Remember the last time when the name Pinocchio brand sparked any sort of real passion in anyone? My money is on it being 2002 when Oscar winner Roberto Benigni decided to write and direct a live-action adaptation but seemingly thought that the doll wasn't creepy enough already, a problem he solved by having his matured-ass play Pinocchio.

Medusa Distribuzione, Miramax

He should have wished for a real hairline.

The result was a bizarre mess that Benigni's career never really recovered from. The only good news is that he at least learned not to mess with the property again. Now that's a lie, oops. He got right back to it in 2019, though this time as Gepetto. It looks great!

Vertigo Films, 01 Distribution

Okay, our nose just grew. Sorry for lying.

And even though neither that nor any other Pinocchio-related thing has gotten very popular since the release of the Disney animated film back in 1940, 2022 is seeing the release of FOUR goddamn Pinocchio films. I don't think it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that nobody wants any more Pinocchio-related films. 

The first of the bunch is Pinocchio: A True Story. I'd love to talk about how that name makes absolutely no sense, but I got too enthralled by this beautiful story that makes zero mention of Pinocchio's nose or lies. Instead, it seems to be about Tom “SpongeBob” Kenny trying to convince the rest of the cast to put some goddamn effort into their acting. Pinocchio, voiced by Pauly Shore (not a lie), is especially good at foiling Kenny's plan.

Guillermo Del Toro is working on the obligatory gritty stop-motion version for Netflix, where Pinocchio's innocent lies will probably be replaced by dark cheating and deception, or maybe it'll just be boring, but look cool.

Robert Zemeckis is also going to release a supposedly live-action adaptation starring Tom Hanks for Disney+, which may very well end up even creepier than the CG film set entirely in the Uncanny Valley he'd normally make.

Warner Bros.

Say what you will; it takes true talent to make Tom Hanks look creepy.

The fourth and final Pinocchio film is Pinocchio And The Water Of Life, and I couldn't even try to deceive you into believing I found a single thing in the poster that's not an absolute nightmare.

Asymmetric Studios

Why does this poster have a different name? Did they realize that “the water of life” is like, all water?

This one also features Tom Benigni Kenny, this time doing the voice of Pinnochio. I wonder if he's about to learn a hard lesson.

Boy, the Pinocchio name really does seem doomed – when it comes to film, that is. Because there's yet another Pinocchio-inspired property coming out, but one that shows actual promise

I'm talking about Lies of P, a Victorian-era tale inspired by the character that seemingly does away with all the tired plot and tries to go its own way. It looks great because there's a clear Bloodborne feel to it, sure, but it genuinely looks like there might be more to it.

Another thing it does well is honesty. It completely drops the pretense of Pinocchio not having been a full-on horror story the entire time. We hope this succeeds, leading to a Battle Royale game where this Pinocchio gets to face off against all the others, puppet Highlander style.

Top Image: NEOWIZ

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