PINOCCHIO (2022)*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens as Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) narrates the beginning of the story. He starts off as a lonely homeless cricket going around looking for places to stay. Jiminy comes across the home of a widowed woodcarver named Geppetto (Tom Hanks), who lives with his cat Figaro and goldfish Cleo. Geppetto is in the process of carving a small wooden puppet based after his late son (“When He Was Here With Me”). A man then comes to Geppetto’s shop, hoping to buy one of his cuckoo clocks, but Geppetto finds much sentimental value in it and refuses to sell. As he finishes the puppet, he decides to name it Pinocchio.
Just as Geppetto is getting ready for bed, he makes a wish upon a star. Moments later, a flash of blue light appears and hits the picture of Geppetto’s son, bouncing off into the puppet, bringing Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) to life. Jiminy is surprised and tries talking to Pinocchio, but he only repeats what Jiminy says. The Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo) then enters the house and uses her magic to undo Pinocchio’s strings and to give him a more focused speech. She tells Pinocchio that in order to be a real boy for his father, he must be brave, honest, and selfless (“When You Wish Upon a Star”). The Fairy also fixes Jiminy’s clothes and appoints him to be Pinocchio’s conscience.
Geppetto wakes up and is surprised but elated to see that Pinocchio is alive. Wanting him to have a normal childhood, he sends him off to school with the other children. Jiminy goes to follow and meets a seagull named Sofia (Lorraine Bracco) that Geppetto is friendly with. She flies Jiminy to look for Pinocchio.
Meanwhile, two con artists, Honest John (Keegan-Michael Key) and Gideon, spot Pinocchio and plan to use him as an attraction for the puppeteer Stromboli (Giuseppe Battiston). They approach the wooden boy and try to convince him to join (“Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee”). Pinocchio almost follows them until Jiminy catches up with them and tells him to do what Geppetto asked of him if he wants to be a real boy. Pinocchio declines their offer and tries to earnestly go to school, only for the cruel headmaster to throw him out because he says that school is only for real children. Honest John and Gideon trap Jiminy in a jar and whisk Pinocchio away with them.
Pinocchio joins Stromboli’s show and gets ready for his first big performance. He meets a young woman named Fabiana (Kyanne Lamaya), a former dancer whose career ended after a leg injury, and she now performs with her ballerina puppet, Sabina (Jaquita Ta’le). Pinocchio goes out to perform (“I’ve Got No Strings”) and clumsily falls over, getting his nose stuck in a floorboard until Sabina helps him. He is joined by other puppets in the show, and the audience loves him. However, Stromboli is abusive and throws Pinocchio into a cage to prevent him from leaving.
Geppetto grows concerned when Pinocchio doesn’t return home. He takes Figaro and Cleo and goes by the school to look for him but finds nobody. He also fails to notice Jiminy trying to get his attention. Later on, Stromboli’s stagecoach passes by and knocks the jar off of Jiminy, allowing him to board it and find Pinocchio. When Jiminy finds him, the puppet pretends that he didn’t enjoy the fame or even want it in the first place, causing his nose to grow longer. This gives Pinocchio an idea to lie so that the nose grows long enough for Jiminy to reach the keys to the cage and free Pinocchio.
Pinocchio and Jiminy ride away until they come across another stagecoach containing several young boys and girls. The Coachman (Luke Evans) invites Pinocchio to join, and he befriends a delinquent child named Lampwick (Lewin Lloyd). When Pinocchio expresses distrust in the Coachman, the man becomes upset and sings his spiel to the puppet (“The Coachman to Pleasure Island”), allowing him to agree to go where they are going. The Coachman then proceeds to take the kids to Pleasure Island. Meanwhile, Sofia finds Geppetto back at his home and gives him a flyer advertising Pleasure Island, cluing him into where Pinocchio is headed.
Pleasure Island appears to be a theme park full of everything a kid could wish for, with the Coachman trying to sell the kids on everything the park has to offer. While it seems fun to Pinocchio at first, he grows concerned over how the children behave in a rotten manner. Jiminy tries to make his way back to Pinocchio but then discovers a salt mine where the kids are being turned into donkeys and are used by mysterious black vapor creatures as slaves. Pinocchio joins Lampwick as they play pool, but Lampwick ends up transforming into a donkey as well. Pinocchio grows ears and a tail until Jiminy helps get him out of there. The Coachman and the vapor monsters chase after them, but Pinocchio and Jiminy make it to the water.
The next day, Pinocchio is found by Fabiana and Sabina, who informs him that Stromboli was arrested, so they are going on tour with their own puppet show. While they offer Pinocchio a chance to join them, he knows he has to go back home to Geppetto, and this selfless act causes his ears and tail to disappear. He bids farewell to Fabiana and Sabina before he and Jiminy are found by Sofia, who says Geppetto has gone sailing out to sea to find Pinocchio. He grabs a rope and uses Sofia to pull the rope so Pinocchio can run across the water.
Pinocchio and Jiminy manage to find Geppetto (plus Figaro and Cleo) and catch up to him and tell him about the adventure he had. Soon, the family is swallowed by the terrifying sea creature Monstro. Pinocchio comes up with an idea to get them out by lighting a fire inside Monstro’s mouth, which will cause the beast to spit them out. It works, but Monstro spots them and chases after them. Pinocchio uses his legs as propellers to ride the remains of the boat toward a cave, which Monstro crashes into. When they make it back to shore, Geppetto is unconscious. Pinocchio is distraught and weeps over his father, but his tear causes Geppetto to wake up.
Geppetto tells Pinocchio that he has more than proven himself to be a real boy. They start walking home, and Pinocchio appears to be turning into a human. Jiminy ends his narration by saying that there are many tales of whether or not Pinocchio became a real boy, and he won’t confirm if they are true, but in his heart, he knows that Pinocchio is as brave, honest, and selfless as he set out to be.
The film is a remake of the Disney version of the classic fairy tale.
Geppetto is a lonely woodcarver still mourning the loss of his son, so he carves a wooden puppet in his memory. After making a wish upon a star, the Blue Fairy turns the puppet, Pinocchio, into a living being. She appoints Jiminy Cricket to be his conscience, and Geppetto is elated that Pinocchio is alive. He sends him off to school like a normal child, but he gets kicked out for being a puppet. Two tricksters, Honest John and Gideon, convince Pinocchio to join a show led by cruel ringmaster Stromboli. Pinocchio enjoys the fame but does not like Stromboli's treatment of him.
Jiminy helps Pinocchio escape, and they end up going to Pleasure Island with several runaway boys and girls. While it seems fun at first, the island turns children into donkeys so that black vapor monsters can use them as slaves in the salt mines. Jiminy helps Pinocchio escape, and they learn that Geppetto went out to sea to look for them. With help from a seagull named Sofia, the two find Geppetto, but they are eaten by Monstro the sea creature. Pinocchio finds a way to help them escape but it almost kills Geppetto until Pinocchio's tear revives him.
While Jiminy says that he won't confirm if Pinocchio did, in fact, become a real boy, he can be seen turning human as he and Geppetto return home, and they know that he has proven himself more than enough to be a real boy.