Pinocchio is getting a lot of attention from filmmakers this year. Just a couple of months after Disney+ released its live-action remake starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto the woodcarver, famed director Guillermo del Toro has joined forces with Mark Gustafson to debut his stop-motion animation film, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on October 15. Reviews for the live-action Pinocchio were less than stellar but, now, critics have had the chance to weigh in and add to what we know about del Toro’s Pinocchio ahead of its release to viewers who have a Netflix subscription.
Newcomer Gregory Mann voices the titular puppet that comes to life, and he’s surrounded by some heavy hitters in the Pinocchio cast, with Ewan McGregor voicing the role of the wise cricket and David Bradley (Harry Potter franchise and Game of Thrones) as Geppetto. They are joined by others including Cate Blanchett, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton and more. Pinocchio’s trailer showed off some gorgeous stop-motion animation, so let’s see what critics think of the finished product.
Ayomikun Adekaiyero of Insider says the musical numbers are disappointing, and the themes of war and death might be too dark for younger children. However, the directors have succeeded in spinning the classic story into an updated cautionary tale for parents, saying:
Leslie Felperin of THR calls the film “perfectly imperfect,” noting that this remake puts back in some of the darker elements of the source material that was sanded down in the 1940 Disney animated film. Guillermo del Toro’s hand is felt in every frame of this movie, the critic says:
Rafael Motamayor of IndieWire grades the movie an A, saying that the Oscar-winning director is able to take the oldest form of animation to new places and, like the movie itself, breathe life into inanimate objects. According to the review:
Damon Wise of Deadline, however, says he wasn’t moved by the experience and feels the film maybe goes too heavy on the macabre. He argues:
Nicholas Barber of The Wrap says the filmmaker celebrates disobedience in this passion project, which is comparable to his past works with its themes of death, grief and a misunderstood monster. He says:
The reviews seem to be mostly positive, as all of the critics are pointing out how much this story clearly meant to Guillermo del Toro. However, we still have a little while to wait before we can check out his adaptation. Pinocchio is set for release on Netflix on Friday, December 9. In the meantime, check out our 2022 movie release schedule to see what’s hitting theaters soon, or check out the best movies available on Netflix right now.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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