Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)

guillermo del toros pinocchio poster 2022 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking and decent adaptation

Pinocchio story isn't for everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Studio:  Netflix Animation/The Jim Henson Company/Pathe

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

Release Date(s):  September 9, 2022 (Sweden)/November 11, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

guillermo del toros pinocchio geppetto

Careful what you wish for…

Geppetto is in mourning after the death of his child Carlo who is killed in a bombing.  After years, Geppetto cuts down the tree from Carlo’s pinecone and builds a wooden boy in a drunken rage.  The blue fairy gives life to the little wooden boy, but Pinocchio is a foolish child with little understanding of the world.  With a cricket assigned to be his guiding conscience, Pinocchio finds navigating the world of men is difficult…and a war is looming in Italy that could destroy them all.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson (who also scripted the story with Patrick McHale), Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (also simply known as Pinocchio) is a stop-motion animated fantasy.  The film is an adaptation of 1883 The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi and had a small theatrical release before being released on Netflix on December 9, 2022 to positive reviews.  The film an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

I like Disney’s original Pinocchio, but Pinocchio is a harder tale to adopt even in comparison to something like Alice in Wonderland.  Guillermo kind of scraps both the classic tale and hones in on aspects of the story which feel fresh…and with his unique style, Pinocchio for once feels new again.

guillermo del toros pinocchio death animated

Welcome to the afterlife, Pinocchio

Disney has been rehashing its old franchises recently.  It too released a Pinocchio in 2022 with no heart and no emotion…that cannot be said about Guillermo version of the story.  This really feels new and fresh.  While the core Pinocchio story is there, it feels more intergrated and less episodic.  There are reasons for Pinocchio to leave Geppetto and with the background of Mussillini’s Italy, war is looming.  It isn’t afraid to get dark…and the ending while tragic also has hope of a future.

The vocal cast is strong.  Gregory Mann provides the voice of Pinocchio and manages to capture his glee and unconnected nature…and amplifies the idea that Pinocchio is foolish.  John Hurt was originally planned for Geppetto but his death had the role going to David Bradley (which seems more appropriate).  Ewan McGregor is the narrator and Sebastian J. Cricket.  Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Ron Perlman, Fin Wolfhard, John Turturro, Burn Gorman, and Tim Blake Nelson also provide vocals for the story.

guillermo del toros pinocchio monstro geppetto

Monstro’s coming for you!

What really sells Guillermo’s Pinocchio is the animation.  When it was released, it was the longest stop-motion film and like The Nightmare Before Christmas before it, it feels pretty revolutionary in its style.  While Wes Anderson modernized stop-motion with The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs, Guillermo dives right in and nails it.

Pinocchio is a good animated outing that captures all the weirdness of the story.  Pinocchio is more ignorant and uneducated, but there is a sincerity in this.  He quickly learns about lying and you can see how lying can corrupt…but interestingly enough, lying ends up being the salvation of the characters.  With a more reflective and layered look at the classic, some themes are explored that have not been explored in previous movies…and that makes seeking out this movie worth the time.

Related Links:

Pinocchio (1940)

Pinocchio (2022)

Pinocchio’s Christmas (1980)

The 95th Academy Award Nominations

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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