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Film / The Adventures of Pinocchio

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The Adventures of Pinocchio is a 1996 film based on the story of the same name. The film was directed and co-written by Steve Barron, along with Sherry Mills, Tom Benedek and Barry Berman.
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Although relatively faithful to the original novel, certain liberties are taken to make the narrative more contained, such as making the three major antagonists into a single composite villain and giving Geppetto a love interest.

The film stars Martin Landau as Geppetto, Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Pinocchio, Rob Schneider as Volpe, Udo Kier as Lorenzini, Bebe Neuwirth as Felinet, David Doyle (in his final film appearance) as Pepe and Geneviève Bujold as Leona.

In 1999, a sequel called The New Adventures of Pinocchio was released.

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This adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio provides examples of:

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: Geppetto was going to propose to Leona, but she married his brother before he could work up the nerve.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Volpe, having been degraded from a Con Man into a clueless Bumbling Sidekick who's regularly pushed around by his more cunning partner, Felinet.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Pinocchio takes a while to do anything heroic, but he gets there with some persuasion by Pepe.
  • Adaptational Karma: This is the only version of the tale where the antagonists actually get their comeuppance!
  • Adaptation Species Change: In this version, the fox and the cat are humans with animal themes named Volpe and Felinet respectively. They turn into the animals they are based on at the end.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Lorenzini is more malicious than Mangiafuoco and the Terrible Dogfish.
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  • Adapted Out: The Blue Fairy.
  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: When Pinocchio performed well on Lorenzini's puppet show, he receives four gold coins. The next day, while fleeing from the town after burning down the puppet theatre, Pinocchio runs into Volpe and Felinet, who trick him out of his money by convincing him that, in order to become a real boy, he must "plant" his coins and wait an hour so they grow on trees in order to "buy" the miracle the naive puppet needs to achieve his dream. While he is watching a clock waiting for the time to pass, the duo take his money from the hole.
  • Agony of the Feet: A few moments after Pinocchio burns down Lorenzini's theatre, his foot gets caught on fire.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Geppetto believed this. He's wrong. Leona does love him.
  • Alpha Bitch: Felinet
  • Amusement Park of Doom / Pleasure Island: Lorenzini's park for naughty boys Terra Magica.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Pinocchio
  • Award-Bait Song: Kiss Lonely Good-Bye and Hold On To Your Dream by Stevie Wonder, as well as What Are We Made Of by Brian May and Sissel.
  • Bald of Evil: Lorenzini wears a toupee.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • The boys who turn into donkeys. Unlike the original story and other adaptations, they all manage to return to normal by working hard and performing good deeds.
    • Lorenzini, Felinet and Volpe all succumb to this as well.
  • Beard of Evil: Lorenzini has a mustache and a goatee in addition to being the main villain.
  • Big Bad: Lorenzini, who orchestrates just about every obstacle Pinocchio encounters.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing / Faux Affably Evil: Lorenzini and Felinet act friendly to Pinocchio, despite being Obviously Evil.
  • Body Horror:
    • The boys are transformed into donkeys when they drink Lorenzini's cursed water at Terra Magica.
    • Lorenzini's face grossly distorts when he becomes the giant sea-monster.
  • Bookends: The heart that Geppetto carves into the tree that would become Pinocchio was carved on the same day Leona accepted his brother's proposal and has a crack between the initials afterward. When Pinocchio transforms into a real boy, the crack in the heart carving is the first thing to disappear, followed immediately by the rest of the heart.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Geppetto and Leona.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Volpe is this to Felinet, contrasting the original version where he is the brains of the animal duo.
  • Canon Immigrant: Leona, Geppetto's love interest.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Pinocchio's nose by lying enough, he's able to open the sea monster's throat wide enough for Geppetto to escape
  • Classic Villain: Lorenzini exists to tempt and manipulate Pinocchio.
  • Composite Character: Lorenzini is a combination of Mangiafuoco, the Coachman and the Terrible Dogfish.
  • Con Man: Volpe and Felinet are this, though Felinet is the one who's doing all the conning.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Leona married Geppetto's brother, who has since passed away.
