In the Disney animated film Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket is, well, a cricket named Jiminy.

He serves as Pinocchio's conscience, and could be said to represent Jesus Christ as part of the Biblical imagery in Pinocchio.

He also serves as an instantly recognizable Disney mascot, much as Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell do.

The Mormon side of the family taught me a truckload of euphemisms - including "Jiminy Cricket!" as a euphemism for "Jesus Christ!" Terribly peculiar, eh?

Also: Jiminy Christmas.
In the original tales of Pinocchio written by Carlo Collodi, as opposed to the sissy Disneyfied version, Pinocchio smushes the little cricket after being annoyed by his moralizing.

Of course, he comes back as a spirit and Pinocchio regrets of his evil ways, but that always gave me a thrill when confronted with the smiling bastardization that most people think of as Jiminy Cricket. Just another example of how our true fairy tales are being infantized and incidentally copyrighted forever by the mighty Disney.

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