Pinocchio (2022)

It is Disney + Day and that meant we were going to be seeing a brand new “live-action” adaptation of a past Disney classic animated movie. We have seen Cinderella, Jungle Book, Aladdin, The Lion King, Dumbo, Mulan, Maleficent, 101 Dalmatians, Pete’s Dragon, and Beauty and the Beast. Now, it was time for the remake of the 1940 iconic Pinocchio.

Tom Hanks starred as Geppetto, the wood carver who created the puppet Pinocchio in response to his son and wife’s recent death. After Geppetto wished upon a star, the Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo) arrived and brought the wooden boy to life and appointed Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as his conscience.

Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) was told that he had a chance to become a real boy if he showed the ability of being brave, truthful and selfless. This leads to a series of weird adventures as Pinocchio heads out into the world.

There are several issues with this new version of Pinocchio. First, the design of Pinocchio is nearly identical to the original version and that makes Pinocchio a little creepy. The animation style also stood out against the rest of the film. Pinocchio did not look like it fit in the world.

A second problem I had was that this was a basic shot for shot remake with little new material. Some of the scenes were fine, but were not any better than the original. The scene where Pinocchio watches Lampwick (Lewin Lloyd) get turned into a donkey is not as scary as the animated version, but it was adequate. I liked the Monstro section but it was done too quickly.

Tom Hanks did not have much to do. Geppetto just kind of wandered around yelling for Pinocchio. The inclusion of the death son and wife was potentially a rich addition for the actor, but the scenes with his grief disappeared early.

I am not sure the reason for the remake outside of just making money. Not that making money is a bad thing, and all films are trying to make money, but there felt like little purpose.

The film is not the worst thing I have seen, but it was not very good and it didn’t reach the level of the 1940 film.

2.6 stars

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