Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Pinocchio (2022)

Summary: A puppet is brought to life by a fairy, who assigns him to lead a virtuous life in order to become a real boy.

This will be a short review.

Pros:

Some of the acting. I don’t think anyone particularly stands out but I don’t think anyone was particularly bad either. Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy wasn’t in as much as she could have been. In the animated film TBF shows up a few times, she’s like his guardian angel and it sucks that we didn’t get to see her much. I also liked that she was a little sassy and funny. Luke Evans as the Coachman was intimidating but he also shows up as the “attendants” on the island and you can tell that he’s just having fun. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket was really good, you can’t tell that it’s him lol. Keegan-Michael Key as Honest John was also good, clearly was having fun doing that part. Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as Pinocchio had a good voice for the role, I thought he sounded cute and did a pretty good at the innocence that Pinocchio has at certain points in the movie.

Pretty Good CGI. I don’t think it’s consistent but I do think it’s overall good. I thought Pinocchio overall looked good, as did the fox and the cat who come and swindle him into the puppet show. The puppet ballerina was also cute, I’m not sure how much of her was practical but I thought she was good. The effects on The Blue Fairy was also good. Figaro and Cleo were cute. I also think the transformation into the donkey was pretty good.

The Music. I think the music is good, the familiar songs were good. Cynthia Erivo has a lovely voice for the iconic song. I liked The Coachman’s song and the song on Pleasure Island. I also think the soundtrack was generally fine.

Cons:

So Shallow/The Story/Message. This movie is so shallow and this is all wrapped up in the story and how they changed it. Pinocchio is basically a story about a little puppet who wants to be a real boy and goes through situations where he’s tested and he doesn’t always make the best choices… which is fine because he has to learn from them, just like any kid would do. It’s a cautionary tale. But unfortunately, this movie has Pinocchio being way too wise from the jump. I think the biggest moment of this is Pleasure Island, Pinocchio, is unsure about it from the beginning, almost not wanting to go causing the Coachman to sing a song to convince him. While he befriends Lampwick, he’s judging everything that’s happening and not getting that much involved. He barely even drinks anything, so when he gets donkey ears and a tail, it doesn’t really make much sense. He didn’t even participate. Also, when he’s locked in the birdcage while with Stromboli, he lies to reach the key, but when he realizes that his nose grows when he lies, he actively continues to lie to get what he wants… what a weird message lol. Why didn’t they have TBF or even when Jiminy appeared, have Pinocchio lie to get out of being scolded or them being disappointed in him.

Characterizations. This Pinocchio is a saint lol, honestly. Like, not like he was an evil kid originally but he deserves to be a real boy from the jump. After all, he ended up at Stromboli’s because he was kicked out of school on his first day just for not being a real boy. But he hardly does anything “bad” that he has to really learn from. Jiminy is also low key judgmental and not as likable and he should be. Geppetto is also whatever, it could be attributed to Tom Hanks’ performance but while he looks generally okay (though that mustache is crooked in some scenes), but he should be this cute old man lol. Instead, he’s agoraphobic.

The CGI. Obviously there are things that are lost with CGI compared to a human’s actual face or to animation, such as Pinocchio’s expressions. Being basically a little kid, he goes through a lot of emotions but they aren’t captured on his face that well. Jiminy is also quite ugly lol and Monstro is monstrous lol, like he’s not scary but ugly. Have you seen Monstro in the original movie? Or see him in Kingdom Hearts? He’s terrifying.

Unnecessary Changes. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen the original Disney film, but I feel like they did a lot of story and character changes that they didn’t need to change. Fine if they wanted to change the alcohol to “root beer” because parents/adults are extra, even though the original film still exists, but it should have been regular beer because “root beer” isn’t bad lol. Why did they make it where Gepetto’s wife and son died and he created a puppet to replace his son? He could just been lonely and wanted a kid. That’s weird. I didn’t dislike Fabiana and Sabina from Stromboli’s show but they don’t add anything really, other than Pinocchio develops a friendship with Sabina because she’s a puppet. I also didn’t like the ending, because Jiminy talking about “No one knows if Pinocchio became a real boy or not” and I was like, “why would no one know?? You were there!?” I also didn’t like that they left that open ended, there was no reason for that. Just say that he became a real boy! Also, they have Geppetto supposedly “die” instead Pinocchio and the change isn’t terrible but instead of Pinocchio seemingly giving his life to save his dad and being brave and true, he cries a magical tear to revive Geppetto. I feel like they didn’t need to do that. Also Jiminy doesn’t become a bonafide conscience!

Overall, this was an unnecessary remake, which in ways they all are, but I have at least enjoyed/loved the others in various ways. But this one really felt unnecessary due to all the changes they made that didn’t add anything to the story. I feel like in the other remakes, certain changes helped but I don’t think that works here. It effectively changes the story and the original message. The acting overall is fine, with Tom Hanks being the most questionable. The musical score is fine and the CGI in some places are fine. The things that are good are just fine. However, the bad things are noticeable. Pinocchio is literally the perfect kid, him turning into a donkey didn’t even need to happen. When the CGI is bad, it’s bad and it’s not inspired. The story changes don’t work and the message gets muddled. Not really a recommend but watch it if you want lol.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Have you seen Pinocchio (2022)? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below!

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