Geppetto (voice of Tom Kenny), a kind-hearted woodcarver, creates a wooden boy so he won’t feel lonely. A fairy secretly brings the boy to life as a way of thanking Geppetto for his help. Geppetto names the wooden boy Pinocchio (voice of Pauly Shore) and calls him his son.
Gepetto and Pinocchio lead a quiet and secluded life in the woods. Pinocchio learns to ride Geppetto’s horse, Tibalt (voice of Jon Heder), and perform daring stunts in their pasture. He also dreams of going out and seeing the world for himself, but he’s told that the world isn’t ready to meet him yet. When police officers come snooping around the house looking for thieves that have been robbing townsfolk, Geppetto gets Pinocchio to hide.
While Pinocchio and Tibalt are out, they come across Bella (voice of Liza Klimova), a young girl in distress. Her horse has been startled and is heading straight for a cliff, but Bella is trapped inside the carriage and doesn’t realise. Pinocchio comes to her aid and saves her life.
Bella’s father, Mr Mojafocco (voice of Bernard Jacobsen), owns a circus. He invites Pinocchio to join them in their travels and says he’ll make Pinocchio a star. Reluctantly, Geppetto lets Pinocchio and Tibalt go with the promise that they’ll return soon. But Mr Mojafocco has other plans and is determined to capitalise on Pinocchio’s talent, no matter the cost.
Crime; dispersion of family; the price of fame; deceit and betrayal
Pinocchio: A True Story has some violence. For example:
- A gun-crazy cat shoots holes in the ceiling, shoots at Pinocchio and offers to shoot at the audience.
- A cat holds Pinocchio and Tibalt at gun point and then shoots at them as they try to get away.
- A character says, ‘I will whip you to death and kill you with my bare hands’.
- Police officers grab Pinocchio and try to restrain him.
- Tibalt kicks some police officers and tosses them all into a tree.
- Pinocchio and Geppetto are trapped in a cart.
- A cat takes Bella hostage at gun point and uses her as a human shield. Bella is then trapped by a fire.
There are no sexual references in Pinocchio: A True Story.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Pinocchio: A True Story.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Pinocchio: A True Story.
There’s a reference to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Pinocchio: A True Story.
Pinocchio: A True Story has mild name-calling, including ‘dumb’, ‘knuckleheads’, ‘coward’, ‘freak’ and ‘scoundrels.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Pinocchio: A True Story is an animated musical adventure. The movie has vibrant graphics, but it also has a predictable plot and a cumbersome dialogue that might be hard going for both adults and older children. It’s likely to be enjoyed by younger children (with parental guidance from 6-9 years) or fans of the Pinocchio story.
These are the main messages from Pinocchio: A True Story:
- There are no obstacles you can’t overcome.
- The magic to transform our lives always comes from within.
Values in Pinocchio: A True Story that you could reinforce with your children include courage, loyalty, honesty, responsibility and sacrifice.
Pinocchio: A True Story could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- trusting people who want to deceive and use you
- using others to get what you want
- betraying the trust of people who love you
- putting fortune and fame before family.