‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’: Why ‘Ciao Papa’ is the song of the year

“Cav Papa, mio ​​Papa. It’s time to say goodbye.” Inside Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, wooden boy named after It dramatically lays out the first few lines of this heartbreaking earworm that could endanger my 2023 Spotify Wrapped if I’m not careful.

Guillermo del Toro offers pure magic in his interpretation Pinocchio. The visionary filmmaker vehemently opposes that animation is a film medium, not just a genre for children, with its unique interpretation of the classic children’s fairy tale that offers fun visuals, great music, and dark metaphors of loss and grief.


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Pinocchio presents a story of exploitation in the turbulent First World War Adding perfectly timed humor and incredible music that infiltrated fascist rule in 1930s Italy, it is now nominated for a Golden Globe Best Original Score. The most notable song is “Ciao Papa”.

The mournful song is paired with Pinocchio, who is depicted happily jumping on stage for the spectacle during assembly plays of desperate children who have left their homes to fight in Mussolini’s army. (Have fun explaining that to your kids!) With so many emotions conveyed, this issue takes the cake and narrows the lines between a dark narrative tone and the carefree innocence of its protagonist.

Hard to take your eyes off biblical true angels and shipwrecks, crazy fishermen and a voracious shark (Jonah and whale style!) devouring crew. With religious motifs, violent fascists, and the revival of a strange, gang-like wooden boy, it’s easy for the dizzying themes to get you down. However, I must add that Pinocchio‘s biggest gem for the audience is a song that is actually just under 3 minutes long and then makes the whole room cry.

Credit: Netflix

Alexandre Desplat’s “Ciao Papa” is young, poetic and somber; sums up the true essence of childlike naivete in a world full of death, sickness, and all the old and grumpy crones who eventually pull you out of your youth and have to repeat it. cycle.

Near the climax of the movie, Pinocchio disappears from home to save his father Gepetto from his unpredictable and disobedient behavior. The grumpy mourner had made it clear that Pinocchio was nothing like Carlo, his real son, who had previously been accidentally lost in an airstrike. Thus, the wooden boy embarks on a journey of self-discovery and pity. Unfortunately, this is a journey led by Count Volpe, an Italian aristocrat and puppeteer, greedy exploiter who tricks Pinocchio into using him as a stepping stone to fame and fortune.


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Pinocchio believes that the song and dance tour in Italy will save his father money. But the rogue Volpe pockets all the winnings and refuses Pinocchio’s request to be released and sent back to live with his old man. The pine tree sets the perfect frame for the naivety of the child, a number like “Cree Pope”.

The unnamed boy whose carpenter father wishes to live stumbles and clumsily struggles in a life he should never have known. His existence, his growing nose, and everything else is a crime against humanity. Lost too soon and thrown in anticipation of replacing a son with no guidance other than the speaking cricketer Sebastian, Pinocchio was given little or no preparation or support on his journey of introspection. He is not rebellious or mischievous; he is a talking wooden puppet thrown into a community that exploits him for his childish faults rather than embraces him. The buildup that solidified the “Cav Papa” stage performance melts his frustration into a venerable bout of passion, revealing a vulnerability too raw to be interpreted for the ears of teenagers alone.

“Ciao Papa” humanizes the intrusive thoughts that come from feeling like a social outcast, avoiding the judgmental gaze of elders, friends, and even our own parents. While this impostor syndrome can take many different forms and meanings depending on the individual, it is something commonly perceived by children and adults, making this musical number relatable in more than one way. Of course, not everyone has the ability to pack up and run for the hills to face “weeping camels” or countless “peaks to climb”. But personifying that suffering in a song opens doors for critical validation in healing pain.

I can’t remember the last time I shed a tear at the image of a boy/puppet/pine tree turning into a human from woodworking, singing about his desire to be loved before being sent into a dangerous war. The musical number sums up the film’s themes as well as awe-inspiring audiences of all ages to listen to and unconsciously melt into melody and lyricism.

If you need an example to prove why animation should be a tool enjoyed by all age groups, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Given enough consideration, it shows that the possibility is too much to achieve, especially with a steady creative eye and a very good soundtrack.

Fuck the entertainment reputation policy. Pinocchio for everyone!

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)

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