Umberto Spano Release date1936 (Never released) Based onThe Adventures of Pinocchio
by Carlo Collodi
The Adventures of Pinocchio (Italian: Le avventure di Pinocchio) was an Italian animated film directed by Raoul Verdini and Umberto Spano. Created and produced by Cartoni Animati Italiani Roma (CAIR) and distributed by De Vecchi, this cartoon was based on the famous children's book The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. The film was intended to be the first animated feature film from Italy, but was never completed; if the film was finished, it also would have been the first cel animated feature film ever, beating Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the first animated film adaptation based on the novel of the same name, It is now considered lost: only the original script and a couple of still frames are all that survived of the film.
In January 1935 the politician Alfredo Rocco decided to commission the first Italian animated movie at the newly formed CAIR. The studio chose to faithfully adapt the novel by Collodi and, after having bought the rights from the publisher R. Bemporad & Figlio, began to work. To date, it is not clear who were the directors of the film. Some sources cite Umberto Spano and Raul Verdini, while others Romolo Bacchini and his son Carlo, who were also the photographers.
The model sheet was made by Verdini and Barbara Mamelli, designers of the satirical newspaper Marc'Aurelio. Romolo Bacchini was also the producer and the artistic director with Verdini. The scenography was entrusted to Mario Pompei with Franco Fiorenzi and Gioacchino Colizzi. The composer has sometimes been credited as Umberto Giordano. Inking was done by Carlo Bacchini along with Ettore Ranalli, Ennio Zedda and Amerigo Tot.
The planned amount of drawings for a year of work was 110,000, with an estimated budget of ₤1 million, and the international distribution by De Vecchi was scheduled for fall 1936.
However, the production of the film was very troubled due to various technical problems, as Barbara recalled in June 1992. At the end of the year, CAIR, having exhausted the financing, ceased the activities, and the material was left unused. The film included about 150,000 drawings and 2,500 feet of film, estimated to last 105 minutes. Raoul Verdini attempted to finish the film in 1940, trying to convert it in color with the Catalucci system, but he failed, and the film remained unfinished. Walt Disney would later buy the rights of the book for his second animated feature film, Pinocchio.