Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

During the rise of fascism in Mussolini's Italy, a wooden boy brought magically to life struggles to live up to his father's expectations.

  • Released: 2022-12-24
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy
  • Stars: Gregory Mann, David Bradley, Ewan McGregor, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, Finn Wolfhard, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro, Burn Gorman
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
  • eagandersongil - 8 January 2023
    The best animation of the last years
    "Pinocchio" is by far one of the best animations of recent years, I went to watch the film full of optimism, since the whole project was led by Del Toro, who is a director who makes few mistakes and manages to express many meanings and sentimentality of stories more "Macabras", in addition to always valuing an incredible visual aspect of his works, and this is no different, speaking first of the animation, that is amazing for car#l#o, it doesn't even look like stop motion, it took 14 years of montage and animation, and you can feel the passion of those involved in the final result, in addition to the incredible animation, we have the visuals, which are not cute or in Disney molds, quite the contrary, here we have very real elements, and as we are dealing with an extremely violent and traumatic part of human history, with wars, deaths, oppression and famine, the whole look contributes to this more "sad" atmosphere, otherwise the film has a good pinch of black humor and satires of fascist Italy. But one of the great merits is given in the script, Pinocchio is a film about accepting death, the discussion of whether or not to be a real boy takes place in the acceptance of human frailty, we are all going to die, and that is what makes us human, is it? Pinocchio talks about this idea. Pinocchio reminded me of another film by Del Torno, the great "Pan's Labyrinth", which in my opinion is still the best film by the Mexican director, a cold and brutal film with a slightly lighter outfit, great film, great story , great animation. 9.5/10.
  • dextersarabia - 5 January 2023
    This movie has a great story, amazing stop-motion visuals, and charming characters.
    The story of this Pinocchio adaptation is a unique twist to the other Pinocchio movies that came out this year. The story takes place in the 1900s rather than the original story which took place in the 1800s. This changes the tone of the story with the village that Geppetto and Pinocchio live in are being invaded by fighter planes and are currently in World War 1 conflicts. The story is told by a Cricket who writes the story of his life and how it changes throughout the movie. The main story starts by Geppetto creating Pinocchio in a drunken and depressed state after the passing of his son, who was killed due to the war that is occurring during the movie. Pinocchio is the main character who travels through Italy with a sleazy carnival manager who made Pinocchio sign a binding contract that gave the manager rights to own him or give him 10 million lire. Pinocchio doesn't want to work for the circus, but all he requests to the manager is to use his profits to help his papa. Pinocchio is set in military camp, inside a whale, and in limbo with the guardian of the world who is a blue fairy which was the one who gave Pinocchio life. Since Pinocchio isn't a real boy, he doesn't die which means that all of his friends die, and teaches the importance of mortality in the real world.

    The visuals in this movie are stop-motion wooden carvings of characters which is really fitting for a movie about a talking puppet. The puppets are really beautiful and unique with the movie taking a total of 3 years to record and shoot along with the 12 years it has been in development hell due to Del Toro not finding a production company to fund this project. The lighting in the movie changes constantly and you can tell how much time they worked on the models, backgrounds, and lighting.

    The characters are very charming in their own different ways with prevalent character development throughout the movie. Geppetto is presented as a sad and lonely made after his son died in the incident earlier in the movie. In his desperation, he creates Pinocchio in hopes that he can characterize him to be like the younger child that passed. Pinocchio was awoken by the blue fairy which leaves Geppetto in a state of absolute worry and fear. Geppetto wasn't very kind to Pinocchio, but shows later in the film how much he cares about Pinocchio and cares about him rather than the image Geppetto wants him to be. Pinocchio is a very curious and oblivious puppet who trusts everyone and laughs in the face of danger due to his immortality. Pinocchio is restricted to how much time it takes to come back after each and every death throughout the film to learn how precious life is. He is timed by the blue fairy who used hourglasses which increase in size after each death, Pinocchio then goes into a near-death situation for Geppetto in the whale, which leads him to break the hourglass preventing him to come back to life normally which leads to The Talking Cricket and what his motives are. The Talking Cricket is a cocky and well mannered guide for Pinocchio to follow. Cricket helps Pinocchio because the blue fairy plans to give him any wish he desires if he guides him well and raises a good boy. The Talking Cricket helps Pinocchio after he loses his immortality and drowns after escaping the whale, his wish was to bring Pinocchio back from the dead to learn and appreciate life as a real boy. Their are a lot of characters with their own different opinions, ideals, and personalities throughout the film, but it would be too exhausting for me to list them all.

    The movie is great with its interesting visuals, charming characters, and its bizarre twist on the classic. My only complaints are that some parts of the film seem too long and really doesn't seem too important in the main plot. The ending really gives an important lesson to the audience amount mortality and how we as humans need not take it for granted.
  • phiup - 2 January 2023
    Great retelling
    I think the initial animation style flirts hard with the uncanny valley. But the story itself I think was great. The moral of this story seems to be understood throughout the retelling. "Life if precious and impermanent, cherish life while it's here."

    I think the initial awakening of Pinocchio was almost unbearable, but it also endeared the Pinocchio youth to you as you realized that he would always be perfectly gullible for the whole movie.

    The villains were well drawn and consistent to there person.

    Overall I gave this an 8/10 because it was a unique art-style with a good story with a great message.

    There are parts that will challenge your youngest viewers, between the ages of 4-6 I might stay clear of, many because of the death component.

    Also because of the setting, (fascist italy) you'll definitely want to be aware if your 10-15 year-old is watching it, they will have a different set of questions about fascism and youth.

    Would I show this in a school setting as a recreational activity or as a field trip activity? No. I think this one is more a home movie, let each family watch it themselves and decide how to discuss the topics.
  • fostrhod - 31 December 2022
    It's a bit wooden , but looks stunning.
    I have a few friends, actually I have very few friends, I've just counted I have no friends, and spend all my time writing reviews to fulfil what little enjoyment I can get from my pitiful life. One-of my so-called friends ( see above) told me in glowing terms how emotionally draining Pinocchio was after he watched it and blubbered like a big sissy not once but twice during the film. After watching the film, which was expertly made, the film did leave me feeling that it was all a bit wooden. The main star is played by a actor who lives in fear of a box of SwanVesta matches he's that wooden. The subplot in the movie of Mussolini and the fascist in Italy is interesting, no fairy tail I've ever seen features goose stepping fascist. Luckily the ever wooden Pinocchio evades all his troubles and becomes a real boy. I won't worry about giving away any endings, we all know the story of Pinocchio don't we? Ps my friend is no longer a friend on the strength of his recommending and blubbering on watching the film. I will now have to call him a very loose and casual acquaintance, actually I won't even call him that. I've disowned him he's dead to me now, gone up in flames just like Pinocchio should have done when he was first carved.
  • NestorTheGreat - 29 December 2022
    A tasteful retelling of a true classic.
    The same fantastical story, in much more detail, both in added background history of the characters, and in absolutely incredible stop-motion film-making. The attention to detail is so good I forget I'm watching an animated movie and see the faces of those most recognisable voices: Ewan, Ron, Cate, Tilda & Christoph, to name a few, instead of the brilliant, hand-carved puppets!

    Not many modern films touch upon the lives of everyday Italians when Mussolini reigned, and Guillermo Del Toro has captured a whole segment of that society on his telling of this fable. All the characters are there: the circus folk, the whale, the cricket, the school bullies, etc. But, all the characters are a bit skewed, different to how they're remembered. Wasn't the cricket called "Jimmeny"? Now it's Sebastian J. Cricket! Subtle differences that make it all the more interesting to watch, maybe even again!

    A father-son story that makes your knees weak and lips tremble, told through the lens of a master horror director (Blade II, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, etc.), and in the hands of master craftspeople bringing those wooden people to life!

    A tasteful retelling of a true classic.
  • pinokiyo - 27 December 2022
    Best Picture of the Year!
    This is an obvious clear winner for Best Animation, but it deserves to win Best Picture.

    It's extremely rare nowadays to be able to watch a movie where it has characters you can really feel and care for/love with a good deep story.

    It's even more praise-worthy how it used a painstaking stop-motion animation. As ugly as Pinocchio may look initially, he really is super charming (I want a figure of him!), and you really fall in love with him. The actual boy/actor who did the voice for Pinocchio has the perfect voice/charm and singing! It really captures the innocent naiveness of the character - of course with the amazing stop-motion to go with it.

    Pinnochio's singing and music is really nice and touching!

    The old man, cricket, monkey, so many likable characters!

    Disney's live action remake of Pinocchio, which also came out this year, was a major embarrassment garbage cash grab... there is NO heart in that movie... just superficial visual... just so heartless; you'd expect with a great director like Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) and Tom Hanks, you'd have a winner, but it was extremely boring to watch. Absolute fail from Disney. A real winner masterpiece by Del Toro showing how it really should be done.

    This movie had a lot of praise/hype and despite all that, I still cried and loved it.

    I also loved Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth (it's very similar about fantasy, war, and death), his "Shape of Water" movie I really didn't care for, but Del Toro's Pinocchio has easily become one of my favorite movies.

    I love the unique creative take on how it's a coming of age of the old man/supporting characters, thanks to Pinocchio - it's not about changing for someone, but accepting them for who they are.

    Hollywood needs to stop with the annoying CG filled super hero movies and go back to its root with real practical admirable effects and good story.

    If you're just going to watch one movie this year, this is it.
  • kel-31636 - 26 December 2022
    So so sad 😭
    This is not the white washed Disney story. It's the original story, with the harsh realities of life. The cruelties of war are added to accentuate the very real pain and anguish. The boy who voices Carlo/Pinocchio has the most endearing inflection. His dear sweet voice draws you in and then when you completely love him, tragedy strikes. I DON'T CRY 😢 and I cried through the whole movie. I find crying a weakness, but this really truly moved me.

