Pinocchio (2022)

pinocchio 2022 movie poster
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some decent visuals, Pleasure Island

Wasted cast, so-so story with some updates

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Pinocchio

Studio:  Depth of Field/ImageMovers/Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Musical/Family

Release Date(s):  September 8, 2022

MPAA Rating:  PG

pinocchio blue fairy cynthia erivo

“Can I be a real boy with a heart?”
“No…there is no heart in this movie”

Geppetto (Tom Hanks) dreams of a family, and when he wishes on a star, his little wooden puppet is granted life by the Blue Fairy.  Pinocchio wants to be important to Geppetto and that means doing everything he can to become a real boy.  When Pinocchio is waylaid on his first day of school, Pinocchio and his conscience Jiminy Cricket find themselves on the adventure of a lifetime.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis (who penned the screenplay along with Chris Weitz), Pinocchio is a family action-adventure fantasy musical.  The film is a live-action adaptation of the 1940 Walt Disney classic film Pinocchio which in turn is an adaptation of the 1883 children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi.  The film premiered on Disney+ on September 8, 2022 and received largely negative reviews.

I am one of the few people (it feels like) really enjoys Walt Disney’s Pinocchio.  I liked the characters, the story was kind of scary, and the art is fantastic.  The live-action Disney remakes have been ho-hum for the most part and this potentially could be the worst to date.

pinocchio tom hanks geppetto

Get ready, I’m going to be the worst parent ever!!!

The film is extremely lazy.  It tries to streamline the plot a bit and make Pinocchio a bit more sympathetic in his choices (it all takes place in twenty-four hours which is used as a joke), and it provides a few modern updates to the story which partially makes it a bit more PC (no beer and cigars…only root beer at Pleasure Island).  The film barely is a musical with a few rehashed Disney songs and it lacks any sense of joy (something that the original one had).

The movie wastes a lot of talent.  Tom Hanks is possibly at his worst as he does a really odd “old man” performance that just doesn’t feel real or rounded.  Cynthia Erivo is decent as a more uppity version of the Blue Ferry while Giuseppe Battiston (Stromboli), Luke Evans (the Coachman), and Lewin Lloyd (Lampwick) provide temptation in human form.  Pinocchio is voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth and Jiminy’s voice is provided by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Lorraine Bracco provides her recognizable voice to the new character of Sofia the Seagull, and Keegan-Michael Key is the fox Honest John.  None of the characters feel real or rounded (you could argue that is the case in original as well), but here in live action, it feels worse.

pinocchio pleasure island ferris wheel

I don’t know, becoming a donkey might be a small price to pay for THE MOST AWESOME PARK IN THE WORLD!!!!

The looks of certain parts of the movie could be the only saving grace.  Pinocchio is modeled after the movie version and looks like he is just superimposed over the environment…he feels like he has no weight or substance.  Monstro is transformed from a whale into a sea monster complete with tentacles…another unnecessary change that doesn’t add to the story.  The only thing that kind of works is Pleasure Island which always had a cool look in the original.  It doesn’t do a good job selling that it is bad…I kind of want to go there.

Pinocchio feels like a desperate Disney money grab…but they even realized that putting it in the theaters would be a waste.  The world of streaming potentially could open up so much more for viewers, but often things like Pinocchio are what surface instead of new or original story content.  Even if you like Pinocchio, skip Pinocchio…he isn’t worth the wood he’s made from.

Related Links:

Pinocchio (1940)

Pinocchio’s Christmas (1980)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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