Review of 'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio'

pinocchio.jpg An amazing remake of a classic tale by the incredible director Guillermo del Toro.

In Italy during the great war the village carpenter Geppetto loses his much loved and devoted son Carlos when a bomb lands in the church. Geppetto plants a pinecone beside his son's grave and spends many years mourning his loss. A cricket named Sebastian decides to make his home in the tree that grew from the pinecone. In a drunken rage Geppetto chops down the tree and fashions it into a new boy made out of wood, complete with cricket inhabitant. A Wood Sprite sees the sorrow of Geppetto and brings the wood boy to life, asking that Sebastian watch over him in exchange for a wish. Shocked at the turn of events, Geppetto tries to get the free-spirited and innocent Pinocchio to attend school but instead he joins a travelling circus run by Count Volpe. Sebastian and Geppetto set out to find the lost wooden boy but end up being swallowed by a giant Dogfish. As Pinocchio begins to rebel against Count Volpe and his maniacal performing monkey Spazzatura, will he ever learn how to be a real boy and save his father and cricket friend?

This is most definitely not Disney and feels far closer to the original source material with Pinocchio not exactly the nicest wooden toy in the box (to be fair, he wasn't in the Disney flick either but here we have several nasty deaths and a lot of other nastiness). The animation is superb and the story well-paced. It feels gentle and simple but there are complex moral elements at play here that are addressed full-on.

Pinocchio is not exactly an action flick with the pace quite slow and measured, taking time for us to get to know the characters and understand the ethical dilemmas being faced. So, not exactly a children's film. No one here is completely innocent and there is a price for every goodness that is experienced. Not easy stuff this. The ending is not exactly the most positive but just the right amount of bitter-sweet.

Genius animation and excellent storytelling from a master director. Not really for young children (who might actually be bored).

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2022-12-23

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson

Studio: Netflix Animation

Year: 2022

Length: 117 minutes

Genre: Fantasy

Other reviewed films by Guillermo del Toro: