It actually feels like it's been a while since we got a new entry in the long string of live-action remakes of Disney animated classics, but that vacation will be coming to an end very soon as we know that Pinocchio, directed by Robert Zemeckis, is now set to arrive on Disney+ on September 8. While the movie is only a couple weeks away we hadn't seen much about it previously, and even less of the title character Pinocchio himself, but the full trailer is here and, well, it looks like Pinocchio.
We'd seen from the one still image that had been released previously that the CGI Pinocchio to go along with the live-action actors was going to be basically the 3D version of the same look from the original animated movie, and now, with a full trailer we see that basically everything else about the movie is going to truly bring the animated film to life.
The trailer shows off supporting characters of the impressive Pinocchio cast, like Foulfellow and Gideon, who are still a fox and cat respectively, while other characters like Stromboli are still human. The world of Pinocchio doesn't exactly make sense, but these are just details.
Disney has tried a variety of different strategies when making live-action versions of animated films to varying levels of success. We've seen movies tell the same story as the Disney movie from an alternate perspective, or seen movies that functioned more as sequels or prequels than straight remakes, but Pinocchio is clearly set to follow movies like The Lion King or Lady and the Tramp, that are very much just the same story in a new medium.
If there's one place where we're given something of a hint of where the new Pinocchio may deviate from the old, it's with the character of Geppetto. We do see a brief scene in the trailer, of Pinocchio's dad wondering why he's not home, a scene that is not in the 1940 film. Geppetto largely disappears from the movie once Pinocchio heads to school and doesn't reappear until the wooden boy finds his father inside a whale.
It's not that surprising that Geppetto may have an expanded role in this new live-action version. You don't hire Tom Hanks to play the role and then give him a small part. And if there us anyplace where the new version of Pinocchio might be able to say something new with the material, it's in the relationship between the father and son, which isn't actually given a lot of time to develop in the original film before the boy goes off on his adventure.
Some of Disney's live-action remakes have actually turned out pretty well, finding way to say something new or simply present the same material in a fresh way. We'll find out if Pinocchio is one of those when the movie arrives on Disney+ Day, September 8.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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