The Paddington films are so tenderly sweet, innocent, and loving. It’s hard to resist their charms. When films are as universally loved as they are, you can be sure that studios want someone like director Paul King on board for one of their projects.
Disney, who has been re-envisioning their animated films and turning them into live-action ones, will now bring in King to direct their live-action telling of Pinocchio. More on the story below.
It’s been perfectly clear that Disney has been all about turning their classic animated movies into new live-action features, but lately they haven’t been wasting time in announcing what’s next. Just in the past month alone we’ve found out about planned live-action adaptations of Dumbo, Mulan, and Winnie the Pooh, as well as castings for the live-action Beauty and the Beast adaptation. These all follow already-released live-action takes on Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty (Maleficent), and Cinderella, and other upcoming titles The Jungle Book and sequel Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.
Now another project is being added to Disney’s live-action slate, an adaptation of their 1940 animated classic Pinocchio. The movie about a wooden puppet wanting to become a real boy was the studio’s second animated feature after 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
A most peculiar drama, indeed. As I watched The Odd Life of Timothy Green I kept thinking of how rare it is to find a touching, genuine piece of film that literally grows on you. Nothing especially grand in scale, just a simple fantasy set in reality. Director Peter Hedges has fashioned a sweet tale with sensibility, one that despite inspiring some eye-rolling and struggling to maintain a cohesive structure, manages to breathe kindness and spirit.
Disney has surely expanded its range in films in recent years, in terms of tone, and I suppose soon enough one would arrive in the form of a married couple who cannot have a child. Jim and Cindy Green, played with warmth by the duo of Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Alias star Jennifer Garner, have almost given up hope on having a child of their very own. In a flash-forward scene toward the opening, the pair shares with an adoption agency of why they are suitable parents. They tell their miraculous story, of their short and certainly odd experience with a 10-year-old boy who enters their lives.