Disney's Live-Action 'Pinocchio' Review: Don't Be Too Harsh On This Remake

Alicia D'Aversa
pinocchio with his arms spread out and smiling
Disney | Disney

I'll be honest: the original Pinocchio freaked me out. Between a child being kidnapped and then being swallowed by a whale, out of all the Disney movies, that one was a nightmare for me growing up.

But now, I can look back on it in awe and appreciate the wonder that came with that movie. I could also appreciate the characters a lot better (what's not to love about Jiminy Cricket?) now that I'm older, which has worked out for the magical remake of Pinocchio. The new film, by Robert Zemeckis, stars Tom Hanks, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cynthia Erivo, and Luke Evans.

When it comes to Disney live-action films, people tend to have two complaints.

geppetto and pinocchio looking at one another
Disney | Disney

The first one is that it didn't stay true to the original film enough. Well, in my opinion, that can't be said about the new Pinocchio. The film is nearly a shot-for-shot remake of the classic, without it seeming redundant or boring. I was also constantly amazed by how seamlessly the film intertwined its CGI with its humans.

I bet you're thinking: hey, Disney does that all the time, that's nothing new. That's true, but that doesn't always mean it turns out well. We can mark this one under one of the more realistic attempts!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stands out as Jiminy Cricket, playing an adorable and beloved conscious.

Jiminy Cricket looking upset

As for Tom Hanks, while the movie may not fall into one of his most memorable roles, he still delivered as the sweet old Italian, Geppetto. The awaited arrival of Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy was certainly pleasing, although I did wish she had stayed around a little longer somehow.

I also particularly loved Keegan-Michael Key, who was the perfect choice to play the smooth-talking and eccentric fox, J. Worthington Foulfellow. While I did raise my eyebrow at the word "influencer", it's clear that the movie is trying to tell children: that it's better to be who you are, instead of becoming famous just to prove something.

The second complaint people have when it comes to these movies, is that the sense of magic can get lost.

I'll admit, in this movie, the wonder for an adult audience might not be found. Now, I'm not one of those people who think that animated movies are only for children. That being said, as someone who grew up being obsessed with Disney, it can be hard for a remake to hold a candle to the original.

But for a new generation coming into the movie, perhaps even seeing the live-action one for the first time, I expect they'll be in awe of the magic, beautiful visuals, and soundtrack.

Overall, I'd give this movie 3/5 stars. It's not the perfect adaptation, but then again, what is?