Pinocchio was Walt Disney’s second animated feature film, and one of its songs, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” has become the company’s theme song, so it’s almost astonishing that the puppet with no strings has taken this long to have a live-action version. The first trailer for the Disney+ film was released on May 31st, and it looked incredible, yet there was something oddly absent.
Pinocchio isn’t in the trailer for Disney’s forthcoming Pinocchio live-action film. It is the latest in Disney’s current drive for live-action adaptations of animation classics, which include Aladdin, Mulan, and The Lion King. Given the wide range of techniques used to bring the magical worlds of those animated films to life, such as Will Smith’s painted blue body in Aladdin and photorealistic CGI in The Lion King, it was difficult to predict how Pinocchio would handle its titular character – and the Pinocchio trailer opted not to provide an answer.
Is omitting Pinocchio in the trailer a good idea?
The promotion for Pinocchio appears to be centered on Tom Hanks’ star power — an actor with enough clout to bring fans to a picture. From a business viewpoint, relying on Tom Hanks to promote the film makes sense, but keeping Pinocchio out of the first trailer for the film seems odd. It’s possible that the choice was made to retain the mystery for a magical revelation later on, but given that the first look at Pinocchio was previously released in the film’s first official images, it doesn’t make much sense.
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) May 31, 2022
Using CGI or actual makeup to create fresh versions of well-known cartoon characters is always tricky. In the 2019 Pinocchio film, the wooden figure’s appearance was too artificial to resemble a face while also being too human to resemble a marionette. Even before the film’s release, the aesthetics for 2019’s Pinocchio drew criticism, and another live-action Pinocchio coming out only two years later might raise similar worries.
The official photos for Disney’s Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchio should relieve such fears since Pinocchio looks just like the cartoon version from the 1940s. Disney, on the other hand, is inducing excessive worry in people who have not seen the initial visuals by not featuring Pinocchio in the official trailer — by far the most crucial piece of early promotional material. Not only that, but despite the fact that the poster shows how fantastic Pinocchio looks, the character’s absence in the trailer might indicate that the CG isn’t as excellent as it appears to be at the moment, casting doubt on the picture, which is set to release in September 2022.