A wooden puppet embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Stars: Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Tom Hanks, Luke Evans, Cynthia Erivo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keegan-Michael Key, Lorraine Bracco, Giuseppe Battiston, Sheila Atim, Hannah Flynn, Kyanne Lamaya, Jaquita Ta'le, Lewin Lloyd, Angus Wright, Jamie Demetriou
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • TheLittleSongbird - 23 November 2023
    Where's the magic?
    'Pinocchio' (2022)

    Opening thoughts: Will admit to not being a fan on the whole of the Disney live action remakes/re-imaginings. The only ones for me that were above good were 'The Jungle Book' and 'Cinderella', while 'Aladdin' and 'Lady and the Tramp' were especially underwhelming. There were quite a few reasons for seeing this 2022 'Pinocchio'. One was my love for Disney. Two was for the cast, with a particularly high opinion of Tom Hanks. The 1940 Disney film is one of their best and one of the best animated films ever made in my view. And Carlo Collodi's source material is a classic.

    Despite the potential that it had (though my expectations were mixed due to not being a fan of the Disney remakes as said), to me the film was well below average and a big disappointment. There are a few good things here, but the worst of the many bad things are very poor indeed and it loses so much of what made the 1940 film so brilliant. It is a failure as a remake, but this viewer has always a film etc on its own terms but the film fails in this regard as well. Actually love much of the work of Robert Zemeckis, with 'Back to the Future' and 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' being major personal favourites, but had a very hard time believing that this came from him.

    Good things: There are good things. There is some nice, handsome photography and production design. Absolutely loved the cuckoo clocks, which were very imaginatively designed and magical.

    Hanks gives the best performance, his Geopetto having a good deal of warmth and sincerity. Very close behind is Keegan Michael Key, giving his absolute all to Honest John and he is fun to watch.

    Bad things: On the other hand, there is a lot that doesn't work. The rest of the acting doesn't work. Benjamin Evans Ainsworth is very bland and does little to make Pinocchio endearing or interesting, while Joseph Gordon Levitt comes over as far too hammy and mean spirited as Jiminy. Cynthia Erivo does her best but is underused and the Blue Fairy doesn't really do an awful lot, and Luke Evans is pretty much wasted as a character that doesn't have anywhere near enough of the nightmarish menace he had in the 1940 film.

    Moreover, the CGI is very poor. It looks very cheap, the early 90s video game like look sticks out too much like a sore thumb and looks significantly lower-budgeted. Monstro fares worst, looking like something out of a SyFy original. Pinocchio's expressions are lifeless, have no nuance and almost unintentionally creepy, making the expressions in the 'Lion King' remake look more expressive and nuanced in comparison. Only Geopetto and to a lesser extent Honest John make much of an impression as characters, Pinocchio is too much of a brat, is too perfect and doesn't learn anything which makes his journey near pointless. Jiminy is annoying while the villains are underwritten plot devices, especially the Coachman.

    Zemeckis' direction has no life or inspiration, very by the numbers, and it looked as if he was not that interested in the project or liked the source material that much. That may not be the case in real life but this viewer got that sense here. Especially in the climax, which has no tension whatsoever, no emotion and is rushed, not helped by Monstro's cheap design and complete lack of menace. A complete watering down of one of Disney's greatest ever climaxes. The lack of resolution at the end was a mistake and made the journey and the film feel incomplete. The songs are forgettable at best and cringe-worthy at worst, the the Coachman's also came over as out of place and wastes Evans' fine singing. The script is very stilted and the story has no charm, fun, emotion or atmosphere of any kind. It is just bland, dully paced and going through the motions storytelling that has nothing to it or any point.

    Closing thoughts: Concluding, hugely disappointing. Of all the Disney remakes, this is a contender for the worst.

  • TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews - 16 July 2023
    I have some very good garbage for you
    When Geppetto(Tom Hanks) wishes upon a star, Pinocchio(Ainsworth) comes to life. Of course, he is still a wooden puppet, and they keep suggesting that this is not as good as being a real boy, without explaining why. He is not allowed to go to class, that appears to be it. Considering that apparently none of the clocks(now all "remember this superior Disney IP?") are still for sale, I'm not entirely certain why homeschooling is out of the question. It may be possible for him to become flesh and blood, if he lives up to certain expectations.

    I realize it's an uphill battle to avoid, however, it doesn't even feel like this makes the slightest effort to make this about what he wants, rather than what others, including his father, think should happen. He's treated as an object, something for others to use, not an individual with needs. This is one of several aspects where this could easily greatly improve on the animated original(which I realize is a classic. It's also extremely of its time), though I acknowledge some of these would require it to be changed a lot, and that clearly is not something they wanted to do here.

    One would be the anti-semitism in the depiction of the character of Stromboli. A Roma, He uses forced labor to enrich himself. These are common lies spread about these people in order to discourage more advantaged people from recognizing their humanity and helping them. Thus, I do appreciate the addition of the character of Fabiana, who definitely does serve as the sole change for the better. A disabled young woman of color, she helps shine a spotlight on the issues faced by such, and there is a clear drive to improve her working conditions. While obviously no one believes that Disney means that, certainly they could very easily practice what they preach, it is better than not including such at all.

    Another is the idea that it is necessary and healthy to "scare straight" children, when the reality is that the kind of acting out that understandably scares parents, is frequently in response to unaddressed abuse. You might get kids who behave if you do this, but they're going to be miserable. The protagonist is a small boy. There are scenes where his peers do destructive things. You could easily include the nuance I just described.

