- “You will make lots of money...... FOR ME! And when you are growing too old, you will make good FIREWOOD!”
- ―Stromboli revealing his sinister intentions to Pinocchio[src]
Hamilton Luske directed live-action footage of most of the characters in the film as a 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 he 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 the animator of Stromboli was typecasting of a sort - like a 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".
When he is first seen, Stromboli only appeared to be a man trying to make money through puppets though is also extremely short tempered and adverse to humiliation as seen by an outburst when Pinocchio falls down stairs whilst on stage. He overcomes this quickly though however, appearing to show a soft, patient side and allows the show to proceed, however this is later revealed to be a mask to hide his true nature. After Pinocchio and his puppet show proves extremely successful and nets him good earnings, Stromboli praises the puppet and promises to make him famous, showing that Stromboli is not beyond expressing gratitude to others who are of great financial use to him. Despite this he still takes advantage of Pinocchio's lack of common sense by rewarding him with a fake coin for his performance while keeping all the real money for himself.
However after Pinocchio attempts to return home to his father, Stromboli is revealed to be an extremely greedy, cruel, sadistic and violent man willing to do anything to earn vast sums of money and openly reveals that he will harshly enslave Pinocchio for the rest of his days to earn money and will personally dispose of him once he is old and useless by turning him into firewood, exemplifying his cruelty and sadism. He is possibly even more greedy than the Coachman himself as it is revealed he barely paid Honest John and Gideon anything for bringing him a live puppet. When angered, Stromboli is shown to be brutal and vicious, even threatening to smack Pinocchio unless he became quiet.
Stromboli is obese and has black, balding hair. His beard is black as well. He has tan skin and his lower lip is pink, while his upper lip is red.
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 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 three hundred 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 becomes angry at the idea that it was passed off as a coin, and begins to curse in Italian, but, suddenly stops when he remembers that Pinocchio is listening. He finally gives it to Pinocchio instead for his efforts. The puppet thanks him before trying to return home to Geppetto's Workshop, promising him that he would "be back in the morning", but the idea of Pinocchio leaving makes Stromboli burst into laughter. He immediately grabs Pinocchio by the collar as the puppet tries to leave and takes him to the back corner of his caravan while laughing hysterically.
Pinocchio, unaware of Stromboli's ulterior motives, laughs along with him until the man suddenly throws him in a birdcage and locks him in, declaring that the cage will be his new home 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. Horrified, Pinocchio demands for his freedom, but he is instantly silenced when Stromboli suddenly stomps the whole caravan, shaking everything inside, as he loudly barks at him to shut up, threatening to knock him silly before sadistically bidding him good night. Laughing evilly, he leaves Pinocchio alone with the lifeless puppets in the dark carriage and the wooden boy hears the caravan starting 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, who gives him a second chance and opens the cage, allowing the puppet and his conscience to escape. Stromboli is not seen again in the remainder of the film. But he is mentioned two times by Honest John when he and Gideon are in the Red Lobster Inn with the Coachman, who will be plotting to take the Stupid Little Boys to Pleasure Island to be turned into donkeys for his goal for money, and by Pinocchio when he encounters Honest John and Gideon again. It is also implied that he reacted to Pinocchio's absence in a typical emotional outburst upon discovering it too late.
Stromboli made an appearance in House of Crime where he is seen arguing with Percival C. McLeach. Later that same episode, Stromboli was imprisoned with other Disney Villains as suspects of mysterious disappearances.
Stromboli is the main antagonist of the TV Film, Geppetto, in which he is portrayed by Brent Spiner.
After Geppetto regrets his wish for Pinocchio to be alive, Stromboli makes a deal with the boy and decides to hire him on as his main attraction. He convinces Pinocchio to sign a lifetime contract to grant him guardianship/ownership of the Stringless Puppet for his traveling marionette show. When Geppetto, after learning what it means to be a father, loving your children despite the fact they aren't perfect, The Blue Fairy arrives to take Pinocchio away, telling Geppetto she can not break a contract and gives Pinocchio to Stromboli, despite her reluctance. Geppetto asks her in return to turn him to wood, stone, or clay, as living without Pinocchio is like living without his heart. Touched by his actions, she turns Pinocchio into a real boy, making him useless to Stromboli, who is then chased away by The Blue Fairy's Magic.
In the game, Stromboli appears in animatronic form as a character in The Float Yard, a graveyard of parade floats.
In the Game Boy game Pinocchio, Stromboli played a minor role and merely appeared in two cutscenes.
Stromboli was featured as an enemy in the 1989 game Mickey Mouse.
Stromboli is a hard-to-find character in the Disney Parks as a walkaround. Stromboli also appears in a limited amount of Disney Villains related merchandise.
Stromboli's Wagon is a shopping kiosk in Fantasyland, located nearby the attraction in the various parks. He also makes a few appearances during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
In the former Tokyo Disneyland attraction, Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour, Stromboli appears in the opening room when Pinocchio's portrait transforms into one of Stromboli, alongside the other hero paintings becoming the villainous counterparts.
Stromboli also appears in the live show, Wishes, on a poster during the Pinocchio segment.
He does appear in the attractions at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, with the attraction beginning around his puppet theater with Pinocchio's performance immediately followed by Stromboli trapping Pinocchio in a birdcage.
- Stromboli was one of six Disney villains to be nominated for a position in AFI's 50 Greatest Villains list (though he did not appear on the final list).
- Stromboli's name in the original Italian story by Carlo Collodi was "Mangiafoco" which is translatable from Tuscan dialect as "Fire-eater", while his animated counterpart is named after Stromboli, an Italian volcanic island (a dish named "stromboli" may have been named for the same island).
- For this reason, in the Italian dub of the movie the character is called "Mangiafuoco" (a more modern spelling of the same word). The name "Stromboli" is said only one time by Honest John, when he introduced the puppeteer as "Stromboli, also known as Mangiafuoco".
- He is very different from the character in the original story - Mangiafoco, in the original book, is portrayed as being initially gruff, but capable of showing kindness, and who gives Pinocchio money which he is supposed to bring to Geppetto.
- Charles Judels, the voice of Stromboli, also did the voice of the Coachman.
- According to Yōichi Kotabe, a long-time designer for the Mario videogames, the physical design for Wario was partly derived from Stromboli.
- His "QUIET! SHUT UP! Before I knock you silly!" line has become an internet meme when he mostly tells villains and characters from other films to shut up, especially the Queen of Hearts.
- ↑ Pinocchio: Mister Honest John took me to see Mister Stromboli. But he was real mean.
- ↑ William Andureau (December 06, 2018). "Les confidences du dessinateur historique des personnages Nintendo". Le Monde. Retrieved December 14, 2018 (English translation available here)