Hopedale Mail

Have You Heard This Version of Pinocchio?

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio


Genre: Animation, Drama, Family
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 57m
Director(s): Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Writer(s): Guillermo del Toro (screenplay by,) Patrick McHale (screenplay by,) Carlo Collodi (based on the book "Pinocchio" written by,) Matthew Robbins (screen story by)
Cast: Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Tilda Swinton, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Perlman, Burn Gorman, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett
Where To Watch: Streaming on Netflix and select theaters December 9, 2022

RAVING REVIEW: In the famous words of Celine Dion, this is a “tale as old as time,” although it was given a fresh coat of paint. With the countless fairytales that have existed, I understand the appeal to return to the proven classics, but I feel like Pinocchio needs a break.

This is already the fifth adaptation of the little wooden boy (just since 2002). I’m feeling a little fatigued, even with a film as beautiful as this. Don’t get me wrong; this was a different take in some aspects, but it’s still the same story at its core.

This was a beautifully animated film with some twists from the previous versions I’ve seen (but you can only go so far from the source material while still claiming it’s a retelling.) The voice cast was phenomenal; I instantly recognized so many voices in a way that helped solidify the film. I became used to McGregor, Swinton, Waltz, etc., as these characters, in some way, their real-world personas (while not the same), helped you become part of this mystical world.

It seems to be a popular storytelling device to “tell a new story” through the eyes of another character. While that sometimes works, I think it traditionally needs to be more of a departure from the original to work well. I’ll never question del Toro’s directorial abilities; even in stop-motion, it comes through. He has a style that is easy to describe but hard to explain; most of the time, you know, when you’re watching one of his films.

I will say this isn’t necessarily a “children's” version of the film; it’s darker in tone than some that have come before it. In reality, most fairytales are far darker than their film counterparts.

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[photo courtesy of NETFLIX © 2022]