Pinocchio (2022 live-action film)
For the stop-motion animated film, see Pinocchio (2022 animated film).
Pinocchio is a 2022 American musical fantasy adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis from a screenplay by Zemeckis and Chris Weitz. The film, produced by Walt Disney Pictures, is a live-action adaptation of Walt Disney's 1940 animated film of the same name, which is itself based on the 1883 Italian book The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. The film stars Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo, Giuseppe Battiston, and Luke Evans with Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Keegan-Michael Key in voice roles.
In an Italian village, the wooden puppet Pinocchio is brought to life by the Blue Fairy and seeks the life of adventure while striving to be a real boy. Pinocchio's life is turned upside down when he leaves his father to follow the circus.
Why It's A Fake Boy
- Much like Disney's previous live-action remakes of the Disney Animated Canon, it basically furthers once again Hollywood's lame ideology of "everything old is new again", proof that they did not learn their lesson from Disney.
- It lacks the charm of the original animated Disney film that made it classic and beloved.
- As per many of the previous Disney live-action remakes, the movie is rather pointless and unnecessary, as the story is still way too similar of the original 1940 animated version, making the movie a copycat. In particular, many didn't appreciate that the film still has The Coachman be a Karma Houdini, especially since this version of the character is even more evil than his predecessor and the behavior the kids indulge in on Pleasure Island isn't nearly as bad as it was in that film.
- The signature scene where Pinocchio lies to the Blue Fairy being replaced didn't sit very well with fans, with some of them feeling that it took away one of the most important aspects from the original story.
- The ending deviations of the adaptations. In this film, Pinocchio almost looks like he does not become a real boy, but he actually does if you look at his limbs very closely.
- Unlike past Disney remakes, the designs in this film are faithful to the original Disney film. However, because the designs are attempting to combine the original cartoony Disney designs with the more realistic look of previous Disney remakes, they tend to fall into the uncanny valley territory as a result like Sonic 06. This is especially the case with Jiminy Cricket, who sports a more realistic design, but is still presented as an anthropomorphic funny animal, which makes him come across as unintentionally creepy-looking.
- Same goes for Honest John. While his body is very cartoony (complete with countless grand, thespian gestures) combined with a very lively performance by Keegan-Michael Key, he has a photorealistic face, and pretty much every expression he makes looks like a cornered fox snarling and bearing its teeth. He even looks creepy like The Cat from the infamous 2003 adaptation of The Cat in the Hat.
- The same can be said for Figaro the cat, Cleo the goldfish, and Monstro the whale. Despite them being depicted as more realistic animals unlike Jiminy Cricket, Honest John, and Gideon, their CGI looks ugly and falls under the uncanny valley.
- Monstro's design is very unfaithful since he's supposed to be a whale, yet given the qualities of a sea monster.
- And what about the brief ending where Pinocchio turns into a human when his legs transform?
- The donkey transformation is even more awkward compared to the original, not to mention weird and uncanny at the same time.
- Poor grasp of the source material's original film.
- For example, in the original movie, Pinocchio is on his way to school when he runs into Honest John, who persuades him to go to the theater instead and skip school. But in this remake, he actually does go to school but gets kicked out by the teacher for "being a puppet", and states that school is for "real children" and that puppets like him belong in a puppet show.
- The Blue Fairy being blackwashed was met with massive controversy, and quite possibly one of, if not the most infamous change in the film. In fact, the change was so controversial the teaser trailer received hundreds of thousands of dislikes, drastically outnumbering the number of likes.
- Also, unlike the animated Disney film, she only appears once in the film after she brings Pinocchio to life and never appears again afterwards, hence making her role completely pointless and a waste of Cynthia Erivo's talent.
- A point of minor contention with the original film was that the four actual villains of the story (i.e., The Coachman, Stromboli, Honest John, and Gideon) get off scot-free while Lampwick is subject to a fate worse for only being a bit of a jerk. While Stromboli is punished this time around, The Coachman, Honest John, and Gideon all remaining Karma Houdinis is seen as a waste by many, especially considering The Coachman is even more evil in this version along with Honest John and Gideon, and were punished in the book and were going to be punished in the original film before it was cut.
