nothing less than epic in its vision and in the magnitude of its technical achievement. This volume recounts the full fascinating history of the making of the film, and is sumptuously illustrated with images that celebrate the lush visual magic of Pinocchio.

The Center Theatre

            The theater where Pinocchio enjoyed its world premiere in February 1940, New York’s Center Theatre, proved to be a fascinating topic in its own right. If you’ve seen the book, you know that I devoted a sidebar to the Center’s own colorful history. But even in that sidebar, I had only enough space for a quick summary of highlights. Here, in this forum, we can go into a little more detail.

T. Hee on the radio

            At the time of Pinocchio’s release in 1940, the Disney and RKO forces mounted a wide range of publicity activities. I commented on some of them in the book, including T. Hee’s trip to New York. Thanks to his unusual name and colorful personality, Hee’s New York visit became a little publicity campaign in itself, producing several newspaper interviews—and an appearance on Fred Allen’s popular radio program.

Westbrook Pegler weighs in

             Among the material I didn’t use in the book was a vast abundance of press coverage. Pinocchio was such a cultural event in 1940 that it triggered a great outpouring of comment in the press, and I could only use a few highlights in the book. Below is a highlight that wouldn’t fit.

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