How '90s Actor Pauly Shore Reinvented Pinocchio in 2022

Kelly Corbett - Author
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Sep. 9 2022, Published 8:20 p.m. ET

Don’t mind us, we’re just in our Pinocchio era. No seriously, it’s 2022 and there are three different films titled "Pinocchio" that have either been released or will be by the end of the year. Most prominently there's Disney's live-action reboot of Pinocchio starring Tom Hanks. There's also Netflix's stop-motion Pinocchio film, which is slated to hit the streamer in December. Last but not least, there's Lionsgate's animated take on the tale — Pinocchio: A True Story — which was released back in March.

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Pinocchio: A True Story is a whimsical film that has garnered a cult-like following for its newfangled portrayal of Pinocchio as a teenage (!) puppet. Per the synopsis: "Young Pinocchio runs away from home to see the world and becomes the main attraction of a travelling circus. He falls for the ringmaster's daughter and longs to become human."

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When Lionsgate shared the trailer on TikTok, fans immediately noticed that something was different about Pinocchio. He was older and his voice sounded more mature, yet there was a distinctive effeminate undertone. And definitely some high-pitched cracking. The caption read: “The yassification of Pinocchio.”

It's unknown what Lionsgate meant by that caption, yet at the same time, everyone in the comment section seemed to understand.

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"GIVING SLAY," wrote one user in the comments. Others reacted with the sparkle emoji and/or the nail polish emoji. This new Pinocchio had a different vibe and fans were here for it.

Even Pentatonix member Scott Hoying, who is openly gay, shared a video of himself lip-syncing to the audio of Pinocchio's voice with the caption “Pinocchio! More like Pinot, Glee, and being a hoe!”

While Pinocchio's love interest is a female in the film, many folks felt the new Pinocchio was an LGBTQ icon (he just didn't know it yet). But even more shocking than the sound of his voice was that '90s actor Pauly Shore was the one behind it.

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Who is Pauly Shore?

Yes, it's true. Comedian and actor Pauly Shore voiced the character of Pinocchio in Pinocchio: A True Story. Born in 1968, Pauly is a little bit older than a teenager, and unlike new Pinocchio, his natural speaking voice is flat and orotund. But as Pauly told Rolling Stone, Lionsgate never gave him a set voice to mimic. "I flowed with the feeling of what I thought the boy was giving me as an actor," he explained.

A former MTV VJ, this isn't Pauly's typical line of work. He previously starred in his own comedy and music series Totally Pauly on MTV in the 1990s. He also starred in the movies Encino Man and Biodome.

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But as the 2000s hit, Pauly's acting career started to tank, though he did get to experiment with voiceovers when he snagged the role of Bobby Zimuruski in Disney’s A Goofy Movie.

It left so much of an impression that Lionsgate wanted to try him out in this unique role years later, which he first thought was an error. “I made my manager read the email two or three times,” Pauly told the outlet. “Like, ‘Are you sure? Are you sure?’ And he was like, ‘No, no, they want you.'”

What is Pauly Shore's net worth?

Pauly Shore's net worth is estimated to be around $30 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. Most of this money comes from his acting and standup comedy career.

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