In a faraway land, a carpenter called Geppetto stumbles across an old well. He decides to throw a coin into the well and make a wish. Back at his workshop, Geppetto is making a puppet named Pinocchio. He admires his work and dances around the workshop with the puppet, delighted that he is finished.
The clocks strike midnight. Something magical is happening! The Water Sprite from the well appears to grant Geppetto’s wish for a son. She waves her wand and Pinocchio comes to life! The Water Sprite tells him he must prove himself worthy of becoming a real boy. With a final flick of her wand, Franny the Frog appears to act as Pinocchio’s friend and guide. The still wooden and clumsy Pinocchio crashes into a wall and wakes Geppetto, who rejoices that his wish has been granted.
The next morning, Geppetto tries to get a mischievous Pinocchio ready to go to the market, giving him a bag of gold coins to buy wood. Geppetto also gives him an apple, telling him not to it eat it until lunch. As soon as his back is turned, Pinocchio takes a bite! When he lies to Geppetto about it, he sneezes and feels a tingling in his nose. Geppetto warns him to go straight to the market and not get distracted by anything, and Pinocchio dances out of the house with excitement.
Two street performers, Phineus the Fox and Camden the Cat, spot Pinocchio on his way down the road. Pinocchio says he is going to the market, but Phineus persuades him that he would have more fun learning to dance with them and becoming a star at the circus. Pinocchio is enchanted at the idea of being famous and agrees to follow them.
Franny the Frog wakes up back in the workshop. Pinocchio is nowhere to be seen so she hops off in search of her friend, hoping nothing has gone wrong.
At the circus the ringmaster, The Showman, gives Phineus and Camden a bag of gold for finding Pinocchio. With a drum roll, Pinocchio is revealed on stage! He dances an enthusiastic tap dance, then takes a bow. After the show, The Showman locks Pinocchio inside a cage. Pinocchio realises he has been tricked and tries to plead with The Showman, but it is no use.
That night, Franny finds Pinocchio locked in the cage. All hope seems lost, until the Water Sprite magically reappears. Pinocchio is too ashamed to tell her the truth, but each time he tells a lie he sneezes, and his nose grows longer. Franny tries to stop the lies but with no success. The Water Sprite tells Pinocchio that lying is no way to become a real boy. He apologises and begs for forgiveness. The Water Sprite uses her magic to help Pinocchio escape with Franny by his side.
Back at the workshop, Geppetto is worried about his missing puppet. To his relief, Pinocchio and Franny suddenly burst through the door. Pinocchio tells Geppetto the truth and apologises for being led astray. Geppetto forgives him and is proud of Pinocchio for telling the truth. In a final wisp of magic, Pinocchio becomes a real boy and dances joyfully, expressing his love for his father and best friend. For where there is love and honesty, there is always magic.
Header illustration by Emily Nuttall.