Is ‘Pinocchio’ Available on Disney+? How Is Netflix Creating Its Own Version of This Fable?

He’s a real boy who’s getting a makeover, thanks to director Guillermo del Toro. A new, darker version of Pinocchio is reportedly headed to Netflix within the coming years, but Disney fans have one question: how? Doesn’t Disney own this story? Here’s what we know about Netflix’s film adaptation of Pinocchio.

Disney's 'Pinocchio' lobbycard
Disney’s ‘Pinocchio’ lobbycard | LMPC via Getty Images

Netflix is creating its own version of ‘Pinocchio’

A new version of Pinocchio is coming to a streaming platform, though it may not be the streaming platform Disney fans expected.  Variety reports that Netflix backed Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of this story back in 2018, though the production is still in the works. The darker version of this children’s story premieres sometime during 2021.

“Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth to the aquatic beast in The Shape of Water,” Melissa Cobb, VP of kids and family at Netflix, said in a statement.

“We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over,” she continued.

According to IMDB, this movie stars Ewan McGregor who, not so coincidentally, appeared in Disney owned movies like Christopher Robin and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Other cast members include David Bradley as Geppetto, Tilda Swinton, and Christoph Waltz.

Disney's 'Pinocchio'
Disney’s ‘Pinocchio’ | LMPC via Getty Images

Does Disney own ‘Pinocchio’?

Disney fans may know the adorable animated version of this story, popularized by Disney in the 1940s. However, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, and Geppetto have been around long before Walt Disney Studios made their version. Just like Cinderella and The Little Mermaid, technically, Disney does not own the story of Pinocchio.

These animated classics are adaptations of fables and fairytales. The Adventures of Pinocchio was written by Italian author Carlo Collodi and published in 1883, sharing darker themes and lessons for children, according to Slate. Presumably, Guillermo del Toro’s version will follow the original story, using stop-motion technology.

“As a kid, I felt a kinship with the figure of Pinocchio, not in the happy way or a good boy way. I was very interested in whether he can be himself and be loved,” Guillermo del Toro said during an interview with Collider.

“Does he have to turn into a real boy to be loved? Why can he not be loved exactly the way he is? Why can we not be the imperfect children of loving parents? Those are the things I connect with,” he continued.

Disney’s original version of ‘Pinocchio’ is available on their streaming platform, Disney+

The 1940 version of this film, created by Disney, is now streamable, thanks to its subscription service, Disney+. Other movies that are officially “out of the vault” and onto Disney’s streaming platform include Peter Pan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Sleeping Beauty.

Presumably, Guillermo del Toro’s version of Pinocchio will never make its Disney+ debut. The film is set for its Netflix premiere sometime in 2021. According to Collider, this stop-motion movie, unlike recently-released Netflix originals like Marriage Story, will not enjoy a theatrical run.

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