The teaser trailer for the live action Pinocchio just dropped – and if the movie lives up to this one fleeting glimpse? We’re all in for a true slice of Disney magic this coming September.
The movie, directed by Robert Zemeckis, stars Tom Hanks as Gepetto, the lonely old woodcarver who wishes on a star for his beloved puppet, Pinocchio, to become a real boy. Hanks is not the only member of the Hollywood elite to be cast in this film, either – Luke Evans and John C. Reilly appear in the teaser as well. While only their characters, and not their faces, appear, Keegan-Michael Key and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will also be part of this film as the voices of Honest John and Jiminy Cricket respectively.
The trailer is packed with familiar visuals, such as Gepetto at his workbench and the arrival of the children on Pleasure island. This works to Disney’s advantage, as they don’t seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel here. Instead, they focus on bringing the animated film into reality without going too far afield and losing what made its predecessor so special.
Hanks nearly brings a tear to the eye with his quiet, earnest wish, and Jiminy Cricket looks like he ought to, but just real enough to fit into our world. What’s more, and this was of special note to me, Figaro the cat is an animation masterpiece. Having grown up wanting a cat just like him, I was actually delighted to see that Figaro is CGI – animal actors can be wonderful, but an attitude as big and lively as his requires just a little more specificity than a normal feline could provide.
Also notable is the appearance of Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy. Erivo, who is well known for her role in the film Harriet and her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in the Genius series, appears at the end of the teaser in all her ethereal glory, giving life to the little wooden puppet. In addition to the important choice of casting a queer woman of color in such a legendary and beloved role, I was struck by the fact that the Blue Fairy is bald. She’s magical, otherworldly, and absolutely breathtaking in her beauty – and a flawless example of shattering the mold of unrealistic beauty standards.
It’s a fantastic piece of visual storytelling – an example of what it is to be human. It has many shapes, many sizes, it can be standardized or something altogether different. It can be what you always imagined or altogether unexpected…and in the end, it remains the thing we all strive for.
Whether you’re a little wooden puppet, a real boy, a real girl, or any other real life configuration of being – being human, being more, is a wish we all make at some point or another.
And if your heart is in your dreams? No request is too extreme.
Are you ready to wish upon a star? Pinocchio premieres on Disney+ September 8th.
Liz Carlie (she/her/he/him) is a regular book, TV, and film reviewer for SCIFI.radio and has previously been a guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. In addition to being an active member of the traditional fandom community, she’s also an active participant in online fan culture, pro wrestling journalism, and spreading the gospel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She resides in Southern California with her aspiring superhero dog, Junior, enjoying life one hyperfixation at a time.