Following the massive success of live-action remakes of many of Disney’s animated classic films like “The Lion King”, “Aladdin”, and “Cruella”, the next in line for a new retelling of the classic story tale is “Pinocchio”.
This new version has been directed by Academy Award winner Robert Zemeckis, who has previously directed “The Polar Express” and the “Back To The Future” trilogy.
The film has an all-star cast, with Tom Hanks starring as Geppetto, the woodcarver who builds Pinocchio. Though I will say, on a few occasions, it felt more like Tom Hanks was in an SNL sketch rather than in a film, and it just didn’t fully click with me. Also starring in the movie is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays as Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”. Cynthia Erivo plays the Blue Fairy, with Keegan-Michael Key providing the voice of “Honest” John, and Luke Evans plays The Coachman. All of which, do a great job in telling the story.
As with Disney’s other remakes, “Pinocchio” stays pretty close to the original film, though it does extend the odd scene to flesh the film out a little, but that’s only maybe by about ten minutes. So these changes aren’t anything too drastic, though Pinocchio no longer gets drunk at Pleasure Island. And that is one of the problems with this film, as over 80 years after the original movie was released, the world has changed slightly and, in some ways, reflects poorly on Geppetto. I’ve never really been a massive fan of the original film, the not-so-subtle way of saying to children, behave or you’ll be turned into a donkey, just doesn’t really work the same way as it once did.
I honestly feel this film could have been a big success, had it had a short theatrical run, prior to being released on Disney+. I don’t think it would have made a billion dollars, but with the film’s all-star cast and some great visual effects, it could have easily been a solid summer hit for Disney. It certainly feels like a much bigger film than previous remakes for Disney+, such as “Lady And The Tramp”.
Eagle-eyed Disney fans should keep their eyes open for plenty of Easter Eggs referencing other Disney films. And fans of the original movie will no doubt love some of the scenes. Especially Pleasure Island. It just looks stunning. However, there are a few moments in the film where the CGI does look a bit ropey, such as when Lampwick turns into a donkey.
“Pinocchio” is a fun, easy-going retelling of the classic story. If you enjoyed the original film, you’ll enjoy this one too. Since the story is almost identical. On the whole, it’s a fine new version, but I’m not sure it’s a film I would want to watch again. It’s not bad, but “Pinocchio” has never been one of the Disney films that I loved. It’s a solid live-action remake, and I’m sure the next generation of “Pinocchio” fans will fall in love with this new version. It’s a lovely, easy-going remake of a classic. Kids are going to love this new version, and I think if you loved the original, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this new version too, but you’ll probably think the 1940 version is still better!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.