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Simply Speculation: Pinocchio and The Invitation

 One of the first things that stood out to me about Intro: The Invitation, was how much it felt like the “Toyland” from The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi in 1883, reimagined as “Pleasure Island” in the Disney retelling of the story in 1940. 

In both the original story and the remake, this “Toyland” or “Pleasure Island” is portrayed as a place where the boys are encouraged to do anything and everything they want to do. In the Disney remake, as soon as the doors are opened and the audience experiences this place for the first time we hear the boys being told to “Eat all you can! Be a glutton! Stuff yourselves!” and the scene of a carnival unfolds before our eyes. 

Disney’s Pinocchio, 1940

However after the boys are occupied inside the walls, the doors and shut are locked, sealing them in. 

Disney’s Pinocchio, 1940

And we discover that the true purpose behind this place is to catch the boys and turn them into donkeys to then be sold into labor.
Disney’s Pinocchio, 1940

ENHYPEN’s Intro: The Invitation from their upcoming mini album Border: CARNIVAL has a lot of similarities. 
First let’s look at the lyrics. 

Yeah, feel like I’m in paradise. x2
Purchasing pleasures
In selling hours of dross,
Here in the land of rebel pow’rs 
Gloriously decorated 
An invitation calls to us
From the carnival
Of the dazzling night
So we beat on the door 
Of this flipped world
Brought here by fate
Whether the harvest feast of light or a festival of blood
Time harmonizes laughs and screams
Death once dead
There’s no dying then
So we gladly swallow time 
Like it’s our last breath 
Yeah. Feel like I’m in paradise x2
A dizzying flicker
A light that blinds and deceives
From the great beyond 
That voice rings out again
Here, come inside the castle, take everything

This place feels like paradise, much like the first impression of “Pleasure Island”. We are told it is a land that is “gloriously decorated”. That it is a “carnival of the dazzling night” calling to them. And we are given images of masks, chandeliers, fireworks, champagne, and an array of colors to show the hypnotic temptation of the place they are seeing.
The Invitation 
The Invitation 
The Invitation 

The Invitation 
The Invitation 

The line “purchasing pleasures in selling hours of dross” feels very similar to the theme of “Pleasure Island”. There the boys are taking their pleasures as they want, it in exchange for the working in salt mines or circuses later. The idea of immediate gratification of desires paid for by hours of waste. (See Disney picture above)

Echoing the door being shut and trapping the boys, and the crates caging them in after they are transformed into donkeys, we also have images in Intro: The Invitation that hint at imprisonment. 

There are high gates shown from the point of view of one looking up at them, sometimes on either side, 

The Invitation 
The Invitation 

we have chains hiding in the flames on either side as our character enters, 

The Invitation 


and we have a door shutting tight.
The Invitation 

But for me, the biggest connection I feel between Pinocchio’s “Pleasure Island” and Intro: The Invitation is in fact the invitation we are given at the end. In Pinocchio, the boys are encouraged come inside, eat what they want, do what they want, be as reckless as they want, be as greedy as they want. No one will stop them. They are told nothing of the consequences. They are told nothing of the risk. 

ENHYPEN’s narration tells us that they are not sure if this is a “harvest feast of light or a festival of blood”. They talk of “laughs and screams” being harmonized implying that the cacophony of sounds make it hard to tell if there are joys or terrors waiting for them. 

But they tell us that they feel invincible. “Death once dead, there is no dying then.” (Vampire theme anyone?) 
And they are hungrily spend their moments in a ‘you only live once’ fashion. “So we gladly swallow time like it’s our last breath.” 

They tell us that the lights “blind” and “deceive”, hinting that although they feel like they are in paradise, they are not, but that as they are deceived, they do not know that yet.

And then same as with “Toyland” and “Pleasure Island” we have the final tantalizing invitation. 
“Here. Come inside the castle. Take everything.”

The Invitation 
The Invitation 
The Invitation 

I wonder what the consequences will be....