PINOCCHIO - A Long Nose at Christmas

A new film version of the classic children's book, broadcast at 16.10 on 25th and 26th December 2013, featuring Mario Adorf, Ulrich Tukur, Inka Friedrich, Benjamin Sadler, Florian Lukas, Sandra Hüller and the technically animated title figure Pinocchio.


The story is over 100 years old: the wooden puppet Pinocchio comes to life and has a series of adventures which are made even more dramatic by his tendency to be flexible with the truth. And the story is familiar over the world; Italy's most famous fairy-tale figure, whose nose grows with each lie he tells, has already appeared in books, animations and children's films. And now FFP New Media (supervising producer Michael Smeaton, producers Anemone Müller and Frank Döhmann) have created a new film version of the story in coproduction with WDR (program editors Brigitta Mühlenbeck and Dörte Hanke) for the national ARD network, with the support of the NRW Film and Media Fund. ARD is broadcasting the event two-parter (2 x 90 min) – a blend of animation and real film – on two days as part of the 2013 Christmas package: on 25th and 26th December, each day at 16.10.  


The production has an outstanding cast. Alongside the title figure – a top-quality animation – 'Pinocchio' features Mario Adorf as the poor toy-maker Geppetto, Ulrich Tukur as the circus director Mangiafuoco, Benjamin Sadler as Geppetto‘s neighbour Antonio and Inka Friedrich as Anna the basket-weaver, as well as Sandra Hüller as the Fox and Florian Lukas as the Cat. Pinocchio‘s constant companion, Coco the cricket, is also an animated character and features the voice talents of Anke Engelke.


The script for 'Pinocchio' has been written by Alexandra Maxeiner (author of the ZDF series Siebenstein), and the production is directed by Anna Justice (whose credits include 'Max Minsky + ich' and 'Die verlorene Zeit'). This new film version of the classic story by Carlo Collodi was filmed in Turkey, near Izmir, in the Cologne MMC Studios and at Dreiborn Castle in Schleiden.


The Story: the poor old toy-maker Geppetto (Mario Adorf) is amazed one day when the figure he has carved from wood suddenly comes alive. The wooden puppet has almost everything that characterises a real boy – especially a hearty appetite and a head full of mischief. Pinocchio isn't always absolutely conscientious about telling the truth, and at every lie he tells his nose grows a little longer. Pinocchio goes to watch a puppet show instead of attending school, moves the puppeteer Mangiafuoco (Ulrich Tukur) to tears and plunges from one adventure to the next. On his incredible journey through life Pinocchio encounters the Fox and the Cat, two small-time gangsters; he gets to visit the incredible Toyland; he is transformed into a donkey… and ends up in the belly of a huge whale. And in all this he follows one dream more than any other; that of becoming a real boy at last, made of flesh and blood… 


Mario Adorf has already appeared in one film version of Pinocchio - back in 1972, when he played the circus director alongside Gina Lollobrigida. And now the 83-year-old actor is taking on the role of Pinocchio‘s foster father, the sweet old toy-maker. Supervising producer Michael Smeaton: "I found it hard to imagine a new film version of 'Pinocchio' without Mario Adorf. So I talked to him about playing this role even before approaching WDR with the project. Adorf was immediately enthusiastic about being able to appear in the fairy-tale a second time – and finally taking on the part of Geppetto."