As Disney+ Day is fast approaching, the studio is making sure we all remember that one of the big launches for the day will be Robert Zemeckis’ new take on ‘Pinocchio’.

Carlo Collodi’s tale was originally published in serial form as ‘The Story of a Puppet’ way back in July 1881. The publication stopped at Chapter 15, but popular demand meant it resumed in February 1882. Re-released in single book form in 1883, it has been hailed as one of the greatest works of Italian literature.

It has been adapted many times for the screen – probably most famously in Disney’s own 1940 animated version, which took home Oscars for original song and score.

Tom Hanks is once again reuniting with his ‘Cast Away’/’Forrest Gump'/’Polar Express’ director Zemeckis for this latest blend of actors and effects. Hanks here plays Hanks’ Geppetto, the woodcarver who builds Pinocchio and treats him as if he were his own son.

‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’s Benjamin Evan Ainsworth will be bringing vocal life to the title character, who dreams of becoming a real boy and heads out on a quest to make that happen.

Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), Tom Hanks as Geppetto, and Figaro in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio.'

(L-R): Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), Tom Hanks as Geppetto, and Figaro in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,' exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Also either acting or providing voices here? Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Pinocchio’s guide Jiminy Cricket; Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key as “Honest” John; Lorraine Bracco as a new character, Sofia the Seagull; and Luke Evans as The Coachman. Some will come to the puppet lad’s aid, while others have more nefarious plans in mind.

This new trailer gives us our clearest look yet at Pinocchio in action, and Zemeckis’ effects team has certainly hewed to the look of the character from the animated version. His quest for humanity, meanwhile promises an epic adventure of danger and wonder, all sprinkled with some usual Disney fairy dust.

Plus, when you hire Cynthia Erivo, you have someone who can belt out a song or two and that certainly sounds like her covering classic ‘Pinocchio’ tune ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’.

Whether this new movie can lodge itself inside the imagination of audiences the way that the cartoon example did remains to be seen; Disney’s rooting through its animated canon for movies to transform this way have been a mixed bag so far. But there’s no denying Zemeckis’ ability to make cinematic magic.

Yet given the popularity of the puppet boy for adaptations, Zemeckis’ new version will not just be competing with its own studio history. Guillermo del Toro has a darker, stop-motion version due on Netflix this coming December. So Disney does at least have a head (or a long nose) start.

‘Pinocchio’ will premiere on Disney+ on September 8th, alongside a variety of other new shows and movies.

Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), and Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio.'

(L-R): Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), and Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,' exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,'

Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,' exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio.'

Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,' exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,' exclusively on Disney+.

(L-R): Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,' exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio.'

Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio,' exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pinocchio

"The timeless classic."
68
PG1 hr 45 minSep 8th, 2022