MOVIE REVIEW: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Here’s my Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Review which features the voices of Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, John Turturro, Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz, Tim Blake Nelson and more!
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro reinvents Carlo Collodi’s classic tale of the wooden marionette who is magically brought to life in order to mend the heart of a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto. This whimsical, stop-motion film directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson follows the mischievous and disobedient adventures of Pinocchio in his pursuit of a place in the world.
Horror and fantasy director Guillermo Del Toro returns with a new Netflix project which is an animated adaptation of the classic story Pinocchio with a star-studded cast including Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett and more!
Del Toro injects a bunch of interesting genres for this romp including subjects like war and religion and depression. Ofcourse that would make for more interesting moments for the film. Even the death of Geppetto’s boy, Carlo, is painful to watch which has a beautiful payoff at the end as it should be.
This version of Pinocchio also gives us a deeper backstory; the sadness and loss of Geppetto, the past life of Jiminy Crickett who goes by Sebastian here in this film. It delivers a gut punch throughout the film and even though I’ve heard and seen various versions, this one has more weight to it.
Imperfect fathers and Imperfect Sons
There’s a lot of nice dialogues here and at the same time entertaining song numbers throughout the film.
Touching back to the “old world” aspect that Del Toro loves to put in his film, it definitely works here. Setting the film in Italy around the time when Mussolini was calling the shots was really making it feel heavy. The whole thing about integrating the Fascist regime might not be everybody’s cup of tea but Del Toro and his team makes it flow smoothly swapping out the island where the kids get turned into donkeys into an island where they train kids to bolster Italy’s forces during World War 2. Not only do they assimilate this quite well, the whole sequence delivers a ton of great payoffs for the earlier plot points and we even see Pinocchio getting a friend or two from his short time here.
I loved that bit when Pinocchio and Geppetto were fixing the arm of the crucified Jesus Christ inside the church and Pinocchio gives a super whammy of a dialogue about how they are pretty much the same but people love wooden Jesus while they are afraid and detest him. I swear that went on over so many levels. It’s a great example of smart and witty writing they put in for this animated feature.
Character designs for me needed a lot of getting used too, we’re not accustomed to seeing a different Pinocchio other than the Disney version and that could be a little bit of a struggle to get behind but you’ll enjoy the film and forget that Pinocchio looks scary in this romp.
The other characters here are quite interesting to look at too; hell even the whale gets a darker and more terrifying look making the Disney version look like a nursery student.
I can’t say this enough but the voice casting here was phenomenal, although I have to admit, there were moments here that I really thought I heard more of Obi-Wan Kenobi as opposed as a cricket who sounds like Ewan McGregor. Ron Perlman is also a quick find here and while he’s a villain for this flick, you just got to love the man’s strong husky voice.
Lastly, I want to tip my hat on this review for Del Toro and the team giving us a darker, supernatural lore to the Pinocchio story. Its dark when it needs to be; you see for this version, Pinocchio actually goes to the Underworld every time he “dies”, his soul gets sent to the underworld where he learns a lot of things from the variety of scary beings and creatures residing there.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is almost a masterpiece. It took something familiar and dressed it up with a new set of clothes and just sent that wooden boy out in the world with new take, fresh ending and subverted expectations about the story. Del Toro at the same time provides a nice story that rings true until today while not forgetting that this is a Pinocchio story. The approach is different the outcome’s a little different so it’s a great attack on the story and the lore.