Grim original story of Pinocchio – from burned feet to being left for dead

A brand new live action movie telling the story of beloved puppet Pinocchio has launched on Disney+ today (September 8).

The live action and CGI retelling of the original Disney movie stars Tom Hanks as woodcarver Gepetto, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the titular character, Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket, as well as Luke Evans as the evil Coachman.

Pinocchio is the latest Disney classic to be made into a live action movie, following the likes of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and The Jungle Book.

But while many people know the story of Pinocchio as a puppet who longs to be a 'real boy' and whose nose grows when he lies, there is a hidden grim truth behind the character which will shock lovers of the popular Disney movie.

Here is everything you need to know.

What is the real story of Pinocchio?

While the original Pinocchio first debuted in theatres back in 1940 and won two Academy Awards, the story actually originates from the children's fantasy novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian author Carlo Collodi.

The story initially appeared as a serial in a newspaper and it was written in between 1881 and 1882.

Although the original story of Pinocchio matches the Disney version in some ways, including the main storyline of how the puppet longs to be human, in the original Jiminy Cricket appears as the Talking Cricket in the book, and does not play as prominent of a role.

What happened to Jiminy Cricket?

In Collodi's Pinocchio, the Talking Cricket first appears in chapter four, where Pinocchio is corrected by the cricket and the puppet lashes out as his friend.

The Talking Cricket tells Pinocchio to go back home after he ran away in the chapter and the book reads: "At these last words, Pinocchio jumped up in a fury, took a hammer from the bench, and threw it with all his strength at the Talking Cricket.

"Perhaps he did not think he would strike it. But, sad to relate, my dear children, he did hit the Cricket, straight on its head.

"With a last weak 'cri-cri-cri' the poor Cricket fell from the wall, dead!"

It seems later on in the chapter that the puppet did not regret killing the cricket, he tells Gepetto “It was his own fault, for I didn’t want to kill him."

What happened to Pinocchio's feet?

After Pinocchio refused to take the cricket's advice, karma soon caught up to the character as his feet were then burned as a consequence of his actions.

The story reads: "As he no longer had any strength left with which to stand, he sat down on a little stool and put his two feet on the stove to dry them. There he fell asleep, and while he slept, his wooden feet began to burn. Slowly, very slowly, they blackened and turned to ashes."

Gepetto later forgives the puppet, who at the start of the story ran away from the woodcarver and claimed that Gepetto had abused him, for killing the cricket and builds him new feet but it's not long until Pinocchio finds himself in hot water again.

Was Pinocchio left for dead?

The puppet seems to reach a bitter end after the Talking Cricket returns as a ghost to warn Pinocchio not to get involved with some people who claim planting gold coins will result in a tree of gold.

Pinocchio decides to ignore the cricket once more, failing to apologise for killing him, and the puppet was then hung by the very people who had told him about planting gold coins.

The story reads: "And they ran after me and I ran and ran, till at last they caught me and tied my neck with a rope and hanged me to a tree, saying, `Tomorrow we’ll come back for you and you’ll be dead and your mouth will be open, and then we’ll take the gold pieces that you have hidden under your tongue.’"

Initially, the story was supposed to end after Pinocchio's hanging, but the novel's editor wanted the author to see if the story could have a happy ending once and for all.

The Blue Fairy then comes to save the puppet, with Pinocchio going on to learn his lesson as he decides to take care of his father instead of rebelling.

The live action remake of Pinocchio is available now on Disney+.

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