Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Ending Explained (In Detail)

Pinocchio Count volpe geppetto

Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

After much anticipation, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio premiered on Netflix, and Del Toro’s Pinocchio ending explained that Pinocchio left his village to go on a new adventure. This version of Pinocchio, adapted from the 1883 novel by Carlo Collodi, brings the title character to life in vivid detail, exploring a new story for the beloved wooden puppet. It also impressed critics and viewers alike, as it picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, after winning the same award at the Golden Globes.

Directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson, the stop-motion animated musical ends with the character Sebastian J. Cricket using his wish to bring Pinocchio back to life, which the Wood Sprite obliges before disappearing. After grieving Carlo for so long, and being so angry that Pinocchio isn’t his real son, Geppetto finally accepts the wooden puppet for who he is, and they live out their days together — until Geppetto, Spazzatura, and Cricket die and Pinocchio is left alone in the world. Pinocchio’s ending brings its various themes and story elements together, though there is plenty to explore in this animated feature.

Related: Netflix’s Pinocchio Has a WAY Better Rotten Tomatoes Score Than Disney’s

Why Sebastian J. Cricket Uses His Wish On Pinocchio, Not Carlo

Pinocchio in the Guillermo del Toro Netflix movie.

Interestingly, Cricket could have asked to bring Carlo back, but he didn’t because, though the creature knew Geppetto deeply grieved his biological son, Sebastian wanted Pinocchio to have another shot at life after living such a short one. What’s more, Sebastian was emotionally attached to Pinocchio and saw firsthand how much he had grown and changed in such a small amount of time. The wooden puppet Pinocchio sacrificed his own life so that he could save Geppetto, and Sebastian J. Cricket was moved by the bravery and honor of that choice. Plus, Geppetto was finally accepting Pinocchio as his son, and Sebastian Cricket felt they should have more time to experience their father/son relationship.

Where Does Pinocchio Go At The End Of The Movie?

Pinocchio looking at the camera in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio.

In a short amount of time, Pinocchio got to travel, but he didn’t really get to see the world on his own terms. With that said, it could be that Pinocchio left his small village to revisit the regions of Italy he passed through while working for Count Volpe. Sebastian J. Cricket mentioned the “world” embracing Pinocchio, so it’s possible the wooden puppet traveled globally — from bigger cities in Italy to other parts of the European continent and the world. With the way Pinocchio ends, there is a sense of endless opportunities ahead for the titular character, and he’s free to roam wherever he pleases, however far that may be.

Why The Wood Sprite Gives The Cricket His Wish (Despite His Terrible Job)

Sebastian J Cricket in Pinocchio.

It’s safe to say that Sebastian J. Cricket was not the best at being Pinocchio’s guide and conscience. But the Wood Sprite still granted the cricket his wish as promised because Sebastian ultimately did the best he could do, and that’s all one can really do. The same goes for Pinocchio, who did his best despite making questionable decisions — he didn’t know any better and neither did Sebastian Cricket. But he tried — he put his best foot forward, even though nothing was easy, and he couldn’t control Pinocchio’s actions. The Wood Sprite understood this, especially since the cricket had stopped thinking only of himself, using his wish to save Pinocchio instead.

Why Does Cricket Say Pinocchio Will Die One Day?

Pinocchio dies multiple times in the Netflix movie.

Cricket thinks Pinocchio will die one day, likely because it would prove he is a real boy once and for all. Pinocchio’s ending showed that everything dies at some point — be it a cricket, a person, or a plant. Sebastian Cricket doesn’t think Pinocchio is immortal, and that his time, whenever that may be, will eventually come to an end, like the last grain of sand in the hourglass. Ultimately, Sebastian Cricket believes that life happens no matter what someone’s plans are and that death is a big part of it. If Pinocchio is to live as a real boy, then he must truly experience death as well, regardless of how long it might take.

Related: Why Netflix & Disney Both Made Pinocchio Movies In 2022

Can Pinocchio Still Die Multiple Times?

Pinocchio's death in Guillermo del Toro's movie.

When the Wood Sprite brought Pinocchio back, it wasn’t necessarily under the stipulation that he would die only once. It’s possible that when resurrected, Pinocchio returned to his original state with unlimited lives. But considering Pinocchio proved himself and sacrificed his remaining chances at life to save Geppetto, it’s doubtful the Wood Sprite would give him such a gift a second time, especially if the consequences were facing the ire of Death, her sister. Pinocchio likely lived out his days with Geppetto, Sebastian Cricket, and Spazzatura as a real boy. And because of his sacrifice to save Geppetto, Pinocchio could live without putting his life at risk or taking it for granted.

Why Is It Safe For Pinocchio To Be Alone Now?

Pinocchio pokes Geppetto on the nose in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio.

Pinocchio’s early life was filled with turmoil, and he was sought after by those who wanted to exploit him. In the years following his resurrection, del Toro’s Pinocchio embedded himself more fully into everyday life. He was older and wiser now and was likely a better judge of character regarding who he should trust and befriend. Crucially, the direct threat of war and fascism had passed, so Pinocchio could go out into the world and be free from both. The wooden puppet had finally learned a thing or two about living, and likely wasn’t making any irrational decisions. With the world seemingly more accepting of him, Pinocchio was a lot safer.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio’s Real Meaning Explained

Pinocchio with Geppetto in the Netflix movie.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio ending explained several themes, including self-acceptance, unconditional love, and the power of disobedience. At the start of his life, Pinocchio was constantly told to do what the adults in his life wanted, especially his father; this lesson applied to Candlewick’s relationship with the Podestà as well. Going against Geppetto, Count Volpe, and the Podestà made Pinocchio feel bad, but the animated film suggests that disobeying them was the key to obtaining freedom and stepping into his own power, especially with such a concerted effort to push Pinocchio towards decisions he wasn’t making on his own or for himself.

What’s more, the majority of Pinocchio saw the titular character trying his hardest to be like Carlo to please Geppetto. However, Guillermo del Toro’s film teaches that someone shouldn’t have to live up to impossible parental expectations or be like anyone else to be worthy of love. Pinocchio was constantly at odds with who he was and who he believed Geppetto wanted him to be, but the Pinocchio stop-motion animation is firm in its themes of self-love and loving someone for who they are without boundaries or expectations of who they should be.

Related: When Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Is Set – Real History & Timeline

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Receives Oscar Nomination

Pinocchio looks through two glass cups in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio.

Critical reception for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was high, with a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 91% audience score. This ended up translating into a lot of award recognition for the movie. The movie received three nominations at the Golden Globes, winning the award for Best Motion Picture – Animated. Its other two nominations were for Best Original Song for “Ciao Papa” and Best Original Score for Alexandre Desplat. At the Oscars, it only received one nomination, and that was for Best Animated Feature Film. In a year with some impressive big-screen animated releases, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio has matched up with the best.

More: Every 2022 Pinocchio Film Ranked From Worst To Best

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