And we were right! As far as we can remember from the book, the retelling was very faithful indeed. There was even a part where we were like, "Oh, are they going to skip that one thing...?" mostly because we didn't remember the continuity (we read the book, like, nine or ten years ago), but then they did the one thing.
So as far as we're aware, the most Americans know about the original Pinocchio story is that it's "much darker than the Disney version." Having read the book, we feel like the tone is light-hearted enough that the darker elements come across more like the violence in old cartoons like Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, etc. You know, with the anvils and the mallets and the shotguns and the pianos and everything. In fact, there are only three things we remember from the book that could be considered extra dark, and all three of those things were not in this movie.
We did tell a friend of ours about them, and she was like, "Whoa, that might be too dark even for me!" and we were like, "No, seriously! It's fine!" I will list them.
1: Pinocchio kills the cricket. We don't really get a lot of time to get to know the cricket--he just shows up in the ceiling and says, "Whoa, Pinocchio, you're being a punk." (one thousand percent true) "You should listen to your father." And you know how people get annoyed when others tell them what to do, and how they also tend to squish bugs on sight. Well, that's basically what happened with Pinocchio. He was like, "Shut up, don't tell me what to do!" and he threw a hammer at the cricket and squished him. In the movie, the cricket is not squished, and he keeps sobbing in pain for a while so the audience knows he's still alive. In both versions, he shows up later at the Fairy's house. See? Just like a cartoon.
2: Pinocchio bites the cat's hand off. That was the one part where I was like, "Whoa, really?" But it was kind of a surreal scene in the book, because what happened was, the cricket had showed up again to warn him not to listen to the scheming fox and cat, and also watch out for murderers. Pinocchio was all, "Stupid cricket. I don't believe in murderers anyway." (The book adds that Pinocchio thought murderers were just a story grownups invented to scare children into being good.) So then the fox and the cat (now disguised) show up to steal Pinocchio's money and murder him...okay, I admit it sounds pretty dark when you put it that way. But I assure you the tone of the book is comical...so I guess it's dark humor. Okay, I admit it.
3: This part I consider to be more sad than dark per se. Both Pinocchio and Lampwick (or Lucignolo, as we learned today (but his real name is Romeo)) fully transform into donkeys. Pinocchio gets sold to a circus and works there doing tricks until he breaks his leg and they toss him into the ocean, and Lampwick gets sold to a farm to do hard labor. All of that stuff is in the movie. The part that's not in the movie is that Lampwick is literally worked to death, and Pinocchio happens to meet him just before he dies.
Anyway. Other than those three things, the movie had all the stuff from the book that we remember (and some stuff that we didn't remember), and it was very interesting to see onscreen. I do think that in the book, the narrator helps tie everything together a little bit better so it seems slightly less bizarre when, for example, one of the characters is a humanoid snail. And the music was very interesting, but the dreamy quality of it kind of resulted in me feeling similarly to when I wake up groggy from a nap. So overall I think it was a good movie, but not quite the right type of weird for us to want to watch it frequently. I definitely think it's worth checking out if you're interested, though.
Today I'm thankful for getting to see a new Pinocchio movie, also getting to read some manga, the beautiful weather we had today, getting to chat with friends at church, and finding out about a new series from the creators of H2O that's coming to Netflix next month.