Disney Reveals First Look At Live-Action Pinocchio And It’s Terrifying

Disney is doing Pinocchio in 2022 (again) and we have a first, horrifying look at the wooden puppet who desires more.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

If one were told that there was a remake of Pinocchio, the tale of a wooden puppet who foolishly desires to experience all the joys of humanity, happening in 2022, it would not seem that weird. The original Adventures of Pinocchio novel by Carlo Collodi is in the public domain, which makes it fair game for any animation studio needing copyright-free content. However, if one were told there were two Pinocchio remakes happening in 2022, it would probably seem a little weird. Then, if one were finally told there were three different versions of Pinocchio being released in 2022, it would be utterly bewildering. However, that is the situation we find ourselves in as a culture, and we have the first look at the new Disney version of Pinocchio. Behold:

Pinocchio 2022

This particular Pinocchio 2022 is courtesy of the Walt Disney Company and Academy Award-winning, motion capture-obsessed filmmaker Robert Zemeckis. If you have ever seen Robert Zemeckis’ film of the Old English epic poem Beowulf or his adaptation of the holiday children’s book The Polar Express, you would know that he has a somewhat mixed reputation when it comes to computer-animated/live-action hybrid films. It seems his Pinocchio 2022 remake will be continuing his journey through the uncanny valley. 

The new Robert Zemeckis Pinocchio 2022 looks pretty much like the version from the 1940 animated classic. There is the jaunty yellow cap, the red suspender trousers, blue vest, and bowtie combo, plus the traditional Disney character white gloves that do not bear much research if you do not want to be depressed. However, the transition to live-action does not really serve a character whose entire nature is to be a facsimile of humanity and thus inherently kind of horrifying. 

The Disney remake of Pinocchio in 2022 is part of their now years-long campaign of “live-action” films that are pretty much attempts at photorealistic computer animation with some human elements. So far, major Walt Disney classics like Dumbo, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King have already been remade and there is no sign that the company will slow down as long as the dollars keep rolling in. This new version of Pinocchio will star Tom Hanks as Geppetto, Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket, who we dearly hope will not be some kind of Lovecraftian monstrosity when eventually revealed.

In addition to the Robert Zemeckis Pinocchio film, 2022 will see a version of the story directed by horror filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro and a Russian version titled Pinocchio: A True Story by director Vasiliy Rovenskiy. The Guillermo Del Toro version will be the director’s first animated film and since it is being produced by Netflix will not include some of the familiar imagery that originated in the 1940 Disney film. This might be a rare situation in which a version of a particularly dark and violent 19th-century children’s story made by one of the preeminent masters of modern horror actually ends up being less terrifying than the Disney one.