Welcome back to my blog today. We’re talking about the Disney live-action version of Pinocchio on Disney Plus. Today is Disney Plus Day, and this is one of the many things coming to the platform. Is this worth watching even with the family? Let’s get started. This live-action/CG retelling of the beloved story of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy is directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Gepetto, the real wood carver who makes Pinocchio and treats him like his own son, is played by Tom Hanks. Jiminy Cricket is played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Pinocchio is played by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth.
Whenever there’s one that just feels lifeless, Pinocchio should not be that movie, as seeing as you’re bringing a wooden puppet to life, I normally feel kind of frustrated once the film ends, and this movie left me with that feeling, maybe even on a more aggressive level than I’m normally feeling after these Disney remakes because at least if it’s dull, there could be something in there to appreciate from an artistic standpoint or just one or two moments where you’re like, “Oh, it’s cool to see it come to life, and seeing everything go from animation to live action,
It’s sweet, but I didn’t really get that feeling from a lot of this movie. We’ll talk about that later. First, let’s talk about the good things. I think Zemeckis is the kind of director who can give us sequences and moments that are visually—I don’t want to say stunningly—but at least visually solid. I like the shots from Jiminy Cricket’s point of view. I had some problems with Cricket’s design in this movie.
You’re going to keep almost everything else the same, but the visuals are probably my favourite parts of the movie, because I think the Zemeckis style we used to know and love starts to shine through at times. It’s also a movie that I think young kids could like, if they’ve never seen the original Pinocchio. If they have, they’re probably just going to say, “Show me that one! I just can’t!”
That’s how I was feeling, but I feel as if kids can watch this and get through it; there’s not going to be too much moving around wanting to go and do other things. Maybe that’s what the movie is made for, but the best Disney and Pixar movies and really animated movies appeal to young kids but can also bring in other audiences so that, even if you’re not having the best time, you can at least appreciate the effort put into the film.
I think kids could enjoy this movie, but I didn’t feel like a lot of work went into it. That’s a shame, because Zemeckis used to make hit after hit. In the last 10 years, I haven’t felt as much magic from him..
That are even less good than the songs that you replaced; there’s one that’s all about breaking the fourth wall, which is nice conceptually but didn’t necessarily add anything to the story, so you’re compromising the story for somewhat interesting ideas that do not translate from the paper to the big screen, and then you have these jokes.
I mean, there’s a Chris Pine joke in this movie, and at first I was like, “Oh, Chris Pine. Why is there a Chris Pine joke in a Pinocchio movie?” You have a character played by Keegan Michael Key, and I really like his enthusiasm and his voice in this movie, but the character itself didn’t serve as much of a purpose.
Taking that a step further, you have the transformation of the young child into a donkey, which was one of those Pinocchio moments that you watched like holy cow, and I’m watching this, not having the strongest connection to the original Pinocchio; it’s not in my pantheon of the greatest Disney movies ever, but I’m watching this just wanting to go back to that.
There are no risks taken on pleasure island with pushing because you know what these kids are getting themselves into, and there are no risks taken with the changes that they’re making because every change feels like a safe decision; every change is there simply because they felt compelled to do it, rather than because they wanted to do it to improve the quality of the film.
The story is the same, but the characters aren’t as interesting. The movie is about bringing a puppet to life, but it feels dull and lifeless.
Where they go into the whale, and I don’t want to knock Benjamin’s performance. I thought he did a good job as Pinocchio. It’s just that the lines he was reading didn’t quite bring out that emotion. Before I give you guys my score, let me know if you feel differently about this Pinocchio movie. Did you feel the magic? Did it work for you? If so, that’s fine. Are you watching it on Disney Plus?