The legend of Pinocchio is over a hundred years old, reimagining the well-known story of a tiny wooden boy who wants to become real. The animated Disney film from 1940 captivated generations of fans with its magical adventure and morality lesson (Jiminy Cricket wasnt so bad himself), and director Robert Zemeckis is hoping to recreate some of that magic in the next Disney live-action remake.
The live-action Pinocchio is neither the best nor the worst of Disney's universe. It's mostly fine. As a technical filmmaking technique, it brings the Disney tale of Pinocchio to life superbly, but it could have given the story new life, and there it falls short.
The film, directed by Fay Watson of Games Radar, gets a 3 out of 5 rating, claiming that Tom Hanks is excellent, that the animation is excellent, and that familiar characters evoke nostalgia. However, these reviews appear to suggest a shift from the traditional ending.
The film is dragged down by a series of serious pacing issues. Every scenario sees Pinocchio finding himself in trouble, resolving the problem, and presenting a clear moral message. The overall effect is a film that sometimes seems too slow, and at other times too fast - especially the final act, which might be criticized by Disney enthusiasts.
Lupe R. Haas of Cinemovie claims that this remake does not provide much in terms of novelty, except for a more diverse cast and better animation (which would be expected more than 80 years after the first Disney film). However, the critic thinks that since the story hasnt changed, it might not be worth it.
With minor tweaks like Disney character cameos, the majority of the story remains the same, but these Disney live-action remakes are meant for a younger generation. Perhaps we should stop referring to them as updates and instead refer to them as upgrades.
The film is rated by IGN at a Mediocre 5 out of 10, with Disney's latest effort being wooden. Tom Hanks gives a good performance, but this critic claims that he cannot carry this one on his own:
This ongoing project gives the film its lasting appeal, despite the script's apparent inability to keep up with the visuals and plot elements of Walt Disney's 1940 animated classic. The result is an occasionally beautifully rendered film with an unusually hip-for-itself narrative, complete with anachronistic dialogue.
Christian Zilko of IndieWire gives Pinocchio a C, stating that while this film is mostly harmless entertainment, there is no need to have remade it, and trying to adapt it for a younger generation kind of goes against the message it is trying to convey.
The most difficult to forgive is the complete lack of capacity to establish a reason for being. Its strongest moments come when recreating the film that inspired it, but its attempts to expand it lead it into some truly dire terrain. If you enjoyed the original Pinocchio but thought the cats werent attractive enough, the Chris Pine references were inadequate, and Jiminy Cricket made enough jokes about Geppettos inability to get laid, you'll be glad to see Zemeckis's new film rectified.
This Disney live-action remake seems to be receiving mixed reviews, except maybe in terms of Tom Hanks and the updated animation. View the rest of Tom Hanks' work here.