Disney has released the first trailer for Pinocchio, a brand-new live-action adaptation of their 1940’s animated classic of the same name. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, using a script that he co-wrote with Chris Weitz, the film intends to redefine “when you wish upon a star” with a cast of familiar and fresh new faces in hopes that fans of the original will love the new telling while also attracting a new generation.
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) May 31, 2022
Currently, there are two live-action adaptations of Pinocchio awaiting release. Netflix has one, directed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, and more, that is set to debut later next year. The other, is the one that most of us are familiar with, the Disney one. It stars Tom Hanks as Geppetto, an old shopkeeper who whittles a piece of wood into a toy puppet and wishes he could be a real boy. Well, that wish comes true to a certain extent, as the Blue Fairy grants his wish but informs Pinocchio that he must be brave, truthful, and unselfish.
For the film, Pinocchio is played by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (The Haunting of Bly Manor). Joseph Gordon-Levitt voices Pinocchio’s friend and conscience, Jimmy Cricket. And Cynthia Erivo plays the enchanting Blue Fairy. Other cast members include Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John; Academy Award® nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans is The Coachman. Also in the cast are Kyanne Lamaya as Fabiana (and her marionette Sabina), Giuseppe Battiston as Señor Stromboli and Lewin Lloyd as Lampwick.
The trailer itself relies more on familiarity, which isn’t too had to do considering what it’s based on, using memorable lines of dialogue like “star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…” and reintroducing us to other beloved characters like Figaro and Cleo, Geppetto’s pet cat and fish, respectively. And we get to hear a small sample of Erivo’s rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star,” which sounds reverent and refreshingly new.
Disney may have found some box office success in releasing their big-budget live-action adaptations of animated classics theatrically, but for some films, they are better off making their debut on the studio’s exclusive streaming service, Disney+. Which is unfortunate considering how some of our favorite titles have proven to be worthy of a big screen release.
Here’s the very brief plot synopsis for “Pinocchio:”
Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live action retelling of the beloved tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy.
Disney+ has scheduled Pinocchio to launch on September 8, which also happens to be Disney+ Day.