- The concept of Pinocchio staying a wooden puppet. It's not unheard of as the Russian version of the character, Buratino, also doesn't turn into a real boy in the end, but at least there it felt more organic because the whole story had a different direction with the main character. Here in the remake, it's not fleshed out properly, and also adds a racist angle with Pinocchio being immediately rejected from the school for being a puppet, thus it just comes off more like the movie spells out a lesson that isn't followed through, since it's strongly implied he turns into a real boy anyway.
- The decision to bowdlerize the Pleasure Island scenes to remove any references to smoking and alcohol was criticized by viewers, since it removes the anti-smoking and anti-drinking message of the original movie and makes the kids' fates even more of a Disproportionate Retribution since it's less "juvenile delinquency" and more "typical child behavior".
- Anachronism: In the 30-second scene where the remake shows off the cuckoo clocks, the clocks showcases various characters Disney owns or adapted from public domain works, including but not limited to: Woody, Bullseye, Donald Duck, Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit, Maleficent, Aurora, Snow White, Dumbo, Rafiki, Simba, The Evil Queen, Zazu, and the Seven Dwarves. It doesn't make any sense for clocks like these to appear since most of these films debuted after Pinocchio (especially films released as late as 1995 with Toy Story).
- Pleasure Island also has food like burgers and root beer, which also count as anachronism because the story takes place around 1826. Burgers were made in 1885 and root beer was invented in 1875.
- Honest John mentions Chris Pine, who wasn't around at the time period the movie takes place, so how would Honest John know about him?
- The remake removed Pinocchio's Disney Death from the original, instead giving one to Geppetto, who is brought back via Swiss-Army Tears. This is arguably the most egregious change as Pinocchio's heroic sacrifice was the most important part of the original movie (i.e., Pinocchio's arc in the original movie was that he needs to prove that he was worthy of becoming a real boy, but because of his naivety he makes several bad choices and only by sacrificing his own life to save his father he is redeemed and brought back as a real boy).
- Bad pacing, just like Pinocchio 3000 and the 2002 Pinocchio film.
- There's a disgusting out-of-place poop joke in this movie, which is very unnecessary and unneeded for Disney movie. To prove this to you, Pinocchio was going to school only to encounter a pile of dung on the road. The original didn't have a cringey poop joke in the first place.
- Lame and poor direction by Robert Zemeckis that continues the sad decline and failure of his career.
- The acting and voice acting, especially from Tom Hanks, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Luke Evans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Keegan-Michael Key, is decent.
- Decent visual effects, aside from the uncanny valley quality CGI.
- The logo variation for the film is cute, since near the logo's end, Jiminy cricket hovers down and sings the logo's song "When You Wish Upon a Star"
- Pinocchio becomes a real boy, although his transformation is rather slow and hard to see.
- Unlike the original Disney movie, Stromboli gets arrested by Carabinieri, thanks to him mistreating and exploiting his employees (despite it occurring offscreen).
Unlike the animated movie, it received generally negative reviews from critics, who found the film lacking the charm of the original film and was unnecessary while criticizing its writing, plot, dialogue, and deviations, but praised the performances of Hanks and Gordon-Levitt, visuals, and musical score. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 31% based on 88 reviews with an average rating of 4.70/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Visually dazzling but soulless, the largely inert Pinocchio reaffirms that you should always let your conscience be your guide... away from unnecessary remakes.", while audiences consensus reads, "Just watch Disney's original Pinocchio instead.". Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 41 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
- On October 29, 2019, it was reported that Disney was considering releasing the film on its streaming service Disney+ due to the box office failure of its 2019 remake of Dumbo, though it was reported that "a theatrical release seems more likely" after the hiring of Robert Zemeckis as director. On December 9, 2020, the film was officially announced to be moving back to Disney+ instead of a theatrical release in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.