If you loved the classic animated version of Pinocchio, you’re in luck. The live-action Pinocchio release date is finally here, so you can check out the newest version of this timeless tale. Is Pinocchio 2022 just a copy of the original? Not quite. Disney’s made a lot of changes to update the movie.Read More »
Pinocchio Gets Some New Friends
Just like the original animated version, Pinocchio 2022 still has a supportive father named Geppetto, a supportive guardian called The Blue Fairy, and a cheerful friend named Jiminy Cricket. However, Disney has also added a few extra characters to round out the cast.
One of the most prominent is a seagull named Sofia. Fans of “The Sopranos” may recognize her voice because she’s played by Lorraine Bracco who plays Dr. Melfi in the HBO show. Another new figure to look out for is Fabiana. This new character is a young girl who loves dancing but has a metal foot brace that makes dancing difficult. She has her own puppet, a ballerina named Sabina, who also befriends Pinocchio.
Keep an Eye Out for Disney Homages
Like many of their other live-action movies, Disney uses the Pinocchio remake as an option to add a few cute little Easter eggs. Moviegoers who pay close attention to details may notice a few homages to other Disney classics happening in the background. On the walls of Geppetto’s workshop, you’ll find cuckoo clocks that show scenes from “Snow White,” “The Lion King,” and “Toy Story.” The “Toy Story” references are particularly cute since Tom Hanks plays both Geppetto and Sheriff Woody in “Toy Story.”
Disney Adds a Few Modern Wisecracks
For the most part, the Disney+ Pinocchio is still a timeless story set in a vaguely historic Italian town. However, they do include a few jokes that rely on modern references. This doesn’t mean everyone’s favorite puppet is suddenly speaking in TikTok slang, but you might notice a few small jokes. The main addition is the fact that Honest John promises to help Pinocchio become an influencer and jokes that a good stage name could be “Chris Pine.”
Pleasure Island Isn’t Quite as Raunchy
The 1940 Pinocchio is one of the few Disney films to show “adult” behavior. Disney created the movie before the company had developed its extremely sanitized, family-friendly image, so Pleasure Island showcased things you’d never see in a modern Disney movie. Originally, the bad boys drank beer, played pool, and smoked cigars before turning into donkeys.
Despite speculation that Disney would remain true to the original movie, smoking and drinking references aren’t present in the Disney+ Pinocchio. No one has a cigar or other form of tobacco, and characters make a point of clarifying that they are drinking root beer. For those who like darker Disney movies, rest assured though. Pleasure Island might be a little sanitized, but the donkey-transformation scenes are still fairly intense and gruesome.
Some of the Original Songs Are Swapped for New Tracks
For the most part, Disney has kept the classic soundtrack intact. Fan favorites, like “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “I’ve Got No Strings,” and “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee,” are all in the live-action version. In some cases, these songs are even improved by Disney casting renowned singers such as Cynthia Erivo in their remake.
However, Disney did choose to cut a few of the less-popular tracks from the animated version. “Give a Little Whistle” and “Little Wooden Head” are not included in the remake. Despite this decision, there are still plenty of great musical numbers. Pinocchio 2022 has four songs not found in the original. Geppetto gets two little jingles to sing, The Coachman gets a creepy musical number while luring children to Pleasure Island, and Fabiana has a charming ballad to sing.
The Ending Changes Entirely
We’ve saved the biggest difference between Pinocchio live-action vs animated for last. The plot follows most of the story beats of the original, but the ending changes entirely. Those looking forward to The Blue Fairy reviving a deceased Pinocchio and turning him into a real boy will be disappointed. Unlike the original animated film, none of this happens.
Instead, after Pinocchio and Geppetto escape from the whale, it is Geppetto who seems to die. In the new version, Geppetto lies lifeless on the beach while Pinocchio sobs. Depending on your viewpoint, either Pinocchio’s magic tears revive him or he wakes up after being knocked out. Either way, the father and son have a heartwarming talk. Geppetto tells Pinocchio that his actions show he’s a true boy, no matter how puppet-like he looks. As they walk home, Jiminy Cricket breaks the fourth wall to say that no one knows whether Pinocchio ever loses his puppet-like body. However, a brief glimpse shows his legs without any wooden hinges as the voiceover emphasizes that Geppetto loves Pinocchio for who he is.
Ultimately, there are enough changes in this movie to keep things fresh even for viewers who have watched the original countless times. Though some diehard fans might find the changes disconcerting, the end result is still a decent movie.
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