Pinocchio: The most terrifying tale ever written for children

  • Nicholas Barber
  • Film critic

from a movie "Pinocchio according to Guillermo del Toro"

image copyright Netflix

photo comment,

From “Pinocchio according to Guillermo del Toro” on Netflix

This year saw the release of two films based on the Pinocchio story, but it is not difficult to tell them apart.

The first is a Robert Zemeckis-directed live-action adaptation of the 1940 Walt Disney cartoon, with Tom Hanks as the lovable Geppetto, and a voice-over by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket.

The second, directed by Guillermo del Toro, tells the story of Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley), whose child is killed by a shell in World War II, and he carves a boy out of wood, during a drunken frenzy, during Mussolini’s fascist rule in Italy. In this version, the main character dies multiple times.

Guillermo del Toro tells BBC Culture: “In our movie, Pinocchio dies three or four times, and he has a dialogue with death, and the character of death teaches him that the only way to live as a human being means that he will die in the end. There are about 60 cinematic adaptations of the story of Pinocchio, and I bet an amount.” It is a lot of money that our approach does not exist in any of the other versions.”

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