|“||You are in my domain now.||„|
|~ The Emperor of the Night|
The Emperor of the Night is the titular main antagonist of the 1987 animated fantasy film Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night. He is a powerful dark lord resembling a giant figure clad in a robe-like cloak filled with what seem to be fire and darkness, with a headless, vampiric face, red eyes, and four claw-like arms. He rules an other dimension called the Empire of the Night, a secret, evil kingdom filled with all sorts of nightmares and illusions.
He was voiced by legendary actor James Earl Jones, who also played Darth Vader in Star Wars, Ommadon in The Flight of Dragons, Kibosh in Casper: A Spirited Beginning, Lavan in My Little Pony'n Friends, and Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian.
The Emperor rules the Empire of the Night, whose gateway is within a seemingly abandoned ship he uses to traverse the human world and seek out victims. He lures people in his domain to trick them into willingly giving away their freedom, so as to feed on their souls and empower himself. The more powerful he becomes the more his Empire grows, and the weaker the Good Fairy (Pinocchio's Fairy Godmother) becomes. His goal is to weaken the Blue Fairy enough to remove her as an obstacle, and take over the world.
The Emperor of the Night enlisted the aid of an amateur puppeteer named Puppetino with the promise of wealth and fame to lure more people, especially children into a traveling carnival that came from the Emperor's ghost ship.
Return and Fall of the Emperor of the Night
At the beginning of the story, a bee named Lieutenant Grumblebee finds a large ship on a school bus. He witnesses Puppetino establishing his demonic circus and flies away.
One year after the events described in the 1940 animated Disney film Pinocchio, Pinocchio is tricked into trading Geppetto's precious jeweled box for a fake ruby gem given to him by two con-artists, Scalawag and Igor. He looks for work at the carnival and is entranced by a blonde marionette named Twinkle.
Puppetino uses Twinkle to lure Pinocchio into joining the carnival, before spinning an organ grinder to make Pinocchio dance against his will, transforming back into a puppet. Puppetino attaches strings to Pinocchio's hands and feet and hangs him up with Twinkle. The Good Fairy then appears and tells Pinocchio that he lost his freedom because he took it for granted. She reminds him of the importance of choices before restoring him to human form, but warns him that she will not always be there to help him.
Pinocchio later sets out to retrieve the jeweled box, but he ends up arguing with his new conscience Willikers and traveling alone. He finds Scalawag and Igor, who inform him that the box is at the carnival, which has returned to the ship. The three pursue the ship by boat, but their embarkation is suddenly swallowed by the ship, which Scalawag eventually but fearfully recognizes as the "Empire of the Night". Willikers then arrives, carried to the river by Grumblebee, and enters Pinocchio's pocket.
Moments later, a boatman offers Pinocchio a ride to find the jewel box, which he accepts, leaving Scalawag and Igor behind. The boatman tells Pinocchio that he will find the box is in the darker end of the cavern they are in, but uses promises of fame and games to tempt Pinocchio into going to the "Neon Cabaret", in the brighter end.
Pinocchio then encounters a doorman, who tells him that he can go and play inside if he signs a contract. Pinocchio impulsively agrees, running inside and drinking from a fountain of green liquid that causes him to hallucinate and black out. Pinocchio awakens on a stage, where a ringmaster says that his fans are waiting and Pinocchio begins dancing. Scalawag and Igor, who have followed Pinocchio, try to get Pinocchio's attention but are drawn offstage while he is distracted by Twinkle.
Puppetino appears and Pinocchio turns to find the boatman, who transforms into the doorman and then the ringmaster. The shape-shifting man tells Pinocchio that he has reached the "Land Where Dreams Come True" and reveals his true identity: the Emperor of the Night.
[Pinocchio is told to sign a contract that will make him a puppet again, but he refuses and gets imprisoned with Scalawag and Igor, who lament that they have succumbed to their desires without considering the consequences.
Pinocchio is later brought back before the Emperor of the Night, who gives him the jeweled box but reveals that he has shrunk Geppetto to a few inches and trapped him inside the box. Pinocchio accepts to sign away his freedom in exchange for the others, and transforms back into a living puppet. However, the Emperor has no intention of fulfilling his side of the bargain now that he has got what he wanted. As Pinocchio is calling him on his treachery, the Emperor states that he needs his victims to sign by choice.
Incensed, Pinocchio defies the Emperor and his bravery grants him access to the Blue Fairy's power, which manifests into a blue aura. The Emperor attacks Pinocchio with blasts of magic but the blue light protects him and the ship catches fire. Puppetino attempts to escape, but the Emperor turns him into a puppet as punishment for his cowardice, causing him to burn to death. Pinocchio, Scalawag, Igor and Geppetto flee, taking Twinkle with them, and manage to reach the blazing ship's deck but the Emperor attacks them. Pinocchio eventually chooses to sacrifice himself for his friends' sake and plunges into the Emperor's cloak. The power of Pinocchio's selfless choice coupled with the Blue Fairy's magic overwhelm and destroy the Emperor of the Night, sinking his Empire.
On the shore, Geppetto (who has returned to his original size), Scalawag and Igor find Pinocchio, once again a real boy. The Blue Fairy appears and proudly tells Pinocchio that he no longer needs her. She gives Geppetto his jeweled box and turns Twinkle into a real little girl, before leaving the group to celebrate.
Powers and Abilities
The Emperor of the Night is extremely powerful. He has full control of his Empire, which he can make appear as he wants while he alone possesses various, tremendous magical powers; he is able to instill and manipulate fear; to create illusions and solid mirages; to conjure ghostly shades and to transform them into human-like people; to turn people into animated (or lifeless) puppets; to curse his victims; and so on and so forth. The Emperor can also transform into any aspect he wants (all sharing ominously glowing red eyes), shows off with streams of dreamy rainbows through the sleight of his claw-like hands, turn his fingers into hydra-like monsters with different scary faces, and strike down fiery lightning bolt-like blasts of magical energy at his prey.