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Film / Pinocchio (2002)

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Pinocchio is a 2002 Italian film. It is an adaptation of Carlo Collodi's book The Adventures of Pinocchio, directed by and starring (in the title role) Roberto Benigni.

Roberto Benigni would later be hired to portray Geppetto in Matteo Garrone's 2019 Pinocchio film.


  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Lucignolo is introduced earlier than in the book, when Pinocchio gets arrested.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Maestro Antonio was cut from the film and instead Geppetto finds the piece of wood first.
    • The Green Fisherman is also missing, as in almost every other adaptation of the book.
    • The tuna that saves Pinocchio and Geppetto inside the Dogfish is missing, but as a Mythology Gag Pinocchio briefly pretends to be a talking tuna to approach Geppetto when he finds him again and hears that he's angry at him.
    • In the original book, after Pinocchio (turned into a donkey) breaks his leg during a circus number, he is sold to a drum maker, who throws him in the sea to let fishes skin him, only for Pinocchio to come back as a puppet after the fishes eat his donkey skin. In the film the drum maker is missing, Pinocchio gets drowned by the clowns from the circus and the Blue Fairy resurrects him as a puppet.
  • Arc Words: "Tangerine lollipops are the end of the world", as Lucignolo's fondness for them is what brings him and Pinocchio together many times, even when Lucignolo is dying as an overworked donkey.
  • Blind Mistake: A Running Gag through all the movie is Medoro (the Blue Fairy's poodle servant) being extremely nearsighted and refusing to wear glasses. At the end of the movie she finally convinces him to go and buy a pair.
  • Composite Character:
    • The Cricket takes the roles of some of the other animals Pinocchio met in the original book, like the parrot in the Field of Miracles or the dormouse in the Land of Toys.
    • Lucignolo takes the role of the weasels that come to steal chickens in the farm where Pinocchio is stuck as a guard dog.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Pinocchio being trapped on the farm is not his own badass moment, but a problem for dropping school again.
  • Foul Medicine: Pinocchio refuses to take bitter medicine that the Fairy is providing him and claims he would rather die than have any of it. To frighten him into taking it, the Fairy calls over some rabbits with coffins who say they're ready to bury him, so Pinocchio finishes it up in a hurry.
  • Large Ham: Kevin James in the dub. And how!
  • Leitmotif:
    • Pinocchio has a whimsical and energetic theme called "La canzone di Pinocchio" ("Pinocchio's song") played in different variations in the film. An extended version is performed by Roberto Benigni during the credits.
    • Leonardo is represented by an Accordion performed during scenes when he and Pinocchio are interacting with each other. Notably heard when Pinocchio first meets him in jail and decides to lick Leonardo's tangerine flavored lollipop.
  • Living Shadow: The final scene has the real boy Pinocchio going to school but his shadow doesn't follow and runs off to have fun.
  • Lost in Imitation: The Cricket is prominent like in the Disney version and the animals are disguised humans like Luigi Comencini's version.
  • People Puppets: What the puppet show seems to imply: the "puppets" are self-aware and live in fear of the puppeteer.
  • Threatening Shark: The Terrible Dogfish in this adaptation is depicted like a huge aggressive shark.
  • Vanity Project: The film was Roberto Benigni's lifelong ambition, and he cashed in all of the professional capital he earned with Life Is Beautiful to get it made.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Pretty much everyone in the English dub, most notably Breckin Meyer, Topher Grace and James Belushi.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Fox and the Cat completely disappear from the story after they steal Pinocchio's coins. As their appearance in the final scenes has been removed, they get no comeuppance.