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Pinocchio 2022 Review

I only watched Pinocchio for the first time as an adult and so knowing that this was going to be the next in a long line of remakes for Disney I was intrigued to see how they would do it, especially as in the cartoon every character is very cartoonish so Pinocchio didn’t stand out very much, however in a real human adaptation there was a lot of uncanny valley going on.

Pinocchio 2022 follows the same story that we saw in the original Pinocchio with the wooden puppet being transformed into a half puppet, half human hybrid, before he learns to be a good person to become a real boy. However there are some differences between this and the original including a talking seagull that helps Pinocchio and his father find each other, less smoking and alcohol being shown on the the island, and the fact that Geppetto has much more of a backstory in this too which was very touching.

Geppetto’s backstory is one of my favourite parts of this film because it added so much more character to him and gave the audience more insight into why he does what he does and really bought about more human elements to the film than what I remember from the original. Geppetto creates Pinocchio because he lost his wife and son and it’s so tragic to see him care so much for this boy that he’s willing to give away his cuckoo clocks that remind him of his wife just to be able to save him. It’s these really touching elements that could easily be overlooked if you don’t take the time to dive into them and understand them, and as an adult viewer it really helped me connect to the characters more than what I did in the original.

However as I said in my original review I still don’t understand the Fox human hybrids that work for Stromboli. All of the characters that we see in this film are either completely animal or completely human, bar Pinocchio of course, and so these foxes just wandering about stealing children is very strange and is even weirder in a live-action adaptation because they stand out more. I still wish that these hybrid were either humans or foxes because I think it would fit in the world better, but I understand that at the time of Disney creating the original Pinocchio these sort of characters were prolific in the animated space and they couldn’t really change that for the 2022 adaptation.

So which version do I prefer? The original was crazy, it had so many weird moments to it that really showed how different the world was when it was created, from children smoking and drinking to kids being changed into donkeys and sent down the salt mines. It was really dark. However in the live adaptation version, it seemed even darker seeing these little human children become donkeys and it was terrifying especially hearing them cry. I’ve been a bit of a pessimist towards the live adaptations of classic Disney films and this one is actually one that I really enjoyed and would happily watch again because it built on that world that we already know from the original very well. Yes it had some cheap 21st century jokes that were very low hanging fruit but overall it added on to the original story that we know and love and gave us even more depth to the characters that we already know, maybe I’m coming round to adaptations more, and basically what Pinocchio showed me is that I should definitely try them.

However, and to end this review on another point that I think could have been done better, is Monstro. Monstro wasn’t a monster in the original from what I can remember, it was just a whale. However in this adaptation, it was a giant whale with squid/octopus parts, which didn’t go down well with me. Why did they have to be a mythical creature? Being swallowed by a whale is scary enough so why did you have to take it that next level of being some sort of mystical being? Once again it didn’t add into the realism of the rest of the story. I’d lump this monstrous monster into the same category as the Fox men, I just don’t think it was needed and just having a giant whale swallow the characters was enough. Although I did love the inclusion of the backlight in the whale’s belly because I thought it was so beautiful to watch and and reminiscent of the blue fairy that we see at the start.

I would recommend this movie because in some ways I really enjoyed it but in others I think the adaptation was ok. I think it could have been done better but I would definitely recommend it and honestly, I would happily watch it again.

What do you think of the live adaptation of Pinocchio?

Until next time.

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