Have you ever sat down and wondered: “What if we made a movie as bad as The Room but more family friendly?” We haven’t either, but assumingly, that’s what Lionsgate did when it decided to distribute animated movie Pinocchio: A True Story. It was originally made in Russia, but given our severe shortage of Pinocchio movies right now (after all, we only have two others coming out this year), Lionsgate thankfully decided to swoop in and bring this soulless, PS2-quality 3D nightmare to our lives.
The official synopsis of Lionsgate’s English-dubbed version of the movie reads, “Think you know the story of Pinocchio? Think again!” But the plot is actually pretty standard. Wooden kid runs away, joins corrupt circus, wants to become a real boy, all that jazz. The English trailer dropped on January 26, but since February 1, it started going viral online as the internet collectively cringed at Pauly Shore, of A Very Goofy Movie fame, who is giving us absolutely nothing as the voice actor of Pinocchio.
A clip of the trailer shared on Twitter has been viewed nearly 10 million times, with thousands of users sharing their mixture of confusion, amusement, and genuine concern as to whether these voice actors are there against their will (seriously, blink twice if you need help Pauly).
One viral tweet said, “And introducing Lola from Big Mouth as Pinocchio.” Another joked that Pinocchio had finally been “yassified”. Several others also went to check the trailer on YouTube, and tweeted their shock in discovering that Pinocchio actually sounds like that.
The moment I first heard Pinocchio's voice, it was just…magical. pic.twitter.com/rWzkesuOqm
— Mat Brunet (AniMat) (@AniMat505) February 1, 2022
While one commenter of the YouTube video of the trailer said that “an actual piece of wood has more vocal range than Pauly Shore,” another noted that “his performance here seemed absolutely 100% perfectly… wooden.”
The trailer was also shared on the popular Cringetopia subreddit, where its 1.7 million members were entrusted to vote whether or not the trailer was, indeed, cringe. It was voted ‘Cringe’ by a landslide. One of the top comments on the subreddit reads, “Damn, I thought this was a joke.” Sadly not.
Shockingly, Pinocchio: A True Story isn’t getting a theatrical release in the UK or US, but the film will be released on DVD and VOD on March 22, 2022 in the US and May 20, 2022 in the UK. In terms of what streaming service it will end up being on, it’s unclear at this stage, but given that Lionsgate has streaming deals with both Amazon Prime and STARZ, it is likely it will end up on one of them.