Horrified parents have slammed the new live-action Pinocchio movie as ‘completely unacceptable’ after the direction included a scene where the puppet is placed in a noose and hung from a tree.
Matteo Garrone’s adaptation of the 1883 novel has been heralded by critics as both a ‘horror movie’ and ‘frighteningly true to the book’.
But after the PG-rated motion-picture was released on August 14 parents have queued up to blast the production as ‘violent’ and warned it made their children burst into floods of tears.
‘Please do not take your kids to see this film,’ one shocked parent wrote. ‘I am heartbroken. Scenes of him being hung dead on a tree. Graphic. Violent. I’m so gutted the girls have witnessed that.’
The scene causing particular concern, of Pinocchio being hung from the tree, is in the original book, when the children’s character is strung up by two thieves who are trying to rob him.
Venting their frustration at the movie, one parent said on Mumsnet: ‘So today I took the daughter to the cinema to watch this. Well I was rather shocked.
‘It included: Pinocchio burning his legs off, being hung by a noose, turning into a donkey, having a brick tied around his leg and flung out to sea.
‘A young boy in front of us cried, lots of people left (including us).’
Another said: ‘Me and mum went today and had to walk out half way through (along with most of the people in the cinema).
‘For someone who works with children I deemed it highly inappropriate (had a scene of hanging!) for any child to watch.
‘Not only that but it was a very surreal and weird film. I wouldn’t normally post but I would hate to think of children as disturbed by the film as the ones today.’
A third wrote: ‘Just a warning ladies… I took my son to see the new Pinocchio film today… he’s 24 and has learning disabilities… OMG what an utterly messed up film.
‘I only stayed because of my son… It’s a b***** PG… Not a film for children in my opinion!’
The 1883 Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi is set in Tuscany, Italy, and includes several heart-rendering moments including a scene where Pinocchio hits Jiminy Cricket over the head and kills him.
The reader is left believing the talking cricket has died until the final chapter, where he is seen hiding in Gepetto’s hut.
The 1940 Disney adaptation of the book dropped this, and several other, harrowing scenes to ‘sanitise’ the production for families. Garrone chose to ignore this and instead remain close to the original Italian novel.
‘There is something rich and strange and generous in Matteo Garrone’s new live-action version of the Pinocchio story,’ writes The Guardian’s film critic Peter Bradshaw after giving the production four stars.
‘They have given us a story that combines sentimentality and grotesqueness in a really startling way. It looks like a horror film.’
He added: ‘The story is very different from the legendary 1940 Disney musical version – without which, admittedly, no one would care about any new remake or reinvention’.
After hearing about the 2020 Pinocchio adaptation, some users were quick to point out that Fairytales were designed to teach children lessons.
‘It’s not much different from say Red Riding Hood’s grandmother being eaten by a wolf,’ one wrote on Mumsnet.
‘Fairytales were an instrument of repression, designed to scare children into obedience in times when the hierarchy was the principle of human organisation,’ said another.
‘Pinocchio was about the really terrible things that happen to a person who dares to lie to their elders and betters. No one in the past cared if kids were terrified.’
A further re-make of the film that is rumoured to be even darker will be released next year. It is by director Guillermo del Toro.