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Disney dusts off one of its earliest classics for its latest live-action adaptation
In recent years, Disney has been finding success in remaking its animated classics as live-action movies. For its latest, the studio has delved way back to its second animated feature, 1940’s Pinocchio.
This new version is directed by Robert Zemeckis, known for beloved films ranging from Who Framed Roger Rabbit to Forrest Gump to the Back to the Future trilogy.
The storyline follows the original’s plot to a tee. Kindly clockmaker Geppetto (played by Tom Hanks) builds a wooden puppet and wishes on a star. His magical wish prompts a visit from the Blue Fairy (Cynthia Arivo), who brings the inanimate puppet to life (voiced by Benhamin Evan Ainsworth, currently seen in CBC comedy Son of a Critch and Netflix’s The Sandman). Disney+Pinocchio is accompanied on his adventure by Jiminy Cricket, a CGI-animated insect voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who serves as both companion and conscience to Pinocchio as the naïve wooden youngster—whose nose extends in length whenever he tells a lie—is duped by Honest John (Keegan-Michael Key) and winds up on Pleasure Island, where his bad behaviour ultimately transforms him into a donkey.
As the trailer for the live-action Pinocchio makes clear, the film’s Oscar-winning song “When You Wish Upon a Star” (which has become something of an anthem for the Disney brand) will also be featured, with a new version performed by Erivo.
The film’s premiere date, September 8, is not random; that date marks the second annual Disney+ Day, which is expected to include a flurry of announcements on upcoming projects we can expect to see on the streaming service next year.
Meanwhile, another version of the story is right around the corner, with Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated Pinocchio set to debut on Netflix in December.
Pinocchio premieres Thursday, September 8th on Disney+