Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse
Mickey's House of Villains
|Television Programs|| House of Mouse
|Video Games|| Pinocchio
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
|Voice|| Charles Judels (original)
Thurl Ravenscroft (Disney on Parade)
Ray Templin (Pinocchio's Daring Journey)
|Portrayed by||Brent Spiner (in Geppetto)|
|Other names|| Fire-eater
|Personality||Evil, volatile, greedy, short-tempered, deceptive, cruel, selfish, devious, exploitative, abusive, eccentric, funny|
|Goal||To make money with his puppet show (and later Pinocchio)|
|Allies||Pinocchio (formely), Honest John and Gideon|
|Likes||Money, food, wine, presenting spectacles, applause, getting what he wants|
|Dislikes||Not getting his way, fake coins, being swindled, not getting what he wants|
|Quotes|| "Good night, my little wooden gold mine!"
―Stromboli, in response to Pinocchio’s desperate plea of freedom!
Stromboli is an antagonist in Disney's 1940 animated feature film Pinocchio. He is a puppeteer, showman, and gypsy with an ambition to make good money even if it's at the expense of others.
Though eccentric and entertaining, Stromboli is also a very threatening and imposing villain; for this reason, he is often cited as one of Disney's darkest villains.
When he is first met, Stromboli only appeared to be a man trying to make money through puppets, rather fun but has a bit of a temper. After Pinocchio proves successful he reveals his true colors: brutal, cruel and vicious. When upset, he begins to curse in Italian and might not be that intelligent, as Foulfellow once said he passed Gideon off as a puppet to make a few bucks. Stromboli is presumably stingy as he only gives Honest John and Gideon a small bag of coins for Pinocchio.
Hamilton Luske directed live-action footage of most of the characters in the film as reference for the animators. The performance model for Stromboli was story man T. Hee, who was rather corpulent at the time and who was dressed in full gypsy attire provided by the Character Model Department. Luske later admitted that this reference footage was underacted, but felt that it was necessary to keep Stromboli's animator, Vladimir Tytla, from doing "too many things."
It is thought by some that casting Tytla as animator of Stromboli was typecasting of a sort - like the puppet master, Tytla was tall, imposing, vibrant in personality and of ethnic origin. While working on Stromboli's animation of the character, Tytla would act out each sequence in his room - this performance could be heard throughout the studio; Eric Larson "thought the walls would fall in".
Stromboli is first referred to in the film by Honest John, who notices a poster advertising that "that old rascal's back in town". Honest John fondly recalls trying to sell Gideon, with strings tied to his arms and feet, to the puppet master (though it's apparent that this ploy didn't work). When the two crooks see Pinocchio on his way to school, the fox realizes that Stromboli would pay handsomely for a moving puppet without strings. They befriend the little wooden boy and, convincing him that the theater is "the easy road to success", take him to Stromboli's Caravan, singing Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor's Life For Me) as they go, with Jiminy Cricket in pursuit.
That evening, Stromboli is first seen, announcing his show to a large crowd that has gathered around the caravan. The puppet master advertises Pinocchio as "the only puppet who can sing and dance without the aid of strings". He conducts the band (unseen, below the stage) while Pinocchio and the puppets perform I've Got No Strings. Pinocchio trips and falls, nose first, onto the stage; Stromboli is initially furious at the puppet's clumsiness and even threatens him in the middle of the show, but lets him continue after realizing that the audience is delighted. Stringed puppets are used as well. After the completion of the show, Stromboli walks onto the stage and accepts both the audience's applause and their money.
Later that night, Stromboli is counting the day's substantial earnings, which made up 300 gold coins, while enjoying a meal of link sausage and praising Pinocchio on his performance. He realizes that if one town would pay that much gold, then Pinocchio will make him an unimaginable pay once he is exposed to the entire world, and as such decides Pinocchio will stay with him. As he counts, he discovers a metal washer among the money and rants angrily at the idea that it was passed off as a coin, before finally giving it to Pinocchio instead for his efforts. The puppet thanks him before trying to return home to Gepetto's Workshop, promising him that he would "be back in the morning", but the idea of Pinocchio ever leaving makes Stromboli burst into laughter. He immediately grabs Pinocchio by the collar.
Pinocchio, unaware of Stromboli's ulterior motives, laughs along with him until the man suddenly throws him in a cage and locks him in, declaring that the cage will now be his home, where he will always be able to find him, and that the puppet now belongs to him. The puppet master enthuses that they will tour the great capitals of the world, and that Pinocchio will make him lots of money. When the puppet is too old to perform, Stromboli will use him for firewood. Pinocchio begs for his freedom, but Stromboli is able to shut him up. Laughing, he leaves Pinocchio alone with the lifeless puppets in the carriage, and the wooden boy hears the caravan start to move. Not knowing what else to do, Pinocchio summons Jiminy, who comes to Pinocchio's aid but is unable to free him. Ultimately, it is the Blue Fairy, giving him a second chance, who opens the cage, allowing the puppet and his conscience to escape. Stromboli is not seen again in the film (though it can perhaps be assumed that he reacted to Pinocchio's absence in a typical emotional outburst).