In fact, it feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had a new entry in the long-running series of live-action remakes of Disney’s animated classics, but that holiday will end very soon because we know that Pinocchiodirected by Robert Zemeckis, is now set to arrive on Disney+ on September 8th. While the movie is only a few weeks away, we haven’t seen much of it before, let alone main character Pinocchio himself, but the full trailer is here and, well, it looks like Pinochio.
We saw in the single still image that was previously released that the CGI Pinocchio to accompany the live cast was going to be essentially the 3D version of the same look from the original animated film, and now, with a full trailer, we let’s see pretty much everything else in the film will really bring the animated film to life.
The trailer shows off the supporting characters from the awesome Pinocchio cast, like Foulfellow and Gideon, who are still a fox and a cat, respectively, while other characters like Stromboli are still human. The world of Pinocchio doesn’t really make sense, but those are just details.
Disney tried a variety of different strategies when making live-action versions of animated films with varying levels of success. We’ve seen movies that told the same story as the Disney movie from another perspective, or seen movies that worked more like sequels or prequels than straight-up remakes, but Pinocchio is clearly set up to follow movies like The Lion King Where the Lady and the Trampwhich are pretty much the same story in a new medium.
If there is a place where we are given a clue as to where the new Pinocchio can deviate from the old, it is with the character of Geppetto. We see a brief scene in the trailer, of Pinocchio’s father wondering why he’s not home, a scene not in the 1940 film. Geppetto largely disappears from the film once Pinocchio goes to school and only reappears when the wooden boy finds his father inside a whale.
It’s no surprise that Geppetto has an expanded role in this new live-action release. You don’t hire Tom Hanks to play the role and then give him a bit part. And if there’s us anywhere the new version of Pinocchio could perhaps say something new with the material, it is in the relationship between the father and the son, which does not have much time to develop in the original film before the boy goes to the adventure.
Some of Disney’s live-action remakes have done pretty well, finding ways to say something new or just present the same material in a new way. We will know if Pinocchio is one of those when the movie arrives on Disney+ Day, Sept. 8.