WALT DISNEY STUDIOS TEAMS UP WITH MPC TO BRING THE CLASSIC TALE OF
PINOCCHIO TO THE 21ST CENTURY IN LIVE-ACTION REMAKE
The global visual effects studio delivered over 920 shots to the live-action remake of Pinocchio,
now streaming on Disney+.
The continued relationship between MPC and Walt Disney Studios turns another page with the
live-action remake of Pinocchio now streaming on Disney+. The global MPC team, led by VFX
Supervisor Ben Jones and VFX Producer Sarah Moussaif, provided a host of services: from pre
and postvis production – to final VFX delivery of over 920 striking visual effects shots.
Over the course of two years, around 1200 MPC crew members worked on this reimagining of
the animated classic that tells the story of a wooden boy brought to life through the power of
magic. Working closely with director Robert Zemekis, the team developed all sequences
throughout the movie, with our animation team (lead by Animation Supervisor Christophe
Paradis) being heavily involved in previz, virtual production, and the final VFX to closely guide
and develop each character’s individual performance. This includes the opening scene in
Geppetto’s workshop, where Pinocchio first comes to life. This, by shot count, was the largest
sequence of the movie and involved significant contributions from every department and team,
from match move and paint all the way through animation, environments, FX, and compositing.
“Almost every shot in the film involved significant VFX additions to plates, and approximately
half of the shots in the movie were full CG creations, giving the filmmakers and the animators
scope to design any shot and camera they liked,” said Ben Jones, MPC VFX Supervisor.
Pinocchio was created entirely using CG, as was Jiminy Cricket, Figaro the cat, Cleo the
goldfish, Sophia the seagull, Honest John, and his sidekick Gideon. “We also built a pack of
donkeys and other animals for use in a few different sequences and a new puppet character
called Sabina,” adds Ben. The MPC tech-animation experts generated the characters’ post-
animation details, using multi-layered cloth and fur simulations for their intricate costumes.
The artists created many huge digital environments in and around Pinocchio’s hometown and
school, including a complex theme park environment called Pleasure Island and a fully digital
replica of the interior set of Geppetto’s workshop, complete with many unique animated cuckoo
FX was another significant contributor to the film. The MPC FX department generated intricate
and meticulously detailed water simulations that feature heavily in the film’s climactic moments.
“The team did a splendid job at producing detailed and controlled simulations on a challenging
sequence and timeframe for the ocean chase in the movie’s final act,” adds Ben. With the help
of innovative tools and techniques, the artists also helped produce hundreds of particles, fluid,
destruction, and volumetric effects, ranging from the blue fairy’s dust and magic to a wide range
of looks in Pleasure Island, including fireworks, rivers, and destruction.
“Zemeckis is no stranger to ambitious visual effects and animation projects, and Pinocchio
would be no different,” said Ben. “His and Disney’s expectations for quality and delivery were
high, as always, particularly so with a production like Pinocchio, which is one of the studio’s
most loved stories and with a history stretching all the way back to Walt Disney himself. Much of
what we all love about classic Disney movies trace back to the original Pinocchio, so the
responsibility, and privilege, of working on such a treasured franchise was very apparent to all of
us throughout production,” he adds. With a robust, flexible, and efficient process pipeline, MPC
pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in VFX by developing complex multi-plate stitched
shots and refinements and innovative (and faster) visual effects and animation for the show.
Pinocchio is now streaming on Disney +.
ABOUT DISNEY’S “PINOCCHIO”
Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live action retelling of the beloved tale of
a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy. Tom Hanks stars
as Geppetto, the wood carver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if
he were his own son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide
as well as his “conscience”; Academy Award® nominee Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy;
Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John; Academy Award® nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the
Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans is The Coachman. Also in the cast are Kyanne
Lamaya as Fabiana and Jaquita Ta’Le as her marionette Sabina, Giuseppe Battiston as
Stromboli and Lewin Lloyd as Lampwick.
The screenplay for “Pinocchio” is by Robert Zemeckis & Chris Weitz. Andrew Miano, Chris
Weitz, Robert Zemeckis and Derek Hogue are the film’s producers, with Jack Rapke,
Jacqueline Levine, Jeremy Johns and Paul Weitz the film’s executive producers.
Moving Picture Company (MPC) is a global VFX studio with decades of storytelling experience
across the feature film and episodic industries, with award-winning highlights including The Lion
King, 1917, The Mandalorian and Wandavision. MPC’s global network of artists is constantly
innovating to bring unimaginable ideas to life through cutting-edge technology and boundless
creativity. Part of the Technicolor Creative Studios network, MPC continues to lead the visual
arts industry, building authentic and long-lasting connections with audiences across the silver
ABOUT TECHNICOLOR CREATIVE STUDIOS
MPC is a Technicolor Creative Studios company. Technicolor Creative Studios is a creative
technology company driven by one purpose: The realization of ambitious and extraordinary
ideas. We inspire creative companies across the world to produce their most iconic work. Our
award-winning teams of artists and technologists’ partner with the creative community across
film, television, animation, gaming, brand experience and advertising to bring the universal art of
storytelling to audiences everywhere. No idea is too ambitious for us to create to an incredibly
high standard. Technicolor Creative Studios provides World Class production expertise in Film,
Episodic, Gaming, Advertising and Experiential Marketing.