Pinocchio – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Magical. That is the one word that sums up the new Pinocchio. It is the new film from the director who gave us 1994s Forest Gump. He has teamed up with Tom Hanks again. They provide us with an inspired, love-soaked, live-action version of the Disney classic Pinocchio. Unfortunately, as far as most animation to live action goes, it has been a miss. I have been annoyed and downright hated most of the attempts to stomp over my fond childhood memories and remake Disney animated films. As I often say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, the talented Zemeckis has gotten it right. This new live-action and CGI retelling of the beloved tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy is wonderful.
In the movie, we see a lonely Geppetto (Tom Hanks), the woodcarver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his real son. When Geppetto wishes upon a star, the wish is granted by the dazzling Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo), who brings Pinocchio to life. Seeing that the young puppet has a lot to learn, she enlists the help of Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who serves as Pinocchio’s guide and his “conscience.” Together they face all the trials and tribulations Pinocchio must navigate on his quest to make his pappa proud and become a real boy.
When director Robert Zemeckis was asked why he wanted to tackle this live-action and CGI retelling of his favorite Disney 1940 animated classic, he is quoted as saying-
“Walt Disney was really clever. He always looked for stories to make movies of that were pretty much impossible to do as live-action movies. They could be done very wonderfully as animation because he was able to do animated stories about talking animals and puppets, fairies and dwarves, and things that would be impossible to do in live action. ‘Pinocchio” is one of the most, if not the most beautiful, animated features that was ever made. I loved it so much.”
Zemeckis continues, “But now, since digital cinema has emerged, the puppet could be very much three-dimensional. So it occurred to me that you could do a very plausible version of ‘Pinocchio’ as a live-action movie. And so even though I was concerned I was standing on hallowed ground, I thought that was a worthwhile project to do.”
Luckily for us, Zemeckis decided to go for it. With an all-star voice cast and the gifted Tom Hanks as Geppetto, the new live-action Pinocchio will be an instant classic.
I give Pinocchio 5-stars. It’s a reason to sign up for Disney+ and watch the magic of this precious film unfold. I only wish it would run in theaters so we could see it on the big screen.
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Written by: Robert Zemeckis, Carlo Collodi, Chris Weitz
Selig Rating: 5 Stars
Running Time: 1hr 45min
Action/ Comedy/ Family Drama
Release: Streaming exclusively on Disney+ September 8th
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt/ Tom Hanks, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Cynthia Erivo
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.