    Guillermo Del Toro is a revelation in our time. He can bring up all the emotions and make you ponder the big questions. He's, also, not afraid to push right up to the edge and sometimes just a bit over. Guillermo is exactly what we need now. He's not afraid to tell the truth, no matter how painful.
  • michael-kerrigan-526-124974 - 25 December 2022
    Style over substance - not this time!
    I've seen a few Guillermo Del Toro films and pretty much every one I've thought were impressive to look at but never hit me narratively or emotionally. Mix that with a children's story (I'm not a fan) and I thought there is not a chance I would like this film. How wrong I was. Not only was the animation stunning, as you might expect, it was more than matched by the narrative and its emotional underpinning. It's a simple story that we've seen and heard many times - but the ubiquitous growing nose is used sparingly - almost unimportant to the narrative. All that matters is the emotional bond between a lost soul bereaved father and the replacement 'son' he recreates. The result is an emotional, sad yet heart warming masterpiece. Made me cry. 9 out of ten.
  • apelieuproar-69389 - 23 December 2022
    Bizarre and annoying.
    I initially gave this film by Guillermo del Toro five stars. I thought the story was okay but nothing special while the art direction and animation I thought stunning. I watched the beginning of this again and have had to reduce the number of stars. The art style is still great but everything else is just annoying. This is evident from the very beginning. I'm not going to go into this too much (for fear of a very long post) so I will focus on the film's premise.

    A very old man, who cannot be younger than 70, has a son who cannot be much older than 10. The son is killed in an airstrike in a church after retrieving a pine cone and then choosing to stare up at the wooden Christ above the altar for some reason.

    The old man plants the pine cone (which has somehow survived the fiery explosion utterly intact; for that matter, so has the old man who was not that far from the bomb) and it grows into a tree. I'm fairly sure trees take a good while to grow but it seems no time for a tree to sprout from the ground to a goodly height very quickly, and roomy enough to house a very annoying and useless cricket. Otherwise I guess we're to believe the old man has stopped aging at 70+ years.

    Anyway, the old man is apparently a drunk and sits drinking and mourning his dead son. He decides to cut down the tree and make a wooden puppet, but he is so drunk that he decides he'll finish the puppet later.

    I could go on, but this to me is already fairly awful. We have this pathetic old drunk who cannot deal with grief who makes a creepy wooden puppet that starts breaking stuff as soon as he is brought to life by a freaky winged blue creature. By the way, I have heard this version hews closer to the original story by Carlo Collodi but Pinocchio's destructiveness when he comes to life is one of the few elements from that story (which is bizarre in its own right) that are present here.

    Anyway, it gets weirder from there, including the fact of Pinocchio's bizarre appearance being quickly excepted by the townsfolk. Also, Pinocchio can be killed but magically comes to life thanks to the blue winged creature's sister, a sphinx-like being. In "hell" or wherever Pinocchio goes when he dies, there are some skeletal rabbits who play card games and carry the dead to their destinations. Or something. Again, I could go on an on but I don't feel like I can spare the effort. I'm guessing anyone reading this will get a sense of how strange this is.

    This version also bears resemblance to Disney's recent remake of their own classic 1940 adaptation. In Disney's 2022 remake version Gepetto has also lost a son and wishes him back, though he doesn't drink himself stupid and carve the puppet out of a magical tree. Another resemblance between this film and the Disney remake is that there is a situation where lying is actually presented as a good and useful thing. It's a coincidence I'm sure, but the point is neither element works in either story.

    Both versions complicate the 1940's simple premise of a lonely woodcarver who wishes his wooden marionette to come to life and become a real boy, and it doesn't work in either case. The 2022 Disney remake is utterly pointless, while del Toro's version feels pointless in its own way; rather bloated, a waste of resources and a fairly terrible story.
  • danpersil - 21 December 2022
    Different from any Pinocchio story
    It's a great film. Actually I was tired of Pinocchio's films, as it always depicts the same story, however this one introduces a more emotional storytelling and an astonishing soundtrack. As soon as I realized this would be a musical, I thought it would be boring, but I was wrong.

    Although they all have Pinocchio's characters, I think The Talking Cricket, Geppetto, Candlewick, and even Pinocchio are all far more human and emotional than any Pinocchio film. The way Stop-motion is done and the scenery are build, tehy bring all the magic and the power which surround us. The winged creature shows conform and an unknowning vibe that creates all the fantastic atmosphere we don't see in the other related films.

    Throughout the story, we travel with Pinocchio through his contemplations and hardships, as well as Geppetto's struggle to reunite him with his family.

    The ending is moving, the cycle is complete and the truth of life is revealed.

    In an incredible film, Pinocchio comes back to life in the most original way.