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Film Review: Pinocchio (2022)

by Emily Nagle

As of last night, Disney’s latest live-action remake, “Pinocchio”, is out now on Disney+. Considering the company has pumped out more than 10 live-action/CGI adaptations of their classic animated films in the past five years, it wasn’t surprising. It was also unsurprising that most of the reviews for it weren’t very positive, because “Pinocchio” is a hot mess.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with remaking a movie. Sometimes remakes put a new, creative spin on a franchise, which is pretty amazing. “Pinocchio”, however, contributes absolutely nothing to the story Disney brought to life 80 years ago. In fact, it ruins the whole message of the original. Instead of being heartwarming and full of magic, it’s lackluster and forgettable.

The only thing “Pinocchio” has going for it is its A-list cast, but that can’t save it. Benjamin Evan Ainsworth does a spectacular performance as the excitable wooden puppet, really giving us the idea that Pinocchio is this innocent, wide-eyed kid experiencing the world for the first time ever. Despite this, Tom Hanks isn’t the best choice for Geppetto. The character is supposed to have a heavy Italian accent, but Hanks half-asses some kind of European accent.

Not only did Disney decide it was a great idea to recreate the Pinocchio characters in a terrible visual style, but they also decided to throw in some modern humor. Y’know, in case we forget what year this movie came out (kinda like the first episode of Resident Evil). Zemeckis may have thought he was being witty by including Jiminy Cricket criticizing YouTubers and Chris Pine references, but instead it just undermined the whole story and dragged things out.

At times, I wondered if the movie was trying to be bad to make fun of itself (I mean, all the clocks Geppetto had were references to past Disney films). But no, they really thought they were doing something with those jabs at 2020s pop culture.