  • December–December Romance: Geppetto and Leona, who are both over 50.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Lorenzini, who runs a puppet show and is a sociopath.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Lorenzini looks quite devilish, with his dark coat, gleaming eyes, and Van Dyke beard.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Geppetto's quite stubborn.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Pinocchio and Geppetto go through a lot before reuniting. The same goes for the donkeys before they regain their humanity.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Volpe misses his dad.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Lorenzini...kinda. He's already a manipulative, money-obsessed, Jerkass from the start of the film, but there's really nothing evil about his intentions initially. He's just the manager of a luxurious puppet theater that could benefit from having a puppet without strings. He doesn't even try to kidnap Pinocchio or threaten Geppetto...he makes a deal that he'll pay a fine Geppetto has on the condition that he hands Pinocchio over to him, and although he sees Pinocchio only as a pawn in his plans, he treats him fairly well, even giving him a small sum of money for a good job. Pinocchio only turns against him when a scene in his puppet show involved some of Geppetto's other (non-sentient) puppets being burned by a sea creature. However, when his puppet theater is burned to crisp, Lorenzini decides to exact revenge on Pinocchio.
  • Fashionable Evil: All the villains are dressed in expensive clothes.
  • Foreshadowing: When Pinocchio is forced to perform in Lorenzini's puppet show, one of the antagonists is a giant fish. Also whenever we see Lorenzini, he is eating chili peppers. When swallowed by the sea monster, Pinocchio recognizes him as Lorenzini because the inside of the sea monster's stomach smells like chili peppers.
  • Furry Reminder: Volpe seems to be something of a human/fox hybrid (representing his character change from the Fox of the original story), as he has many human attributes but also behaves like a cat.
  • Grows on Trees: Miracles don't do this, as Pinocchio learns he hard way.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lorenzini. He buys Pinocchio, who burns his puppet theatre down; is forced to drink his own cursed water which turns him into a sea monster and swallows both Pinocchio and Geppetto, who choke him from the inside.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: Geppetto and Leona.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Pinocchio, who listens to two figures that Geppetto once accused of theft.
    • The judge who sentences Geppetto counts as well. All Lorenzini had to do was pay Geppetto's debt and the judge was charmed.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Unlike the original story, all the antagonists here are human.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Volpe is too incompetent without Felinet to be considered much of a threat.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • Pepe, who always shows up to criticize Pinocchio's decisions in a smug manner.
    • One of the schoolboys is an absolute pedant, answering every question in such a way that would get a real kid ostracized.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Played with. Lampwick and the boys Pinocchio first meet treat him like dirt but warm up to him after he humiliates their teacher and burns Lorenzini's theatre down.
  • Little "No": Lorenzini gives a short "No!" when Pinocchio is going to rescue his fellow puppets and destroy Lorenzini's theatre.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Lampwick does not take kindly to his friend calling him "Lampshade" when they fight over their gun at Terra Magica.
  • Meaningful Name: Lorenzini gets his name from Carlo Collodi's real surname: Carlo Lorenzini.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Geppetto's full name in this adaptation is Luca Antonio Renaldo Geppetto Baldini and the Talking Cricket is named Pepe.
  • The Nicknamer: Lampwick is quick to call Pinocchio "Woody" when they meet each other in school.
  • One-Winged Angel: After falling into the pool of cursed water, Lorenzini starts to slowly transform into a hideous creature. By the time Pinocchio shows up at sea, Lorenzini has fully transformed into a gigantic whale-like sea monster.
  • Partial Transformation: Thanks to Lampwick inadvertently shooting Pinocchio with holes in Terra Magica, the cursed water only gives the latter donkey ears. When Lorenzini learns about this, he's outraged.
  • Pet the Dog: Lorenzini of all people actually gives Pinocchio four gold coins because he earned them during his puppet show.
  • Police are Useless: Justified, in that Pinocchio isn't as cautious as the low-lifes he meets up with.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Lorenzini's clothes are colored like this during his puppet show.
  • Riches to Rags: Volpe and Felinet, two rich conmen, are tricked into drinking from the cursed water that turned naughty boys into donkeys. The result is that they are turned into a fox and a cat respectively, and can no longer use the money they loved so much.
  • Satanic Archetype: Lorenzini's deeds include making deals that are wholly in his favour, tempting children into vice and condemning them to misery when they do.
  • Sea Monster: Lorenzini after drinking from his fountain.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Contrary to the original story, the naughty children avoid a future where they are donkeys for the rest of their lives, and regain their humanity by doing some hard work.
  • Stern Teacher: The boys teacher certainly qualifies, who essentially expels Pinocchio for his lies.
  • Talking Animal: Pepe the cricket. Volpe and Felinet turn into a fox and a cat respectively at the end.
  • Those Two Guys: Volpe and Felinet.
  • Torso with a View: At Terra Magica, Lampwick and his friend fight over their gun during target practice. However, when the gun goes off and shoots the targets, it causes Pinocchio's torso to be filled with holes. Fortunately for Pinocchio, the cursed water leaks out of his torso and he doesn't fully transform into a donkey like Lampwick.
  • Would Hurt a Child: At one point Lorenzini wanted to skin one of the donkeys for a pair of boots... remember what the donkeys used to be?
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Felinet says "You can't be serious." when Volpe doesn't figure out right away that the boy who's being chased by a woodpecker is Pinocchio.

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