Viewers confused over ambiguous ending of new live action Pinocchio remake

Emily Brown

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Viewers confused over ambiguous ending of new live action Pinocchio remake

Featured Image Credit: Disney+

Warning: Contains spoilers

Some Disney fans have been left confused over the new live-action Pinocchio film after the story of the little wooden boy came to an ambiguous ending.

Disney released its new version of the film earlier this month, with Tom Hanks stepping in to the role of Geppetto while Benjamin Evan Ainsworth took on the role of his makeshift son, Pinocchio. Not Chris Pine, as the film might have you momentarily believe.

It comes more than 80 years after the original film was first released in 1940, but fans remember the storyline about how a woodcarver makes a wish for his wooden puppet to come to life all too well.

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Pinocchio is then faced with a series of challenges in order to prove his worth as a human boy.

After watching the original movie, it would be easy to assume that upon completing these challenges, the wooden puppet turns into a real boy at the end. However, that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case in the remake.

The film comes to an end with Hanks, his wooden puppet son, his goldfish and his cat washed up on a little island after an adventure at sea.

The unusual family go to head home in a 'walking off into the sunset' kind of manner, and a voiceover by Jiminy Cricket explains what becomes of Pinocchio.

Does Pinocchio turn into a real boy in the remake? Credit: Disney
Does Pinocchio turn into a real boy in the remake? Credit: Disney

"So in the end, Pinocchio did prove himself brave, honest and unselfish. And since then, many stories have been told about him," he says.

"People say he was transformed into an honest-to-goodness real boy. Did that actually happen? Who knows.

"But I do know one thing for sure. In his heart, Pinocchio is as real as any real boy could ever be."

Now, there is a small moment during this voiceover in which the joints on Pinocchio's wooden legs disappear, and they appear to become more human, but Jiminy's speculation about whether the events really happened has left many people confused.

Some viewers were left infuriated with the belief that Pinocchio didn't actually turn into a real boy, with one person writing: "I just saw Pinocchio the live action adaption. What a massive disappointment. The movie failed to capture the charm of the original animated movie in so many ways….. what an insult. SPOILER ALERT: he doesn’t even turn into a real boy at the end!"

Another fan commented: "I don’t know why everyone is complaining. I enjoyed the new Pinocchio movie. The only part I didn’t like is that they didn’t make him a real boy at the end."

Some people have argued the puppet did become a real boy, with one viewer sharing a screenshot to back up their claims, but it seems the subtlety of Disney's storytelling has mainly just prompted confusion.

As Jiminy suggests, though, maybe we can either choose to believe, or not, and director and co-writer Robert Zemeckis has implied this kind of storytelling makes the film 'more personal to the viewer'.

In the press notes, he explained: "Everyone can go on Pinocchio's journey in a way that is pure in the sense that we're not telling the audience what they have to feel or what they have to think. Audiences today are way more sophisticated, and they don't want to be spoon fed. They want to be able to think for themselves."

Co-writer Chris Weitz agreed, adding: "Pinocchio doesn't have to turn into a 'real' flesh-and-blood boy. He is real in that he has learned his lessons and grown a conscience, but there is no need for him to end up a certain way physically for him to prove that. Geppetto has gone on a journey himself and realises that Pinocchio is a person in his own right and is as 'real' to him as any flesh-and-blood boy."

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Topics: Film & TV, Disney, Tom Hanks, Film and TV, Twitter

Emily Brown
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