    I appreciate that the messages are largely good ones: fight peer pressure, the importance of positive thinking, and how difficult yet also beneficial it can be to trust someone outside of the in-group. With that said, I certainly wish they trusted the audience that they didn't have to spell them out. A lot of characters talk as if they're being paid by the word, and encouraged to repeat themselves. Despite so many inspired casting choices, Keegan-Michael Key is probably the only to do particularly well. I don't blame the actors, most of whom have proven their talent elsewhere. The machine continues to churn out uninspired, unnecessary, too often shot for shot, remakes.

    I recommend this only to anyone else who enjoys analyzing fascinating trainwrecks. 5/10.
  • gcbeaton-87178 - 13 January 2023
    I think this movie is sound average because Of the fact that there was another penalty that came out this year. And people love that so much that they hate this I mean I don't like this either but it's not terrible like you are saying it's just very average I mean Tom Hanks why were you just not doing very good this year. I mean you didn't do great in Elvis And you did not very good in this. I just think that maybe with the Man call otto coming out this year. Maybe you can rise back to the top I mean toys story a d forest gump already made you heaps just do better man. Overall a boardline average film.
  • spidermonkeycoleman - 20 December 2022
    Easily one of the weakest remakes Disney has done
    Where do I begin?

    The weirdest part of the movie for me is how it just feels so soulless. Like this is a movie about a character with a wholesome soul yet you never get that feeling. The performances, the visuals, the music, it all comes across as flat and dull. The only thing I enjoyed in this movie was Joseph Gorden-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket.

    The plot is so boring which is suprising considering how it's literally a remake of another movie that's not boring, yet somehow Disney does it. Even with the films ending with the big whale it just felt lackluster. Especially when you compare the original and this version's finale, the remake loses all the tension and drama that makes the original good.

    The soundtrack was terrible. So bad that I dont even remember a single note that was played, not to mention you hardly notice the music in the movie.

    The changes they make in the movie don't work. First, they add a puppeteer girl that's part of the circus as a... love interest. Apart from that sounding as dumb as it is, it adds no value to the story, especially considering they don't give her character an actual ending or fullfilling arc. She just dips out of the movie and pops back up for 2 minutes at the end to tell you what shes doing.

    The next change was the fairy. They reduce her role tremendously and what's even funnier to me is that this is the only role in the whole movie that is raceswapped. The only character they change from white to black is the character that has her role reduced to a 4 minute scene at the beginning. It's like Disney did it just so they can claim they care about diversity. I'm not even one to normally notice these things but it's so obvious in this.

    The CGI was weak as well. On top of that they choose to make the dumbest things CGI. Even Geppetto's cat is CGI! If they couldn't get a real cat for the movie, then at least leave the cat at Geppetto's house and don't include him in the entire movie. Adding to the bad CGI, Pinocchio looks too smooth. He has no good detail done to him so it doesn't look real. I feel bad to trash the visual effects artist's hard work because it's common knowledge how poorly they're treated, but I had to say this.

    Disney had a lot of potential remaking this but instead it has become one of, if not the worst, live action remake they've done so far. If you're looking for a movie to watch, this isn't it.
  • eronzierjoly - 3 December 2022
    Other reviewers have said it...
    At the core of the original story was innocence and the villains who wanted to take advantage of this - Pinocchio wasn't a real boy so he had to learn right from wrong the hard way. They have failed completely to recreate this (on purpose or not). He just comes across as plain stupid for no good reason.

    The story has no heart, no charm. What do they want with this? It at least the CGI was great it might have been interesting for that reason (like for me, Avatar for example was a poor story but it was beautiful and wonderfully done so I would still rate it high). This looks cheap AND everything else is bad. Nothing is an improvment on the original. The original was rather dark, real but with a glimpse of hope thanks to the courage of the main characters. Fairly scary in a way, which this was not. Like when Pinocchio was captured by Stromboli, that gave me a sense of dread watching the original. Here it's like... nothing.

    It is also concerning that Monstro was far scarier in the original. How could they mess this up with the CGI? All the other villains fall flat as well and come off as stupid rather than cunning. Or was it too scary and real to recreate that for the modern audience?

    Even the cat and the fish were a CGI disaster... and let's not talk about the ferry.
  • inno-96959 - 1 November 2022
    Tom Hanks Needs to Retire
    Hanks' wooden acting is the weight that pulls this film down like the strings of a marionette The makers of this film appear to have left him to come up with his own personality for Geppetto. That was the lowest point in the film for me.

    The actor, Lewin Lloyd, who plays Lampwick made me cringe with his attempt at being a street-wise juvenile delinquent; which should have been fun and entertaining. An wise-cracking accent does not a personality make.

    Performances by Luke Evans as The Coachman, Giuseppe Battiston as Stromboli and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were believable and close to the original 1940's classic.

    Visually the film is beautiful, and worth watching for the set design and art direction, along with a few good songs. Let's give good credit where credit is due. Too many picky people these days who want everything custom made to their liking just isn't going to ever happen, so enjoy this film for what it is, not what it isn't.
  • owenpont-70803 - 15 October 2022
    Not the worst from Disney's live action films........
    Now I am not saying this film is perfect. Because it is definitely not, but it wasn't awful. So many people are saying this is the worst live action reboot Disney has done and I don't agree. I think it has its moments where it is fun, and moments where it can be kind of charming. Now this film holds zero light to the original film and it was a disappointment seeing the talent they got to make the film. But I think the film in general is just perfectly mediocre. It was disappointing but it never did anything I thought was down right horrendous. Now the whole Pinocchio escaping the whale scene was pretty stupid but I think thad was the worst scene. Overall its not a downright awful film, just not a good one either.