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Updated: Nov 3, 2023

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Jiminy Cricket is Walt Disney's version of the Talking Cricket, a fictional character created by Italian writer Carlo Collodi for his children's book The Adventures of Pinocchio. The Talking Cricket had apparently been living in Geppetto's house for 100 years. Disney adapted the book into the animated film Pinocchio in 1940. Originally Jiminy Cricket was an unnamed, minor character who gets killed by Pinocchio before reappearing as a ghost in Collodi's novel. He was then transformed in the Disney version into a comical and wise partner who accompanies Pinocchio on his adventures. Actually, he wasn't even introduced until 9 months into production and was the first sidekick to have a starring role in another Disney animated feature film, Fun and Fancy Free.

The character's name is a play on the exclamation "Jiminy Cricket!", a playful version of the term "Jesus Christ," which was mentioned in Pinocchio's predecessor, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by the seven dwarfs themselves. Another example occurs in the film The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy (Judy Garland) cries, "Oh! Oh! Jiminy Crickets!" when she is startled by the Wizard's pyrotechnics. It is also used in the Mickey Mouse cartoon "Brave Little Tailor".

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The character was designed by Ward Kimball, who also worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Ward Kimball had been very disappointed and was about to leave the Disney studio when most of the work he did for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was cut from the final version. However, Walt Disney talked him to staying by giving him the position of supervising the animation of Jiminy Cricket. Kimball thought that the look he created for the character was “disgusting,” so he took a different approach and made him much more cartoonish.

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He has been voiced in English by several different actors. He was originally performed by singer Cliff Edwards, who voiced the character for Disney through the 1960s and sang Jiminy's most famous song, "When You Wish Upon a Star". Eddie Carroll took over the role as Jiminy's voice actor. Carroll played the role for 37 years, until his death in 2010. Raphael Sbarge voices Jiminy in Once Upon a Time where he portrays him in human form as well.

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Jiminy also appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meet-able character. If you meet this lovable character in the parks and get his autograph, you’ll often find that the initial “J” is drawn as an umbrella, Jiminy’s signature prop! He also appears in the attraction, Pinocchio's Daring Journey at Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland. It is a dark ride themed to the movie from which he originated. A tiny version of him can also be spotted on the It's a Small World ride in Disneyland California. His signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” accompanies the Walt Disney Pictures logo at the start of every Disney animated film, and the ships of the Disney Cruise Line play the first seven notes of the familiar melody as their horn signals.

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Jiminy Cricket has become one of the most enduring symbols of The Walt Disney Company.

He personifies what the Blue Fairy says a conscience ought to be: Lord High Keeper of the knowledge of right and wrong, counselor in moments of temptation, and guide along the straight and narrow path.

Edited By: Ryder Lazo

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