The Terrible Dogfish

"Monstro" redirects here. For the Marvel Comics character that sometimes went by that name, see Giganto. For the band, see MonstrO (band).
The Terrible Dogfish
The Adventures of Pinocchio character

Il Terribile Pescecane swallows Pinocchio, as drawn by Enrico Mazzanti
First appearance The Adventures of Pinocchio
Created by Carlo Collodi
Species Giant Dogfish
Gender Male

The Terrible Dogfish (Italian: Il Terribile Pescecane) is a dogfish-like sea monster, which appears in Carlo Collodi's 1883 book The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le avventure di Pinocchio). It is described as being larger than a five story building, a kilometre long (not including the tail) and sporting three rows of teeth in a mouth that can easily accommodate a train. So fearsome is its reputation, that in chapter XXXIV, it is revealed that the Dogfish is nicknamed "The Attila of fish and fishermen" (L'Attila dei pesci e dei pescatori).


The Dogfish is first mentioned in chapter XXIV, when Pinocchio, searching for his creator Mister Geppetto, is informed by a dolphin that he has likely been swallowed by the creature which "...for some days has come to wreak extermination and desolation in our waters". The Dogfish is later mentioned in chapter XXVI by Pinocchio's school friends on the Island of the Busy Bees (Isola delle Api Industriose), who tell him that the creature has been sighted on the coast, to coax Pinocchio away from school.

The Dogfish makes its first appearance in chapter XXXIV when Pinocchio, recently transformed from a donkey to his puppet form, has entered the sea to escape from his former handler. The Fairy with Turquoise Hair, in the form of a mountain goat, warns Pinocchio of the Dogfish too late, and the puppet is swallowed whole, along with a tuna whom Pinocchio befriends. Pinocchio discovers his father, who reveals that he has been trapped within the Dogfish for two years, surviving on ship supplies swallowed by the creature. When the Dogfish is revealed to suffer from asthma, a condition that forces it to sleep with its head raised from the water, Pinocchio carries Geppetto on his back and swims out of the Dogfish's mouth. When Pinocchio's strength begins to fail, the tuna helps them reach the shore.

In Disney version

"Monstro" as portrayed in Pinocchio (1940)

In the Disney film Pinocchio, the sea monster (named Monstro, the Portuguese word for monster) is portrayed as a sperm whale (albeit with the grooved throat of the rorqual), and first mentioned in a message from the Blue Fairy that Geppetto, sailing to find Pinocchio, has been swallowed by the creature.[1] The two search for the monster, but are frustrated by the fear the various nekton display at the mention of his name. Upon their encounter with him, Monstro swallows Pinocchio, who discovers Geppetto in Monstro's throat. There, Pinocchio frees them by starting a fire and thus prompting Monstro to expel them from his mouth, whereupon Monstro becomes enraged and pursues them, but fails to recapture them when Pinocchio pulls Geppetto into a cove and is presumably killed.[2] Monstro was animated by Wolfgang Reitherman, the go-to man for action sequences among Disney's Nine Old Men.

In Kingdom Hearts

The Disney version of Monstro also appears in the video game Kingdom Hearts as a supporting world, where Pinocchio and Geppetto temporarily live until being rescued. Within Monstro dwell many Heartless, including one called the Parasite Cage, which traps Pinocchio in its cage-like stomach, and delivers the puppet to Riku, who wishes to use Pinocchio's heart to rescue Kairi. After Kingdom Hearts is sealed, Monstro presumably returns to his world. He later reappears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, as a figment of Sora and Riku's memories. Monstro himself is not physically seen, but card rooms resembling his bowels are explored. In the Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Monstro appears as a boss fight in the Mirage Arena. He reappears as a sub-world in his homeworld, Prankster's Paradise, in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

In Bonkers (TV series)

In addition, Monstro had a guest star appearance in a Bonkers comic story titled "Whale of a Tale", published in the December 1994 issue of Disney Adventures. In this story, he is a polite actor playing a role in Pinocchio, who has not found work in the movies since then; he is duped by a gang of crooks, posing as a movie company, into breaking into banks for them to rob, and upon finding out the truth, helps Bonkers catch the criminals.

In Fantasmic!

The Whale also plays a notable role in the Disneyland version of Fantasmic!, and also has a smaller role in the Dancing Bubbles scene in the Disney's Hollywood Studios version.

Portrayals in other media



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