Friday, September 16, 2022


Beloved by fans and critics alike, although 1940's Pinocchio may feel a be dated in spots there is nothing about the film that calls for a new version of the story (let alone three in one year - including one with Pauly Shore?!). However, Disney (in all its wisdom) has chosen Pinocchio for the latest "live-action" adaption of one of their classic animated films (featuring multiple CGI characters, of course). The results are a longer running time, an unnecessary backstory for Geppetto (Tom Hanks) that never leads anywhere, and far less magic.

The only reason to see the new version is for Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) himself. Wonderfully created in CGI, this version does feel like a living puppet made of wood that looks amazing. It's too bad we don't care about what happens to him. At all.

While Pinocchio looks fantastic, the rest of the creatures look a bit too realistic and creepy including the otherwise likable Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the not-so-honest Honest John (Keegan-Michael Key). But the film's mediocrity isn't only confined to its animated characters. When not mumbling, Hanks is in full kiddie movie mode as Geppetto reverting to the overacting fans may remember from his Bosom Buddies days. 

Most of these Disney remakes have been uninspired (see Aladdin, The Jungle Book, and Dumbo). Offering a different take by focusing on the villain helped with Maleficent (but didn't do much for its sequel or Cruella). Of the various remakes only Beauty and the Beast (on the back of Emma Watson's performance) and Pete's Dragon have justified their existence. With the rights to Mickey Mouse and the Muppets you would think Disney could come up with more imaginative ways to recreate these classics (imagine a wooden Gonzo's nose growing as he lied or Mickey finding Aladdin's lamp). Sadly, we're left with what amounts to nothing more than a poor substitute for the original.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Pinocchio (2022)
  • IMDb: link

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