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pinocchio

★★★★

starring: tom hanks, joseph gordon-levitt, cynthia erivo, and luke evans

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

A live action remake of Disney's 1940 classic Pinocchio.

I know what you’re thinking. Do we really need another remake, a reimagining of a Disney animated classic? Robert Zemeckis' Pinocchio is a resounding yes. A joy filled tale filled with laughs aplenty and heart in your mouth moments, Pinocchio is a superb film for the whole family. Absolute Disney magic. 

 

When the woodworker Geppetto sees a falling star, he wishes that the puppet he just finished, Pinocchio, could become a real boy. In the night, the Blue Fairy grants Geppetto's wish and asks Jiminy Cricket to serve as the wooden boy's conscience. But the naïve and trusting Pinocchio falls into the clutches of the wicked Honest John and the Coachman who lead him astray to the shores of Pleasure Island.

 

Based on the 1940’s animated classic (the second full length Disney animated film) of the same name, Pinocchio contains the familiar beats of the original but with further character development and an expanded story and world. And the film feels more realised and fuller for it, adding a real depth and humanity to the story. 

 

Pinocchio really does feel like a Robert Zemeckis film too. It’s got classic family film written all over it. From the genuine, joy filled moments to the more scary moments (not too scary for younger viewers) to the Dad jokes, there is a lightness but also a solidity to proceedings too. These kind of live, action family films are rare but one as beautifully crafted and just plain wonderful as Pinocchio is a rare kinda magic to capture. Also, watch out for some hidden classic Disney Easter eggs too. 

 

The CGI is pretty flawless but Pinocchio, being made from wood, takes a little bit to get used to. The depiction of Little John, an anthropomorphic fox, gives me hope for the upcoming Robin Hood remake with the amount of humanity they were able to cram into his digital body. 

 

Tom Hanks is magnificent here as Geppetto infusing the character with such a fragile vulnerability all while acting to absolutely nothing. It’s truly a remarkable performance. The other standout is an unrecognizable Luke Evans as the dastardly Coachman in a more expanded role than the original film. 

 

A joy filled tale filled with laughs aplenty and heart in your mouth moments, Pinocchio is a superb film for the whole family. Absolute Disney magic. 

★★★★