Wish upon a star. Do it.
Pinocchio is filled out with a cast of colorful characters...and a lot of villains. This was a fun ranking to do. I enjoyed going through each of these characters. So many of them have so many things about them that I like, so this actually was a pretty difficult ranking. I shifted my placements around a few times, but I think I got it down pat. So here is my ranking of all twelve characters from Pinocchio.
Monstro isn't even really a character. He just acts as this big boss battle in the final act of the movie. I thought the sequence involving him was actually the weakest part of the movie. It's absolutely ridiculous that Geppetto gets swallowed by a whale while looking for Pinocchio. I get it's from the book, but it's just dumb. I don't like this character. I also think he is animated badly, but it seems pretty difficult to draw a giant whale, so I don't really knock them for that.
Gideon also isn't really a character. He just sits there with Honest John and doesn't talk. I don't even really know what purpose this character serves besides being faithful to the book and having a few moments that evoke a chuckle. Mel Blanc, who voices Bugs Bunny, was originally supposed to voice this character, which would've probably increased the size of his role substantially, but it didn't work out, so we instead have the most forgettable Disney sidekick of all time.
Lampwick is just annoying. He's a really, really awful boy that Pinocchio befriends on Pleasure Island. He's mean to Jiminy. He smokes and drinks and pushes Pinocchio to do all sorts of terrible things. Despite all of this, he also gets one of the most horrifying fates you could think of. His transformation into a donkey is absolutely terrifying. It makes for one of the most famous scenes in the movie, so he gets points for that. But I don't like this guy.
Cleo isn't much of a character, but she has some fun moments. She's a cute little fish. Geppetto talks to her. Her dynamic with Figaro is funny. I don't really have much to say about her. I think she's a good addition to the cast of characters and just fills out the movie. Obviously she doesn't talk and doesn't really contribute to the story, though, so I can't put her higher.
Figaro is a character that I did not remember when I watched Pinocchio again. But he's a nice addition. He has a little bit more to do than Cleo, especially in the beginning. He's cute and funny. He's Geppetto's sidekick of sorts and works as a little add-on with that character. They give him some genuinely adorable moments that I appreciate. Not a major character, but, like Cleo, one that just fills out the movie a little.
7. The Coachman
You wanna talk about screwed up? This dude is pure evil. He is terrifying. He has barely any screentime, but whenever he is on screen, terrible, terrible things happen. He's the one responsible for all of the boys turning into donkeys on Pleasure Island. He shows absolutely no remorse and truly believes that they deserve being donkeys because they're not good kids. When you think about how screwed up the Coachman truly is, it sticks with you. He's scary.
Geppetto really isn't given a lot to do in the movie. We spend the first twenty minutes with him and then he essentially disappears for the whole middle of the movie. There's one quick scene with him, but he isn't very prominent throughout the film at all. I said this in my ranking of the songs, but I was not a fan of the voice acting for Geppetto, which knocks his character back quite a bit. I just think this character was used in a very strange context, but it's really poignant when you finally see Pinocchio become a real boy and Geppetto reacts to that. He's a solid character that's really taken back by just having an annoying voice.
Stromboli is probably the most popular villain from this film, and for good reason. He's a good character. I love how quickly he can switch from being friendly to being truly evil and terrifying. This is one where I really like the voice talent. It takes a good actor to portray that quick switch. He's very memorable, and is definitely one of the good parts of this movie.
4. The Blue Fairy
The Blue Fairy is another character that does a lot with a teeny bit of screentime. She essentially acts as the moral compass for Pinocchio (Yes, Jiminy too, but you know what I mean), and she works as that. She has a lot of these philosophical and wise lines that I really liked. I love her character design, too. I did not expect her to be one of my favorite things about this movie, but she absolutely is.
3. Honest John
My favorite villain of the film was actually Honest John. He is such a great character. He's so obviously manipulative, but he has this odd charm to him that attracts even the audience, despite you knowing that he's trying to do bad things to Pinocchio. He's also really, really funny. The voice actor here did a great job with this hyperactive performance. I was surprised at how much I loved this character. He was great.
Our titular main protagonist himself comes in second. Pinocchio has a great character arc as he learns how to choose between right and wrong. This journey that you see him go on is exciting and emotionally resonant because you are in it with him. His eventual turn into a real boy is so, so satisfying. I think the main problem here is that he sometimes feels like a side character in his own movie. He doesn't feel like he's in control. Everyone around him is manipulating him or telling him what to do for most of the film, so it gives him a bit of an identity crisis until the end. Still a great character, though.
1. Jiminy Cricket
Jiminy is the best. He's the most memorable and just overall best character in this film. Part of that is that he feels like he's the main character. You're with him from the beginning, so that automatically makes him feel like he's the closest to the audience. He's extremely charming and likable. I love his look. I love his voice acting. I just love him. He has a journey himself as he learns how to be Pinocchio's conscience. Jiminy Cricket has remained one of the most iconic Disney characters of all time, and for good reason. He's amazing. I love him.