Directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson, Netflix’s ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ is a stop-motion fantasy movie that chronicles the titular character’s adventures. After Geppetto, a woodcarver loses his son, he crafts a wooden marionette which magically comes to life. Pinocchio, the wooden boy, tries to understand himself while interacting with people in the real world and learning about them.
Pinocchio’s paths cross with Count Volpe, a ringmaster who runs a carnival. When Count Volpe finds out about a talking wooden puppet, he realizes Pinocchio’s potential. Count Volpe dreams of doing shows across Italy and becoming rich and famous. However, Pinocchio is unaware of how shrewd, greedy, and conniving the ringmaster is. So, he signs a contract with him and goes on a tour across towns. Soon, Pinocchio discovers the Count’s true colors, and things take a dark turn for the ringmaster. So, what happens to Count Volpe? Does he die?
Is Count Volpe Dead?
Yes, Count Volpe dies in ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.’ When the ringmaster tries to burn Pinocchio on a pyre, Spazzatura, the baboon, rescues the wooden boy and jumps at the Count. Spazzatura starts scratching the Count’s eyes, and, unable to balance his feet, the Count falls off the cliff along with the baboon. Spazzatura lands on the water and is safe, but Count Volpe hits his head on a rock and falls into the water. Considering the Count falls from a height and lands on his head first, it is safe to say he dies.
The overall movie’s tone is pretty hopeful and depicts how good things happen to good people. So, it is likely that Count Volpe’s arc would have ended with him losing everything one way or another. However, his death is because of his actions and symbolizes karmic justice for everything he put Pinocchio through. When Pinocchio first meets the Count, the latter makes the former sign a contract. According to the document, Pinocchio has to work for the ringmaster indefinitely, and if he doesn’t, his father, Geppetto, will owe the Count 10 million Lire. Without understanding what’s happening, Pinocchio signs the contract and gets trapped by Volpe.
After Pinocchio’s first performance, Gepetto tries to take him back home, but Volpe reveals the contract. The incident causes a rift between Gepetto and Pinocchio because the former doesn’t have 10 million Lire to give to Count Volpe. After Gepetto calls Pinocchio a burden, the wooden boy decides to work with Count Volpe to repay Gepetto’s debt and find who he is and what he wants to be.
The Count promises Pinocchio that all earnings will be split equally between the two, and Gepetto will regularly get his share. But Count Volpe doesn’t sign any contract because of his deceitful nature. Volpe knows that Pinocchio is vulnerable and exploits the situation by luring him into his schemes. After all, Count Volpe only cares about the money, and fame Pinocchio will bring him. Once Volpe’s carnival starts touring different towns across Northern Italy, the ringmaster’s joy knows no bounds.
Count Volpe is happy with all the money he makes by using the innocent boy. The Count calls him the star of his show and praises Pinocchio incessantly. Over time, Count Volpe’s pet baboon, Spazzatura, gets jealous and tries to poison Pinocchio’s thoughts. The baboon uses puppets to tell Pinocchio that Count Volpe’s cheating him and is not sending any money to his father, Geppetto. The Count hears all this and starts treating Spazzatura violently. One day, Pinocchio catches Count Volpe humiliating Spazzatura. When Pinocchio confronts Count Volpe about it, the man shows his true colors.
The moment is significant in Pinocchio’s arc because he loses the innocence he had been carrying for so long. Pinocchio sees the world’s true nature and becomes aware of people like Count Volpe. So, to teach Count Volpe a lesson, he insults Benito Mussolini in his performance, leading to the Count losing everything. Count Volpe decides to exact revenge on Pinocchio. The Count tries to burn Pinocchio, but Spazzatura decides to save Pinocchio because he realizes how bad Count Volpe is. A confrontation occurs, leading to Count Volpe’s death.
Considering Pinocchio’s curious nature, he would have learned about the Count’s true intentions sooner or later. Thus, Count Volpe losing fame and money was inevitable. However, when the ringmaster decides to kill Pinocchio, Count Volpe again faces karmic justice and dies.