How To Make a ‘Pinocchio’ Movie That Doesn’t Suck

At first glance, the idea that Warners would want to make a movie about the little wooden boy whose nose grows when he tells a lie seems moronic. Not only has the tale been tried before to disastrous results, it’s also been tried before to transcendent results – giving the world a Disney version that continues to act as the prime example of the story’s existence on film.

However, with Dan Jinks producing, it’s a bit of a different story. Jinks (funny name, serious producer) was on board for Pushing Daisies and for Big Fish, as well as Milk and American Beauty. The point? He has been involved in some great projects so dismissing him outright for shooting for the wishing star here is a bit premature.

He’s going to need help. That’s where this handy guide comes in. If you’re thinking about making a movie about Pinocchio, here’s a simple way to make it great.

Follow the Book:

  1. The book shows Pinocchio as a log piece that can talk that’s gifted to Geppetto by a carpenter that probably thinks he’s going insane. Once the log has been successfully carved, Pinocchio runs out into the streets and manages to get Geppetto thrown in jail for being a bad father. A great opening if there ever were one.
  2. Alone, Pinocchio is scolded by the talking, century-old cricket who exclaims that disobeying your parents means you’ll turn into a donkey (a scientific fact that holds true to this day). Pinocchio promptly kills the cricket with a hammer. They do not sing a duet beforehand.
  3. The little wooden boy then tries to warm his feet by placing them on the stove and burns them off.
  4. Geppetto sells his only coat for school books, and Pinocchio rushes off to school…but is distracted by the Marionette Theater and sells his books for tickets.
  5. The other puppets in the theater are also alive, and their master threatens to kill Pinocchio, then to kill one of his puppets, but instead he ends up giving Pinocchio some gold because of how destitute his family is.
  6. He ends up being swindled by a fox and a cat, but they eventually fight and Pinocchio bites the cats paw off.

That’s just the first section of the book.

If one wanted to make a brilliant movie, one would only need to follow the nightmarish vision set forth in the original text. The Disney film is frightening, but it’s also got these happy-go-lucky, sing-song moments of bliss that absolutely no one needs in their dark fairy tale.

Even coming near the Disney version will draw comparisons that can’t be won. Thus, to make a truly great film about Pinocchio – or at least one that doesn’t suck – Dan Jinks and his production crew need to dig deep into the earthy old text and pull out the violence and mischief inherent in the character.

What do you think?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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