Pinocchio Refreshes a Classic Movie for a New Generation

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Pinocchio 2022 Movie Review
Tom Hanks as Geppetto in PINOCCHIO, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Another Disney classic movie has gotten a live-action reboot. But unlike many of the most recent re-imaginings, Pinocchio diverts a little from the original story and blends live-action with CGI for some of the more complicated elements.

Amazingly, the new version of Pinocchio only adds an additional 15 minutes to the original run time of the film. Despite having seen the original 1940s version of the story several times, the original movie came in near 90 minutes. Although that movie runtime is standard now, especially for kids’ movies, this was an extremely long movie for the time period. The 2022 movie comes in at around 1 hour 45 minutes. Considering the live-action Lion King added over 30 minutes to a 1990s film, including a several-minute-long section of a piece of dung rolling on the screen – it doesn’t seem like they touched the source material that much.

(L-R): Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), and Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Disney’s live-action PINOCCHIO, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

When you first put Pinocchio on to watch on Disney+ you’ll notice some immediate changes and things that just seem a bit off. Jiminy Cricket (Gordon-Levitt) seems a bit creepier in CGI, and maybe it’s just most people haven’t seen a cricket that close up or it’s just that much of a departure from what a cricket would look like in real life. Throughout the movie, you get used to his appearance, but the structure of his face seems odd. Pinocchio’s animation isn’t as drastic of a change. He still looks like the animated version we know and love, just a little more three-dimensional. You can’t see any wood grain still, but he still looks like the puppet boy we all grew up with.

(L-R): Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), Tom Hanks as Geppetto, and Figaro in Disney’s live-action PINOCCHIO, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The original Pinocchio had some problematic parts in the movie (by today’s standards), and Disney addressed these well. While the children are still taken to Pleasure Island, they are not drinking and smoking like in the original film. Instead, the kids are all given rootbeer, something that even kids today can relate to, that turns them into donkeys.

It is amazing how close the stories are from the 1940s version to the 2022 version of the film. Yes, there are differences and this new animated version may have some questionable additions and CGI that seems like Disney may have cut back on the animation budget a bit part way thru, it still is an enchanting story that fans are going to love to watch.

Pinocchio is now streaming on Disney+ as part of their Disney+ Day releases.

Overall Rating:

Four Star Review

About Pinocchio

Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live action and CGI retelling of the beloved tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy. Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto, the woodcarver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his real son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”; Academy Award® nominee Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key is ”Honest” John; Academy Award® nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans is The Coachman.

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