Pinocchio


1h 48m 2002

Brief Synopsis

A live-action adaptation of the classic children's tale which centers on a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy. Despite guidance from the beautiful Blue Fairy and the love of his father, Geppetto, Pinocchio's curious spirit leads him into one wild adventure after another.

Film Details

Also Known As
Pinocchio (Benigni), Pinokyo
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2002
Distribution Company
MIRAMAX
Location
Terni, Italy; Pignone, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m

Synopsis

A live-action adaptation of the classic children's tale which centers on a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy. Despite guidance from the beautiful Blue Fairy and the love of his father, Geppetto, Pinocchio's curious spirit leads him into one wild adventure after another.

Film Details

Also Known As
Pinocchio (Benigni), Pinokyo
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2002
Distribution Company
MIRAMAX
Location
Terni, Italy; Pignone, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m

Articles

Pinocchio - The Roberto Benigni Remake


REPORT #1 by Pablo Kjolseth

In Carlo Collodi's original children's fantasy of PINOCCHIO, the first chapter of which was published in 1881, Pinocchio is chained, his feet are burned off, and he is hung from an oak tree. Of course, Walt Disney would later soften things up quite a bit for the animated version he released in 1943. Now comes a new and live-action theatrical release that tries to straddle that divide, helmed by the Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni. The star, director, and comedian has gone on record to note that he was born 10 kilometers from Collodi's village and was even referred to by the viewing public that saw him originally on TV as "Little Pinocchio" due to his Tuscany dialect. The idea to live up to this nickname really got rolling when Federico Fellini called up Benigni to discuss the idea of shooting PINOCCHIO with Benigni as the star. Pre-production resulted in several makeup shots and even a short movie, but that version was not to be - Fellini passed away in 1993. Now, with Benigni on both sides of the camera of what has turned into the most expensive Italian film ever made (clocking in around $40 million), PINOCCHIO opened with a roar - in Italy, at least. On Benigni's home-turf the film opened on almost a third of the 3,000 screens available there and pulled in almost $9 million on its first weekend.

Something must have gotten lost in the translation to the U.S., because here it opened on even more screens but pulled in only $1.1 million during its opening weekend - and this is after Miramax spent another $21 million on marketing and - dubbing? Now, as far as dubbing goes, the tongues sent in to do the gabbing are not too shabby and feature the likes of Glenn Close, John Cleese, and many others.

Unfortunately for Miramax, the charm of watching a Benigni film is not just in watching Benigni, but also in hearing him - and not Breckin Meyer dubbing for him. And, as most Benigni fans know, his wife and constant co-star, Nicoletta Braschi (who stars in PINOCCHIO as the Blue Fairy), is also worth hearing.

Okay, understandably, when releasing a G-rated family film you're going to want to do a dubbed version for small kids who would otherwise need a double-dose of Ritalin just to sit through the opening credits. But for mature adults who don't mind subtitles, dubbing is not just jarring, it is wrong. Had the film been dubbed AND subtitled it would have at least afforded the latter camp with some distraction from the deranged abomination of seeing Benigni's hyper-kinetic face spelling out each vowel only to have grotesquely mismatching sounds emanate forth instead. Not to slight Breckin Meyer, he was great as a singer in the pop band Du Jour from JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, but his vocals simply don't fit in Benigni's mouth. Discerning viewers would do well to heed the rumor that Miramax might release a subtitled version and cool their heels until then.

REPORT #2 by Lang Thompson

A wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy entered the world in 1881 with the first serial appearance of The Adventures of Pinocchio, a short novel by Carlo Collodi, pseudonym for journalist, translator and sometime theatrical censor Carlo Lorenzini. Though translated into English in 1892 and first filmed in 1911, the book didn't make a huge impression outside Italy until it was adapted into an animated film by Disney in 1940. From then on, Pinocchio has become a familiar figure in the cultural landscape, inspiring other films and books. He's even made a couple of appearances in the past year in comic books, as a disgruntled guest in Fables and on the cover of an issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

But Pinocchio isn't done yet. Francis Ford Coppola worked for years on a new film about the lively puppet only to see the project become entangled in studio politics and business maneuvering. Now Italian comic Roberto Benigni has his own version in theatres. Benigni first announced his plans for a film in the summer of 2000, just as Coppola was going through the courts to fight for his version. By spring of 2001, Benigni had locked in on the project with the studio Miramax (who raked in the bucks with Benigni's earlier Oscar-nominated Life Is Beautiful, 1997) and shooting started at the end of that June.

Benigni has claimed that his film is closer to Collodi's book than any previous one. Considering that in the original work, Pinocchio gets hanged, bound and his feet burned off, this certainly should be far from Disney territory. On the other hand, Benigni decided to appear as the boy puppet himself despite his age of 49 years so he's not playing too closely to the book (not to mention reality, which has never been a strong point of Benigni as obvious from the factually dubious Life is Beautiful). Begnini also cast his wife Nicoletta Braschi as the Blue Fairy and supposedly required secrecy contracts of everybody working on the set (a former chemical factory near Terni, Italy also used in Life Is Beautiful). There are also rumors that Miramax--ever ready with the editor's scissors--has trimmed the film to fit American audiences along with dubbing it into English. The English-language voices come from a truly odd assortment of actors that includes James Belushi, Glenn Close, Cheech Marin, Eddie Griffin, Queen Latifah, Regis Philbin, Eric Idle and John Cleese (as The Talking Cricket, no Jiminy here). With a budget of $45 million, it's reportedly the most expensive Italian movie ever made and has already broken Italian box office records.
Pinocchio - The Roberto Benigni Remake

Pinocchio - The Roberto Benigni Remake

REPORT #1 by Pablo Kjolseth In Carlo Collodi's original children's fantasy of PINOCCHIO, the first chapter of which was published in 1881, Pinocchio is chained, his feet are burned off, and he is hung from an oak tree. Of course, Walt Disney would later soften things up quite a bit for the animated version he released in 1943. Now comes a new and live-action theatrical release that tries to straddle that divide, helmed by the Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni. The star, director, and comedian has gone on record to note that he was born 10 kilometers from Collodi's village and was even referred to by the viewing public that saw him originally on TV as "Little Pinocchio" due to his Tuscany dialect. The idea to live up to this nickname really got rolling when Federico Fellini called up Benigni to discuss the idea of shooting PINOCCHIO with Benigni as the star. Pre-production resulted in several makeup shots and even a short movie, but that version was not to be - Fellini passed away in 1993. Now, with Benigni on both sides of the camera of what has turned into the most expensive Italian film ever made (clocking in around $40 million), PINOCCHIO opened with a roar - in Italy, at least. On Benigni's home-turf the film opened on almost a third of the 3,000 screens available there and pulled in almost $9 million on its first weekend. Something must have gotten lost in the translation to the U.S., because here it opened on even more screens but pulled in only $1.1 million during its opening weekend - and this is after Miramax spent another $21 million on marketing and - dubbing? Now, as far as dubbing goes, the tongues sent in to do the gabbing are not too shabby and feature the likes of Glenn Close, John Cleese, and many others. Unfortunately for Miramax, the charm of watching a Benigni film is not just in watching Benigni, but also in hearing him - and not Breckin Meyer dubbing for him. And, as most Benigni fans know, his wife and constant co-star, Nicoletta Braschi (who stars in PINOCCHIO as the Blue Fairy), is also worth hearing. Okay, understandably, when releasing a G-rated family film you're going to want to do a dubbed version for small kids who would otherwise need a double-dose of Ritalin just to sit through the opening credits. But for mature adults who don't mind subtitles, dubbing is not just jarring, it is wrong. Had the film been dubbed AND subtitled it would have at least afforded the latter camp with some distraction from the deranged abomination of seeing Benigni's hyper-kinetic face spelling out each vowel only to have grotesquely mismatching sounds emanate forth instead. Not to slight Breckin Meyer, he was great as a singer in the pop band Du Jour from JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, but his vocals simply don't fit in Benigni's mouth. Discerning viewers would do well to heed the rumor that Miramax might release a subtitled version and cool their heels until then. REPORT #2 by Lang Thompson A wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy entered the world in 1881 with the first serial appearance of The Adventures of Pinocchio, a short novel by Carlo Collodi, pseudonym for journalist, translator and sometime theatrical censor Carlo Lorenzini. Though translated into English in 1892 and first filmed in 1911, the book didn't make a huge impression outside Italy until it was adapted into an animated film by Disney in 1940. From then on, Pinocchio has become a familiar figure in the cultural landscape, inspiring other films and books. He's even made a couple of appearances in the past year in comic books, as a disgruntled guest in Fables and on the cover of an issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. But Pinocchio isn't done yet. Francis Ford Coppola worked for years on a new film about the lively puppet only to see the project become entangled in studio politics and business maneuvering. Now Italian comic Roberto Benigni has his own version in theatres. Benigni first announced his plans for a film in the summer of 2000, just as Coppola was going through the courts to fight for his version. By spring of 2001, Benigni had locked in on the project with the studio Miramax (who raked in the bucks with Benigni's earlier Oscar-nominated Life Is Beautiful, 1997) and shooting started at the end of that June. Benigni has claimed that his film is closer to Collodi's book than any previous one. Considering that in the original work, Pinocchio gets hanged, bound and his feet burned off, this certainly should be far from Disney territory. On the other hand, Benigni decided to appear as the boy puppet himself despite his age of 49 years so he's not playing too closely to the book (not to mention reality, which has never been a strong point of Benigni as obvious from the factually dubious Life is Beautiful). Begnini also cast his wife Nicoletta Braschi as the Blue Fairy and supposedly required secrecy contracts of everybody working on the set (a former chemical factory near Terni, Italy also used in Life Is Beautiful). There are also rumors that Miramax--ever ready with the editor's scissors--has trimmed the film to fit American audiences along with dubbing it into English. The English-language voices come from a truly odd assortment of actors that includes James Belushi, Glenn Close, Cheech Marin, Eddie Griffin, Queen Latifah, Regis Philbin, Eric Idle and John Cleese (as The Talking Cricket, no Jiminy here). With a budget of $45 million, it's reportedly the most expensive Italian movie ever made and has already broken Italian box office records.

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Limited Release in United States December 25, 2002

Released in United States Winter December 25, 2002

Released in United States February 7, 2003

Released in United States on Video July 15, 2003

Released in United States May 2002

Released in United States January 2003

Shown at Cannes Film Festival (market) May 15-26, 2002.

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival January 9-20, 2003.

Turi Ferro, who was to play the role of Geppetto, died May 10, 2001.

dubbed English

Limited Release in United States December 25, 2002

Released in United States Winter December 25, 2002

Released in United States February 7, 2003 (original Italian version; New York City and Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video July 15, 2003

Released in United States May 2002 (Shown at Cannes Film Festival (market) May 15-26, 2002.)

Released in United States January 2003 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival January 9-20, 2003.)