Pinocchio’s Lampwick might just be the most degenerate character in the Disney canon. The buck-toothed ne’er-do-well isn’t a villain though or even particularly mean spirited - he is just one big ball of adolescent, instinctual id. He pretty much has all the vices covered too: he drinks, he abuses animals, he vandalizes, he smokes/chews tobacco products, he gambles and he fights. And, he does all of this to wanton excess for no other reason than it feels good. With all of this, Lampwick also figures to be one of the more relevant Disney characters in terms of having a real-life contemporary counterpart.
Lampwick drinks, he smokes and he fights… all whilst taking in the “Pleasures” of a popular beachside resort. Hmmm, who does this remind us of? If Pleasure Island is an analogous setting to, let’s say, Seaside Heights then Lampwick best evokes none other than Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. The parallels really are uncanny: they both have Italian roots, speak with a Brooklyn/Jersey accent and are more prone to jackassy behaviour the closer they are to the sea - heck, they even kind of look alike! The main difference lies in how they choose to blow off steam; where “The Situation” is prone to heightened levels of promiscuity and less violence, Lampwick is less interested in the female persuasion and would rather scrap in the Rough House and “poke somebody in the nose”... “just for the fun of it.” Really, they’re the same guy just at different stages of development (or lack thereof). Also, the whole idea of turning into a “jackass” is probably antiquated since, if Jersey Shore was a magical morality play like Pinocchio and not a schlocky reality show, “The Sitch” probably would’ve made a Kafkaesque transformation into a giant douchebag by the third episode.
So whatever came of Pinocchio's best friend, Lampy? The last we saw him he was a full-fledged donkey, mule kicking mirrors and crying for his “Mama.” We can only assume he lived out the rest of his days as a beast of burden, pulling the Coachman's mine trains into the salt mines. Sure, Lampwick was a punk with no regard for anything except for following his basest of instincts (including crying for his Mama) but he certainly didn't deserve what he got – he is just a kid after all. The optimist in me would like to think that Pinocchio's first adventure as a real boy was to make his way back to Pleasure Island to find a way to change all the children back into their human form and return them to their mothers. However, I fear that just as Mike was a douchebag well before Jersey Shore, Lampwick was also a jackass prior to Pleasure Island and there's no changing back to what was when you always were what you are.