Italian theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Roberto Benigni|
|Produced by||Gianluigi Braschi|
|Based on||The Adventures of Pinocchio|
by Carlo Collodi
|Music by||Nicola Piovani|
|Edited by||Simona Paggi|
|Distributed by||Medusa Distribuzione|
|Box office||$41.3 million|
Pinocchio is a 2002 Italian fantasy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. It is based on The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, with Benigni portraying Pinocchio. Filming took place in Italy and Kalkara, Malta. It was dedicated to costume and production designer Danilo Donati, who died on 1 December 2001.
The film was released in Italy on 11 October 2002 by Medusa Distribuzione, which was met with mixed reviews. It received an English-language dub in the United States in December 2002, released by Miramax; this version was critically panned. Pinocchio was selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 75th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.
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A magical log falls off a wagon and rolls through an Italian town causing considerable damage and some injuries. It comes to rest in front of the house of Geppetto, a poor wood carver who carves a puppet named Pinocchio from it. To Geppetto's surprise, the puppet comes to life and becomes very mischievous. Geppetto sells his only coat to provide schoolbooks for Pinocchio. However, the rambunctious puppet goes on several adventures, dreading school.
He joins a puppet theater and is almost eaten by the gigantic puppet master Mangiafuoco. Pinocchio lies to get out of the situation, and the puppet master gives him five gold coins. He then meets The Fox and the Cat, two crooks who trick him out of his money, telling him to plant the coins in the ground to grow a "money tree" in the Meadow of Miracles outside of Grabadimwit. The watchful Blue Fairy, who encourages him to give up his obnoxious ways, saves him from a hanging by the disguised crooks with the help of her servant Medoro. She gives Pinocchio medicine and when he refuses it, coffin-bearing rabbits dressed as Undertakers appear. Pinocchio immediately consumes the medicine, lying that he wanted to drink it in the first place but that the Fairy would not let him.
When the Blue Fairy asks Pinocchio about the gold coins he had, Pinocchio lies to her and says he lost them, causing his nose to grow. The Blue Fairy, knowing of his constant fibbing, tells him that there are two types of lies: those with short legs and those with long noses. Pinocchio promises the Fairy that from there on he will try his best to be good.
Pinocchio encounters the Fox and the Cat again who remind him of digging his coins in the Meadow of Miracles outside of Grabadimwit. While Pinocchio is away waiting for the tree to grow, the Fox and the Cat dig up the coins and run off. Pinocchio finds that the coins have been dug up as the Talking Cricket is told about it. Pinocchio brings up the Fox and the Cat's crimes to a gorilla judge and his fellow judges and is sentenced to five years in jail for crimes of foolishness. While in jail, he meets Lucignolo (Leonardo in the English dub), another truant thief who is let out soon after Pinocchio is admitted in. Geppetto continues his search for Pinocchio. Four months later as part of a celebration for the birth of a King's son, he is set free with the other inmates when he convinces the warden that he is a crook. He stumbles across the grave of the Blue Fairy, who supposedly died of grief because of his antics. A Dove tells Pinocchio that she has seen his father heading out to sea to look for him. Pinocchio arrives at the shores where he finds Geppetto on his ship.
After nearly drowning in an attempt to save his father, he washes up on the shore of a city where he helps a lady carry her pitchers. Upon arriving at her house, Pinocchio discovers that she is actually the Blue Fairy in disguise. She states that she faked her death in order to forgive Pinocchio. Once again starting anew, he is on his way to school when he gets into a fight with his schoolmates. One of them tries to throw a book at him, but when he ducks the book hits his classmate Eugenio instead, who is knocked unconscious. Thinking that he is dead, the others run away leaving Pinocchio at the scene. The carabineer arrive where they have Eugenio taken to the hospital while Pinocchio is arrested. Upon nearing the Blue Fairy's house, Pinocchio escapes from the carabineer. Pinocchio ends up in a trap that is placed by a grape farmer to take the place of his late guard dog Melampo in order to guard his crops. He is later freed by Lucignolo and Pinocchio returns to the Blue Fairy's house where he ends up having to admit that he didn't arrive at the local school. The Blue Fairy forgives Pinocchio for what happened. The next day, the people at the school arrive at the Blue Fairy's party where the schoolmaster presides over this. Pinocchio leaves to look for Lucignolo.
Pinocchio is told by Lucignolo where he is on a trip to "Fun Forever Land", where all is play and no work or school after Lucignolo explained to Pinocchio about it. Later that night, Pinocchio and Lucignolo board a stagecoach bound for Fun Forever Land. When at Fun Forever Land, Pinocchio has some fun while the Talking Cricket is trying to find Pinocchio. When the Talking Cricket finds Pinocchio, he tries to warn every boy present that they will turn into donkeys if they don't leave Fun Forever Land. The next day, Pinocchio awakens to find that he has sprouted donkey ears and goes to find Lucignolo. The Talking Cricket arrives and tells Pinocchio that boys turn into donkeys who are sold for hard labor as the Talking Cricket explains this to Pinocchio. Pinocchio is soon changed into a donkey and is sold to a circus under its ringmaster. During his performance, Pinocchio injures himself and is thrown into the sea by the Ringmaster's clowns. When the Blue Fairy appears on the shore upon Pinocchio emerging from the water in his normal form, he vows to make up for his misdeeds to the Blue Fairy who starts to warn Pinocchio that a giant shark is pursuing him. Pinocchio starts to swim, but is swallowed by the shark. Upon being reunited with Geppetto with Pinocchio apologizing to him, they work together to escape from it's belly.
