Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio ending explained: Will Pinocchio ever die?

‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ is a reimagining of the popular children’s story by Carlo Collodi. This film is based on the life of a grieving father who finds a reason to laugh again. The film is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Master Geppetto and his son, Carlo, live in a small town in Italy. They lead a simple but happy life. Master Geppetto is a wood carver. He is known to be a model citizen and a good father.

During the Great War, he loses Carlo when a bomb is dropped on their town. Geppetto not only loses his son but also his will to live.

One night, when he is drunk, he wishes for his son to come to life, not knowing he is being watched by old spirits. In a drunken fit, he cuts down a tree and carves a wooden figure from it. 

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The tree was home to a cricket, Sebastian J. Cricket, who is the narrator of the story. Sebastian witnesses a guardian spirit putting life into the wooden figure and naming it Pinocchio.

The spirit makes a deal with Sebastian — she would grant one of his wishes if he guides the boy to be good. She wants the boy to bring joy and light to Geppetto’s life.

The next morning, Geppetto is surprised to see the wooden puppet move and talk. Pinocchio calls him Papa and bombards him with questions; he is just as naive as a newborn child. 

Geppetto leaves Pinocchio at home and goes to the church, but Pinocchio follows him there. The townspeople are surprised to see a living puppet.

Without realizing it, Geppetto slowly starts laughing again with Pinocchio. He even goes back to work at the church. 

When the Podesta sees that the child is a rebel, he orders Geppetto to send him to school. Pinocchio does not like the idea of going to school, but he tries to obey his father nevertheless. 

However, Volpe, a showman, finds out about the oddity that is Pinocchio and beguiles him into signing a contract with him and skipping school to perform at the carnival.

Geppetto is not happy with Pinocchio’s disobedience and tries to take him home. Volpe fights with him over Pinocchio, and amidst the scuffle, Pinocchio meets with an accident and dies.

In the underworld, Pinocchio meets another spirit who tells him that he can never truly die as he is not a real boy. After every death, he will have to spend some time in the underworld before getting back to his body.

Pinocchio comes back to life. Seeing the wonder, Volpe lays claim on Pinocchio. He shows Geppetto the contract signed by Pinocchio; failing to abide by it would cost Geppetto ten million lire. 

Geppetto, frustrated by Pinocchio’s neverending questions and rebellion, calls him a burden, which causes Pinocchio to leave the house in the middle of the night.

Not wanting to be a burden, he goes back to Volpe. He tells him he is ready to travel with him and perform if Volpe agrees to send half of the profits to his father. 

Meanwhile, Geppetto realizes his mistake and chases after Pinocchio, who has been traveling across the country with Volpe.

Volpe’s jealous baboon, Spazzatura, tells Pinocchio that Volpe has been lying to him about sending his share of the profits to his father. Volpe overhears this and beats up Spazzatura, who is saved by Pinocchio.

The two conspire against Volpe and ruin his most important show, which was put up for Benito Mussolini. As a result, Pinocchio is shot by Mussolini’s men.

At the same time, in their quest to find Pinocchio, Geppetto and Sebastian are swallowed by a giant sea creature. They then start living in the creature’s stomach.

This time when Pinocchio comes back to life, he is taken by the Podesta to be a member of an army unit that is made up of children. 

Pinocchio and the Podesta’s son, Candlewick, become good friends, and Candlewick defies his father’s orders because he does not want to kill his friend. 

A bomb is dropped there, separating Candlewick and Pinocchio. 

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio ending explained:

What happens to Pinocchio after he is separated from Candlewick?

Candlewick tries to look for his friend, but Pinocchio is taken by a vengeful Volpe. 

After losing everything because of Pinocchio, he seeks to execute him by burning him at the stake. However, Spazzatura risks his own life and saves him. 

They fall off a cliff, but they somehow manage to survive.

How are Geppetto and Pinocchio reunited?

Pinocchio and Spazzatura are at sea when they come across what seems to be an island. They eagerly swim toward it, only to be swallowed by it.

The island turns out to be the same beast that swallowed Geppetto and Sebastian. Inside the beast, Pinocchio and his father have a happy reunion.

How do Pinocchio and his companions escape the beast’s stomach?

Pinocchio lies to grow his nose. Geppetto, Sebastian, Spazzatura, and Pinocchio himself then use the long nose to climb out of the beast’s nostrils.

However, the beast chases them, almost killing Geppetto and Pinocchio.   

How does Pinocchio save Geppetto?

Pinocchio goes to the underworld for the third time. As his father is dying and he needs to save him, he refuses to wait there for the required amount of time before he is sent back to his body.

The spirit tells him that if he leaves before his time is up and breaks the rule, then he will turn into a real boy, having only one life.

Pinocchio agrees, and he manages to save Geppetto, but he loses his last life in the process.

How does Pinocchio survive?

When Pinocchio dies, the spirit who gave him life appears. Sebastian asks the spirit to grant the wish that he was promised, he wishes for Pinocchio to come back to life.

His wish is granted and Pinocchio survives. He is finally accepted by Geppetto, who no longer wants him to be like Carlo. He just wants him to be himself now.

Will Pinocchio ever die?

Geppetto, Sebastian, Pinocchio, and Spazzatura happily live together for the rest of their lives. Eventually, Geppetto and Sebastian grow old and pass away. 

Pinocchio does not age, but Sebastian assumes that he might die one day. However, there is no definite answer provided in the film; it is left to the viewers to decide on their own.

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