Last week, Disney began to promote its updated version of Pinocchio and in the short clip, the new design for the famed Blue Fairy was revealed. And, boy did people have questions.
On May 31, Disney released its first look at the new live-action/animated “Pinocchio,” featuring Hollywood star Tom Hanks as Geppetto and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the voice of the titular wooden boy.
But one split-second scene in the trailer made people wonder just what Disney was doing with this re-make film. The scene showed the famous Blue Fairy as she bestowed a magical bolt from her wand onto Pinocchio’s wooden head.
Some were shocked to see that this new Blue Fairy is quite a departure from Disney’s original. Instead of a fair-haired, white woman in a filmy blue dress — like the 1940 classic — this 2022 version features actress Cynthia Erivo, a black woman who also identifies as queer.
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) May 31, 2022
The Blue Fairy being black is not really a big deal. But Erivo’s usual hair style is a very sparse, skull-hugging crew cut, and she sports her usual style in her role as the Blue Fairy, too. This makes the new Blue Fairy quite different from any seen before.
Indeed, it is also a major departure from the original 1883 book, “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” by Italian author Carlo Collodi. In the Collodi book, the character that would become the Blue Fairy in Disney’s 1940 animated production was originally called “The Fairy with Turquoise Hair.”
The flowing tresses of the Blue Fairy have always been a main part of the character’s design. Until now, that is.
The rather jarring change-up to the character caused a lot of people to jump to social media in shock.
I’m not necessarily opposed to this, but I’m also not sure I’m for it either. Sometimes I just wish well enough was left alone.
— Axel Acks (@Axelacks) June 3, 2022
— ✨🍓Emily E. Morse🍓✨ (@EmilyMorse4Life) June 3, 2022
— Trey Mykel (@Trey_Mykel) May 31, 2022
Fata Turchina (Blue Fairy) described by Collodi, the author of Pinocchio: “blue hair and face as white as a porcelain doll”
Disney: yea let’s make her black and bald! pic.twitter.com/NsgBvN1ehS
— Marta 🍃🌾🌿🪴 (@DlORDEPP) May 31, 2022
This movie needs a psychotic cat with a gun. Oh well, at least the Blue Fairy is Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. She’s fully blue and bald pic.twitter.com/gX9hcCeF2j
— Little Dog Mania (@2LittleDog) May 30, 2022
There isn’t anything inherently bad about the new design, granted, but it is certainly a departure from the original 1883 book, not to mention Disney’s own version from 1940.
It remains to be seen if fans accept this new version, or if they come to dismiss it as just another attempt of Disney to go woke at the expense of a famous character.
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