Pinocchio walks Geppetto to a farm owned by Farmer George in order to help Geppetto recuperate. While working on a farm owned by Farmer George, Pinocchio finds Lucignolo's donkey form dying in a stable on the farm. As Pinocchio is mourning his death, the farmer asks Pinocchio on how he knows the donkey. While weaving the baskets outside that night, Pinocchio is visited by the Blue Fairy, Medoro, and the Talking Cricket who are just passing by. As a reward for his efforts to strive for moral prudence, the Blue Fairy finally reforms Pinocchio and he becomes a real boy. The film ends with Pinocchio going to school at last, while his shadow, in the shape of a puppet, chases a butterfly into the countryside.
|Character||Original Italian actor||English dubbing actor|
|Pinocchio||Roberto Benigni||Breckin Meyer|
|Blue Fairy||Nicoletta Braschi||Glenn Close|
|Geppetto||Carlo Giuffrè||David Suchet|
|Talking Cricket||Peppe Barra||John Cleese|
|Lucignolo / Leonardo||Kim Rossi Stuart||Topher Grace|
|The Fox||Bruno Arena||Cheech Marin|
|The Cat||Max Cavallari||Eddie Griffin|
|Mangiafuoco||Franco Javarone||Kevin James|
|Ringmaster||Alessandro Bergonzoni||Regis Philbin|
Original Italian cast
- Giorgio Ariani - Host of the Gambero Rosso
- Mino Bellei - Medoro
- Sandro Dori - Melampo's owner
- Remo Masini - Schoolmaster
- Luis Molteni - Omino di Burro
- Corrado Pani - Giudice
- Vincenzo Cerami - Man with the Mustache
- Tommaso Bianco - Pulcinella
- Giorgio Noè - Boy #1
- Marco Tullio Cao - Carabiniere #3
- Dodo Otrecolli - Boy #3
English dub voice cast
- Jim Belushi - Farmer George
- Eric Idle - Medoro
- Queen Latifah - Dove
- Tony Abatemarco - Harlequin
- Tom Amundsen - Pulcinella
- Stephen Apostolina - Eugenio
- Erik Bergmann - Butterman
- Steve Bulen - First Doctor
- David Coburn - Carabiniere #1, Carabiniere #3, Undertaker Rabbit, Warder
- Rufus Collins - Carabiniere #2, Carabiniere #4
- Peter Gerety - Farmer, Mustache Man
- Nicholas Guest - Second Doctor
- Ray Iannicelli - Furcoat Man
- Steve Mellor - Fisherman
- Harry Murphy - Innkeeper
- Nicole Orth-Pallavicini - Lady with the Pitchers
- Bob Papenbrook - Pantalone
- Matthew Labyorteaux - Student
In the United States and Canada, Miramax released the film on Christmas Day with no advance screening. Miramax said that this is because they needed to do post-production looping to insert the English dub for its English-speaking release. Edward Guthmann, a film reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, thought that this was because Miramax knew the film would not be well-received, and sought to have it released before critics placed their opinions on the film. After the English dubbed version was poorly received, Miramax reissued the film in Italian with English subtitles.
In Italy and Europe, the film grossed over $7 million within the first three days of its release. The film went on to receive six nominations at the David di Donatello Awards, winning two in the process; it was also nominated for at the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.
The original release received mixed reviews, but the English dub was met with near universal critical panning. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the English-language version of the film, with 54 reviews, has a rare approval rating of 0% – meaning no favorable reviews whatsoever – receiving an average rating of 2.36/10. The site's consensus states: "Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project." Metacritic gave the film an 11/100 based on 15 critics, which suggests “overwhelming dislike”.
Critics found that, amongst other issues, Meyer being chosen as Benigni's voice was considered too young. Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times called the film "an oddity that will be avoided by millions of people", joking that "Osama bin Laden could attend a showing in Times Square and be confident of remaining hidden." Mitchell also criticized Benigni's decision to play the titular character, opining that his role as Pinocchio is "as believable as Diana Ross playing Dorothy in The Wiz".
- Worst Picture
- Worst Director
- Worst Screenplay
- Worst Actor (Roberto Benigni) — won
- Worst Remake or Sequel
- Worst Screen Couple (Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi)
- Pinocchio (2019 film) - starring Roberto Benigni
- "Pinocchio (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (22 December 2002). "Benigni brings 'Pinocchio' to life". USA Today. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- Guthmann, Edward. "Benigni's 'Pinocchio' -- so much deadwood". San Francisco Chronicle. December 28, 2002. Retrieved on September 25, 2009.
- Bruni, Frank (28 December 2002). "Pulling The Strings". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "The Worst of the Worst Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
- Mitchell, Elvis (26 December 2002). "FILM REVIEW; How Many Actors Does It Take to Make a Log Talk?". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Entire RAZZIE History, Year-by-Year: 1980–2008". The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation.