Pinocchi-O-Rama #2: Pinocchio: A True Story (2021)

Let’s get the “meme boy” one over so we can kill any mystique it could possible accrue in time, by tackling one of the more recent adaptations, the Russian 2021 one that pretty much nobody would have cared about if the english dub had Paulie Shore delivery such a stock effeminate – and most importantly out of place – performance as the titular Pinocchio, especially notable in the clip you’ve seen of him talking to Gepetto of how he wants to see the world on its own, as he ready for it.

Tybald being Pinocchio’s horse, which he never had in the original story, but then again, it bound to be expected from your movie when it can’t even have the gall to call itself “THE true story”.

Just one of the many. Whatever.

I guess someone finally saw Tangled and wanted to have a funny horse character, so much it presents the movie as a story he’s telling you about, giving the basic gist of Pinocchio being carved by Geppetto, dissing the “growing nose” thing and then actually… preseting more than actually narrating the whole thing. Liar. And odd as a Jiminy Cricket replacement. Sort of. Not really.


the basic gist of the story and the characters are there, just more random in execution, like this lady Lucinda (the blue fairy equivalent) that Gepetto fixed a wand for happens to be a witch or something because she decides to secretly repay him by making Pinocchio alive… despite her not even have set foot in the house or have possibly known beforehand that he made a boy-sized wooden puppet.

Guess that’s magic for you, convenient magic too.

It’s weird to have the characters themselves nudge you about them already knowing the story.. wait, not WEIRD, just cheap-ass meta humour jokes that are pretty bad, and it’s hard to tell if they were in the original script or were added in the localization.

But regardless, there is this attitude of annoying self-awareness that encloses the whole movie,but aside sneering at other versions of the tale, there’s no actual reason for this “tude” to be here, since the movie still uses a lot of the characters from the book, a lot of scenarios, even if it alters the plot to focus on Pinocchio joining the travelling circus run by Mangiafuoco, while oddly keeping some details from the novel.

Real Boy Ratio:

In terms of what’s doing with the material, Pinocchio: A True Story at least it’s faithful to the main idea of the story: Pinocchio has to learn about the world and shit, and yearns to become a real boy.

Though i wonder why he looks like he’s already 15 or something like that here, as this undermines the idea of a child having to learn about right from wrong and stuff, i mean, even in the first act he really already has some morals and shit, he seems to have an advanced pre-baked personality this time even before he does anything worth of note, and he grows more as the movie goes on, which would be fine if he learned it from someone else, but he doesn’t, so what the fuck is the point?

Just because this is Pinocchio, so sod it, we’ll do it anyway, i guess. Even if it makes less and less sense as the movie goes on and Pinocchio is actually teaching the horse how to brave, not the opposite. XD

Oh, wait, they actually wrote this one to mostly be about Pinocchio finding and saving his true love, and combined with the other changes to the story, this really is barely Pinocchio, just a random ass children CG animated film that has a boy wooden golem as the main character, the naming and Pinocchio bare elements are there mostly for marketing value, because otherwise no one would see it, and i wouldn’t be discussing it now… kinda, at heart it’s a basic retelling of the original story, the gist that start things up is the same, so it’s not that far off, it’s just that they are doing whatever they want to the material by adding a lot of animated family cliches and staples (including bumbling cops/detectives), and a twist that’s actually kinda decent, given the script at hand.

Then again, this is the kind of movie that most likely doesn’t really care about any semblance of standards or logic, and boy in terms of animation you can tell this is a cheapie, i mean, for one the Cat character looks like a bootleg Talking Tom in vaguely renaissance style clothes, and the scene where he meets Pinocchio is hilarious, because he sees this moving wooden boy, then moves into position by doing a weird siderun, says “MAMA MIA! A WOODEN BOY” and then shoots him. XD

That is some primo “out of context hilariously bad clip”, but make no mistake, the CG is pretty bad, the characters are at least acceptable to look at…. most of them anyway, but between the odd janky movements and the backgrounds that scream of “we were never meant to be drawn focus or plain observed in screenshots”, it’s clear the budget for this one wasn’t sky high.

I mean, it’s easy to forget Pinocchio is supposed to be made out of wood, since his model looks smoother than it should, and he doesn’t move really in a discerneably stiffer way than the characters that are made of ol’ regular cartoon flesh. Only when there’s a rare close up of his face you notice the creases and the wooden nature of Pinocchio… which happens almost 1 hour in.

But at least the production values aren’t that bad, so it’s not really a surprise to learn this came out in theathers, i’ve seen far worse in terms of cheap CG animated children films. Then again, most Barbie films are technically better put together, so….

Overall Evalution:

Story is messy crap barely relates to the source material, the animation it’s cheap at best, it’s often badly edited too, and the english dub it’s a hilarious crapfest of unconsistent accents, odd line readings of already weird lines themselves, and miscast old comedy actors, with Paulie Shore as the meme worthy centerpiece of this, voicing Pinocchio not as a boy but as a grown ass fruity man.

And honestly its one of those cases where you’ll be glad of this awful ass dub, because it’s definitely so bad it’s good stuff that helps make the whole thing entertaining for how ludicrously bad and weird it is, though the movie itself has some weird shit and out of left field scenes happening, like Cat holding the circus girl hostage with a gun.

Though i can’t say quite the same for the other english dub the movie can be seen with, it’s a lot more proper in many ways, while still bad and with plenty of cheesy ass accents, it removes the comedy gold Shore brought to the table, without that it’s mor than subpar, just plain bad.

I would be more harsh, but at least it has the decency to be 90 minutes long, so for the morbidly curiouse among you that are peckish for some so bad it’s good children animated film cheese, Pinocchio: A True Story delivers some weird ass shit to baffle yourself at, including the many funny clips out of context that inevitably flooded social media when the movie was released.

If you have to go with the Paulie Shore dub, unless you’re a purist willing to stomatch a very subpar Pinocchio animated adaptation that’s weird-ish, cheap, but at least interesting to discuss.



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