Movie Review: Pinocchio

By Cody Englander, Contributor
[Disney; 2022]
Rating: 3/10

Pinocchio (2022) is the newest live action remake from Disney, and follows the same basic story from the animated version released in 1940. In short, whereas the animated movie was lively and fun, this remake is worthless and dull. 

Acclaimed and beloved actor Tom Hanks plays Geppetto, Pinocchio’s ‘father’, and is trying his best with a weak and inconsistent script. Much like in Cast Away, Hanks is acting with nothing; every character he interacts with is either a CGI puppet or animal, and it is clear that this movie simply does not know how to utilize one of the greatest actors of all time. It has trouble using most of its actors, giving maybe the best character in the movie, Fabiana (Kyanne Lamaya), less than five minutes of screen time. This character plays a puppeteer, and had the best scene in the movie – a short two minute musical performance accompanied by her whimsical marionette. Composer Alan Silvestri uses the piano beautifully, although the visuals offer nothing of substance to accompany the song (which is cut short). Every other song feels like an afterthought, slathered in autotune and completely overproduced.

Read more: Movie Review: Pearl

This shouldn’t be nearly as bad as it is. Director Robert Zemekis directed another animated-live action caper in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a movie that is filled with creativity while using previously established characters in a unique way. While Zemekis is without a doubt talented, the fact is that live-action remakes of Disney movies offer little creative decisions behind the camera. This leaves creatives like Zemekis and Burton (who directed 2019’s Dumbo) little wiggle room for them to fully use their style – and the one scene where Zemekis attempts to insert his style comes off as an overstimulated mess of colors and sounds. 

CGI is an aspect of film often hard to criticize, because there is not much more to say aside from saying it’s bad. Everything in this movie, however, looks atrocious, with Pinocchio looking out of place in every scene. He very much looks like the character in design, but every movement is distracting, and it’s as if his body has no weight. The animals throughout look bad, the worst being ‘Honest’ John (Keegan Michael Key), and his chrony. The characters look, in a word, lifeless, and the pop culture reference that ‘Honest John’ makes does not help his case whatsoever. 
If there is one takeaway from this review, please listen to I Will Always Dance from the soundtrack, and save your time not watching almost two hours of a movie that was made better 80 years ago.

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