Begun, the “Pinocchio” wars have.
This fall there are two high-profile adaptations of Carlo Collodi’s immortal story (originally published in serialized form, starting in 1881) coming to streaming services. Before Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion version is due closer to Christmas, we are treated to Robert Zemeckis’ lavish re-imagining, which is scheduled to debut on Disney+ Day, Sept. 8, and stars Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo and Luke Evans alongside the vocal talents of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Lorraine Bracco and Keegan-Michael Key. And if you were wondering about this version, a new trailer should illuminate things.
And honestly, it looks like a pretty straightforward remake of the Disney animated classic (largely considered the greatest accomplishment of Walt Disney Animation and certainly the crown jewel of the movies Walt personally supervised) – there’s a lot of vibrant colors and dynamic camera movement and the character animation looks pretty great and true to the original. It’s hard because not only is it a remake of a classic, but in the years since some of the more memorable aspects of the original have been deemed taboo (what are the chances Pinocchio takes a puff from a cigar in this version?)
With any luck, this will have more artistic interpretation than, say, Jon Favreau’s nearly shot-for-shot remake of “The Lion King,” which was released theatrically back in 2019 and became a huge smash.
Zemeckis co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Weitz, who kick-started Disney’s live-action adaptation of animated classics phase with his screenplay for “Cinderella” (they also produced). This new version of “Pinocchio” features the classic songs as well as new songs from composer Alan Silvestri (Zemeckis’ longtime collaborator) and Glen Ballard. DNEG and MPC provided the visual effects.
“Pinocchio” drops on Disney+ Sept. 8.